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: in girls: pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can damage the reproductive system, making it hard or impossible for a woman to get pregnant later on in guys: swelling in the testicles and tubes at the back of the testicles, possibly preventing a man from fathering kids later on joint problems 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). Back to Articles Related Articles STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself. Read More Talking to Your Partner About STDs You know you should talk about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) before the action starts. But what if the thought of having "the talk" makes you nervous? These tips can help. Read More Condoms Condoms may be a good birth control option for couples who are responsible enough to use one each time and people who want protection against STDs. Read More Talking to Your Partner About Condoms Some people - even those who are having sex - are embarrassed by the topic of condoms. Here are some tips for talking about condoms with your partner. Read More Telling Your Partner You Have an STD People who have STDs might feel apprehensive about discussing their disease with a partner. Here are some tips on talking to a partner when you have an STD. Read More About Birth Control Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control. Read More Birth Control Methods: How Well Do They Work? Some birth control methods work better than others. This chart compares how well different birth control methods work. Read More Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) Pelvic inflammatory disease, sometimes called PID, is an infection of the fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, or ovaries. Learn how to protect yourself. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.