Chlamydia

What is it?

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can cause pain, burning, or itching in the penis, vagina, or anus. It can also cause unusual liquids (discharge) to come out of the penis, vagina, or anus.

How can you get it?

You can get chlamydia through vaginal or anal sex with a partner who has it. The infection is transmitted when your vagina or anus comes into contact with your partner’s sexual fluids. Sexual fluids include ejaculate, vaginal fluid, and anal fluid. It may also be transmitted through oral sex on a penis, though this is not common.

How do you know if you have it?

Most people with gonorrhea do not have symptoms. This is especially true if the infection is in the mouth, vagina, or anus. If you do have symptoms, they may include:

  • New or unusual discharge from the vagina, penis, or anus
  • A burning feeling when you pee
  • Pain during sex
  • Bleeding from the vagina or anus after sex

How is it treated?

  • Chlamydia is a bacterial infection so antibiotics can be used to treat the infection.

How can you prevent it?

You can reduce your risk of getting it by using barriers such as condoms and dental dams during oral, vaginal, and anal sex. You can also choose to engage in sexual activities that do not pose a high risk for chlamydia transmission such as giving or receiving a massage, mutual masturbation, or oral sex. You can also ensure that you and your partner have been tested and do not have chlamydia before engaging in sexual activity.

How are you tested?

Testing for chlamydia usually involves peeing in a cup. Your urine will be sent to a lab for testing. If you have symptoms such as unusual discharge, your healthcare provider may also take a swab using a long q-tip or tiny brush. Most tests give accurate results 2 weeks after the sex act that may have exposed you to gonorrhea.

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