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Chlamydia Overview

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a common STD caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. According to the CDC, there are approximately 2.86 million chlamydia infections reported annually, making it the most frequently reported bacterial STD in the United States. Many individuals are not aware that they have chlamydia because it is considered a "silent" STD, meaning that its symptoms are usually mild or completely absent.

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At least 50% of the time, chlamydia​ ​has​ ​no symptoms​ in men and women which contributes to the disease being extremely common​ ​and​ ​easily​ ​spread​. It can be easily cured with antibiotics; get tested today if you think you may have been exposed.

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Common signs and symptoms of chlamydia

When chlamydia symptoms do appear, they typically present themselves 1-3 weeks after exposure to the bacteria. For women, symptoms may include an abnormal vaginal discharge or a painful or burning sensation during urination. If the infection spreads, women can experience abdominal and pelvic pain, fever, nausea, bleeding between periods and pain during sex. For men, symptoms may include a painful burning sensation during urination, and/or unusual discharge from the penis. For both men and women, symptoms of rectal infection may include rectal pain or bleeding.

How chlamydia testing works

You can order our Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAA) Chlamydia Test if you believe you have recently contracted a chlamydia infection. This NAA test is a simple urine test that can be taken 1­-5 days after potential exposure to chlamydia. We also offer chlamydia testing as part of our all­inclusive, FDA­approved / cleared 10-Test Panel that tests for all common STDs.

Where to get tested for chlamydia

STDcheck.com has more than 4,500 testing centers throughout the United States with some locations open on Saturdays for your convenience. To find a local testing center near you, simply go to our STD test center location page and enter your zip code. You will be given a list of nearby centers. Choose a location and complete your order. You can also call us at 1­-800­-456­-2323 or use our live chat feature and one of our certified health specialists will be happy to assist you.

More information about chlamydia testing

The FDA-cleared NAA test is the standard test used for chlamydia screening. It is recommended by the CDC for its accuracy in diagnosing the existence of the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium. Our chlamydia test is so sensitive that it is unlikely to have a "false positive" result. If your results come back positive, we offer a doctor consultation over the phone. Our doctors may be able to prescribe chlamydia treatment at their discretion.

Who is at risk for contracting chlamydia?

Chlamydia is contracted via vaginal, anal or oral sex. Sexually active teenage girls and young women are more susceptible to contracting infections, including chlamydia, because their cervixes (opening to the uterus) have not fully matured. Adult men and women who engage in unprotected sex are also prone to the bacteria. A chlamydia infection can also be passed from mother to infant during vaginal childbirth.

Is chlamydia curable?

Chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics. Individuals infected with chlamydia should abstain from sex for 7 days in order to allow the antibiotics to work and to prevent spreading the bacteria to others. Likewise, your partner should as be treated to avoid you getting re­-infected. A re­-infection of chlamydia is common, particularly when a person's sexual partners have not been properly treated. Our doctors recommend that you and your partner get re­-tested for chlamydia approximately 21 to 28 days after treatment. This helps ensure the health of both parties and helps mitigate any potential long­term health complications from the chlamydia bacterium.

Effects of untreated chlamydia

If left untreated, a chlamydia infection can have major health consequences. Untreated infections in women can lead to chronic pelvic pain and prenatal problems. Repeated chlamydia infections may result in serious reproductive issues, including complications during pregnancy and infertility. In addition, women exposed to chlamydia are at a higher risk for contracting HIV. For men, an untreated case of chlamydia can spread to other parts of the penis, prostate and testicles and cause pain and inflammation. If not properly treated, chlamydia can also result in male sterility.

Ways to prevent chlamydia

The number one way to prevent contracting chlamydia is abstinence. If you are not willing to abstain from sex, you can practice safer sex by consistently using condoms or dental dams. Being in a monogamous relationship with someone who is not infected with chlamydia will also help prevent infection. Talking about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and getting tested with your new partner before engaging in a sexual relationship is another way to help prevent getting chlamydia.

  1. "Detailed STD Facts - Chlamydia." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm
  2. Meyer, Thomas. "Diagnostic Procedures to Detect Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections." Microorganisms. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039585/
  3. Lazenby, Gweneth B., Jeffrey E. Korte, Sarah Tillman, Florence K. Brown, and David E. Soper. "A Recommendation for Timing of Repeat Chlamydia Trachomatis Test following Infection and Treatment in Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women." International Journal of STD & AIDS. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5798859/
  4. "Recommendations for the Laboratory-Based Detection of Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae - 2014." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6302a1.htm

Medically Reviewed by on Jun 18, 2019

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