Matthew Wosnitzer, MD, is board-certified in urology. He is an attending physician at Yale New Haven Health System, Northeast Medical Group and teaches at the Frank Netter School of Medicine.
Chlamydia is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). Caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, it is the most frequently reported bacterial STI in the United States, with roughly 1.7 million cases each year. Though most people with chlamydia never experience symptoms, it can lead to serious health problems later in life. Chlamydia can usually be treated with antibiotics.
Yes. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection and usually clears up with a course of antibiotics. It is commonly treated with either Zithromax (azithromycin) or Vibramycin/Doryx (doxycycline).
Chlamydia is often called the silent infection because symptoms are not always present. The most common symptoms include discharge from the vagina or penis, painful urination, and red, swollen, itchy, or painful genitals.
Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina is common with a chlamydia infection. The consistency of the discharge can range from thin to thick and clumpy. The discharge may be clear or opaque and may be of a white, yellow, or yellow-green color.
Chlamydia is transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, it is spread through intimate contact with infected body fluids, including semen or vaginal mucus. Condoms are the most effective protection against this STD.
No, you cannot catch chlamydia from kissing. Chlamydia is spread through contact with infected body fluids, including semen, pre-ejaculatory fluid, and vaginal secretions. It is not transmitted through saliva.
An ectopic pregnancy is a nonviable pregnancy in which the fertilized egg has implanted outside the uterus. Sometimes called a tubal pregnancy, it commonly occurs in the fallopian tubes, but the egg may also implant on the cervix or elsewhere in the abdomen.
The female reproductive system includes the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, vagina, and labia. The purpose of these internal and external sex organs is to prepare for and maintain a normal pregnancy.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the reproductive organs. Commonly caused by an untreated sexually transmitted disease, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. PID occurs when bacteria travels through the cervix to the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are diseases that are spread through sexual contact. STDs can be bacterial, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, or viral, as is the case with herpes, HIV, and HPV.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted disease surveillance 2019.
Workowski KA, Bachmann LH, Chan PA, et al. Sexually transmitted infections treatment guidelines, 2021. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2021;70(4):1-187. doi:10.15585/mmwr.rr7004a1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chlamydial Infections. Updated June 4, 2015.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chlamydia – CDC Fact Sheet. Updated January 23, 2014.
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