What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted disease that can infect sexually active men or women who have unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Both bisexual and gay individuals are also at risk of contracting chlamydia.
What is the cause of chlamydia?
Chlamydia is an infection of the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis, which can live in the rectum, genitals, and urinary tract, as well as the throat mucous membrane
How is the infection spread and transferred?
Chlamydia can be transferred from any direct genital, rectal or oral contact with an infected individual.
What are the symptoms of a Chlamydia infection?
Unfortunately, most people who have chlamydia have no noticeable symptoms. If symptomatic, men or women may have any of the following complaints:
- Abnormal discharge from their penis/vagina
- Lower abdominal pain in women
- Rectal pain, discharge or bleeding
- Burning with urination
- Testicle pain in men
How soon after intercourse may I show symptoms of chlamydia infection?
Usually, several weeks after having sex with an infected sex partner, you may begin to show symptoms of infection. BUT remember that you and your sex partner may have absolutely NO symptoms whatsoever and still be infected with chlamydia.
How would I know if I am infected with chlamydia if most people remain asymptomatic?
CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that high-risk individuals be tested for chlamydia regularly even if they have no symptoms of infection.
Who is at high risk for chlamydia?
Young sexually active people are at higher risk for contracting a chlamydia infection due to common behavioral and biological factors. Therefore, CDC recommends that all women younger than 25 years of age and older women with risk factors be tested every year. Of course, at any time any woman or man with STD symptoms should be checked for chlamydia.
Why be treated for chlamydia if an infected person is completely asymptomatic?
Any known symptomatic or asymptomatic individual infected with chlamydia must be treated due to the following reasons:
- Untreated chlamydia can cause damage to reproductive organs, which can lead to infertility particularly in women.
- It can also cause chronic lower abdominal pain due to PID (Pelvic inflammatory disease)
- Pain with intercourse can be due to PID
- Damaged reproductive organs can cause complicated pregnancy or potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy
- Untreated chlamydia may also increase the chance of getting or giving HIV infection to your sex partner.
How can chlamydia infections be tested?
Testing is as simple as a cotton swab from the vagina or through a urine or blood test.
How can one be treated for chlamydia?
The treatment of chlamydia is very easy and highly successful with just a short course of antibiotics by mouth.
When can I have sex again if I am treated for a chlamydia infection?
It is recommended to remain abstinent during chlamydia treatment.
Can I be cured of an infection?
Yes. However, you can be re-infected if you have sex with an infected sex partner. Therefore we recommend that your sex partner also gets tested and treated if one of you is positive for a chlamydia infection.
How can one be treated for chlamydia?
Abstaining from vaginal, anal, or oral sex completely eliminates the risk of chlamydia infection. If you are sexually active, you can do the following to diminish your risk:
Be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with a sex partner that has been tested negative for chlamydia.Use latex condoms every time you have any type of intercourse
How can I share with my sex partner that I have been infected with chlamydia?
As mentioned above, most people who have chlamydia are unaware that they are infected since the disease has no symptoms. Therefore, in a sexual relationship, it is difficult to find out who gave it to whom and when. Dr. Shafa recommends that sex partners be open-minded regarding this very common STD and be happy that the treatment of chlamydia is very easy and successful.
Dr. Shafa recommends that both sex partners be tested and treated at the same time. Both sex partners should also be retested 3 months after the treatment of chlamydia infection to ensure it completely resolved.
What is my risk of other STDs if I am positive for chlamydia?
There is a high chance that one is infected with chlamydia and gonorrhea at the same time. Therefore, we usually treat the patient for both infections simultaneously.
We offer STD panel testing!
Dr. Shafa recommends that any patient with one STD be tested for all other common STDs. This is done to ensure peace of mind for both the patient and doctor.