Chlamydia (“kla-MID-ee-uh”) is a curable sexually transmitted infection
(STI), which is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. You
can get genital chlamydial infection during oral, vaginal, or anal sexual
contact with an infected partner. It can cause serious problems in men and
women, such as penile discharge and infertility respectively, as well as in
newborn babies of infected mothers.
Chlamydia is one of the most widespread bacterial STIs in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 3
million people are infected each year.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CHLAMYDIA?
Chlamydia bacteria live in vaginal fluid and in semen. Chlamydia is sometimes
called the “silent” disease because you can have it and not know it. Symptoms
usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after being infected. Those who do have
symptoms may have an abnormal discharge (mucus or pus) from the vagina or penis
or experience pain while urinating. These early symptoms may be very mild.
The infection may move inside your body if it is not treated. Bacteria can
infect the cervix, fallopian tubes, and urine canal in women, where they can
cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). In men the bacteria can cause
epidydimitis (inflammation of the reproductive area near the testicles). PID and
epidydimitis are two very serious illnesses.