Chlamydia, a bacterial infection, is often called the silent sexually transmitted disease because most people – men and women – tend not to have any visible symptoms. Any sign of the disease tends to show up when there are complications, or major damage has been done to the reproductive organs.
Chlamydia is an extremely common STD, with more than three million Americans being diagnosed with the condition each year. In 2011 alone, there were 1.4 million cases of chlamydia in the U.S. The disease is often seen in sexually active teens to young adults (14 to 24-year-olds).
Other groups the disease is found in include:
It can take up to three weeks after the initial infection for a person exposed to chlamydia to experience symptoms.
It is strongly advised to get tested for Chlamydia as well as other STDs at least once a year or when you have a new sexual partner.
This STD is spread through sexual contact – either orally, vaginally or anally. The infection is found in vaginal fluids, pre-cum and semen, which can infect the vagina, anus, penis, urethra, throat and eyes. Even worse, chlamydia can spread even without an orgasm – from either man or woman.
An infected pregnant woman can also give her unborn baby chlamydia when giving birth.
In rare cases, the disease can spread to the eye after touching an infected area of your body with your hand, and your hand touches your eye. It’s rare but can happen.
When people hear the words sexually transmitted disease (or the acronym STD), they automatically assume that a disease can also be caught through casual contact such as kissing, hugging, hand-holding, sneezing, coughing, sharing food or drinks with an infected person or sitting on the same toilet seat as an infected person.
Yes. Chlamydia is easily treated with a course of antibiotics.
Bacterial. Caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium.
Antibiotics. A single dose of Azithromycin or seven daily doses of Doxycycline.
1 to 2 weeks. One to two weeks may be required for symptoms to fully disappear.
No. Sexual activity should be avoided until treatment is successful.
Yes. Re-infection is possible from sexual activity with an infected person.