Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs and is the leading cause of preventable infertility in the United States. If left untreated, Chlamydia may also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and the risk of ectopic pregnancy in women. Chlamydia is both treatable and preventable.
Most people with Chlamydia don’t have any symptoms, but those who do might have unusual genital discharge and/or pain and burning when urinating. Women may also have lower back or abdominal pain, nausea, pain during sex, or bleeding after sex and/or between periods.
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. Some antibiotics can cure it in just one dose, while others may need to be used for seven days. If you’ve been treated, your partner(s) should get tested and/or treated, too. And you should wait seven days or until you and your partner(s) finish the antibiotics (whichever is longer) before having sex again. This is to make sure you don’t spread the infection.
Chlamydia can be spread by oral, anal or vaginal sex and cause infection in the anus, mouth or throat in addition to the penis or vagina.
As with all STIs, the most effective protection is to abstain from sexual activity or be monogamous with one long-term partner who has tested negative for Chlamydia. Using latex condoms or dental dams can help reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the infection.