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Chlamydia

Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Questions & Related Topics

As one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the United States, chlamydia affects more than 200,000 people each year. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and can be spread by unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.  Women with chlamydia can also pass the infection onto their babies during childbirth.

Many people who are infected with chlamydia don’t know that they have it since chlamydia doesn’t always show symptoms. For those who do develop symptoms, it can take up to three weeks for symptoms to appear after contact. If they do occur, symptoms in women include:

  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain during urination
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • An itching or burning sensation
  • Painful periods
  • Abnormal bleeding between periods
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever

Symptoms of chlamydia in men, on the other hand, include:

  • Pain during urination
  • Burning or itching around the tip of the penis
  • Discharge from the tip of the penis
  • Pain/swelling around the testicles

If you suspect you may have chlamydia, you’ll need to make an appointment with a doctor. He or she will collect a sample (from the cervix in women or urethra in men) and send it to a lab to be analyzed. Once you begin antibiotics, the infection should be completely cleared in a week or two. Anyone who is diagnosed with chlamydia, or any other STD, should inform all of their recent partners so they can get tested as well.

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