What Is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia (pronounced: kluh-MID-ee-uh) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

What Are STDs?

STDs (also called sexually transmitted infections or STIs) are infections that spread through sex (vaginal, oral, or anal). Some STDs can spread through close contact with the genitals or body fluids.

How Do People Get Chlamydia?

Chlamydia spreads through sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) with someone who has the infection.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Chlamydia?

Someone with chlamydia may have:

  • discharge from the vagina, penis, or anus
  • pain in the lower belly
  • fever
  • pain when peeing

Many people with chlamydia have no symptoms. They can spread the infection to others without knowing it.

What Causes Chlamydia?

A type of bacteria , Chlamydia trachomatis, causes chlamydia.

How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed?

To find out if someone has chlamydia, health care providers do tests on:

  • fluid or discharge from the vagina, urethra, eye, or anus
  • urine (pee)

How Is Chlamydia Treated?

Health care providers treat chlamydia with antibiotics . All sexual partners from the past 2 months need treatment too, even if they don't have signs of chlamydia.

You should not have sex again until:

  • at least 7 days after you and your sexual partner(s) take the antibiotics
  • you and your sexual partner(s) do not have signs of chlamydia

People can get chlamydia again if:

  • their partners aren't treated with antibiotics
  • they get treated but then have sex with someone else who has chlamydia

What Problems Can Happen?

If it's not treated, chlamydia can lead to:

Can Chlamydia Be Prevented?

The only way to prevent chlamydia and other STDs is to not have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal). If someone decides to have sex, using a latex condom every time can prevent most STDs.

Anyone who is sexually active should get tested for STDs every year (or more often if recommended by their health care provider).

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

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