If you are sexually active, you may be at risk of contracting chlamydia. It is worth arming yourself with the facts about this disease, the symptoms, treatments, and anything else you might want to know.
Listed below are the answers to some of the most common questions about Chlamydia.
What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that can affect people who are sexually active. Both men and women can contract Chlamydia, and it can cause permanent damage to one’s reproductive system. It can also lead to an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs outside the womb.
How is chlamydia spread?
The most important step that you can take to reduce your risk of getting Chlamydia is to avoid having oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Condom use can help but is not a failsafe against the disease.
The CDC reports that having a long-term monogamous relationship with someone who has not tested positive for chlamydia is the best way to reduce your risk of contracting this disease.
Am I at risk?
Anyone who is sexually active outside of marriage is at risk. However, young people who are sexually active are more prone to getting the disease. This is because their biological and behavioral factors can increase their risk of getting the illness. Bisexual and gay men are also more susceptible to the disease since it can spread through anal and oral sex.
People who are 25 years old and older are at risk for getting the disease due to their sexual partners, multiple sex partners, or an infection from a sexually transmitted source.
How can I find out if I have chlamydia?
Ask your healthcare provider if you should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Sexually active people who are gay or bisexual, as well as pregnant women, should be tested for chlamydia every year.
Your healthcare provider can diagnose chlamydia using a laboratory test. They may also ask you to provide a urine sample or use a cotton swab.
What are the symptoms of chlamydia?
Even though it sometimes doesn’t cause symptoms, chlamydia can still lead to serious health problems. Its symptoms can appear several weeks after an individual has had sex with someone who has the disease.
Both men and women can contract chlamydia in their rectum. The infections can be caused by either having receptive anal sex or by being transferred to another site.
Some of the common symptoms of chlamydia include:
- Unusual sores
- Burning when urinating
- Bleeding between periods
- A smelly discharge.
Even when chlamydia has no symptoms, it can damage a woman’s reproductive system. Women with symptoms may notice:
- An abnormal vaginal discharge
- A burning sensation when peeing.
Men may notice:
- A discharge from their penis
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles (although this is less common).
- Rectal pain
Can chlamydia be treated?
Yes, but it’s important to treat it as early as possible. If you don’t catch it in time, the initial damage caused by chlamydia can go unnoticed but it can lead to serious health issues later on. It’s common for people to get the disease again even if their sexual partners have received treatment.
Choices Pregnancy Centers Can Help!
At Choices, we offer affordable STD testing in a caring and compassionate environment. If you test positive, we will prescribe you the appropriate medication. We will answer your questions and follow up with you on your treatment plan.
We also offer free pregnancy testing and sexual health education. Call or make an appointment today!
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