Chlamydia Trachomatis is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) with about 2.8million cases per year.
Women under age 25 are at the highest risk. In my practice, as in the national trend, I am seeing fewer teens with Chlamydia and more women in their early 20s infected. In my practice college students have the highest rates of infection.
You can get Chlamydia of the vagina, oral or anal cavity.
A recent study found smoking, substance abuse (other than alcohol or marijuana) and HPV increased the risk of Chlamydia.
How do I know if I have Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is usually causes no symptoms in 70-80% of cases. If symptoms do occur they can present 2-3days after infection. Theses included:
- yellow discharge
- painful/frequent urination
- painful periods or bleeding between periods
- rectal pain or bleeding
Chlamydia can result in serious complications like:
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Tubal/ectopic pregnancy
- Chronic pelvic pain
The Good News is that chlamydia is easily treated with one dose of antibiotics. Partner treatment is essential and in Colorado gynecologists can treat a partner(s) without seeing them-we can send in the prescription to the pharmacy. It is important not to have sex (oral,vaginal or anal) for 1 week after all persons are treated and to get a “test of cure” 2 months after treatment.
How to avoid Chlamydia and its complications
- consistent condom use
- be selective in your partners
- yearly screening for all women 25 and under
- screening if you have a new partner
- see your gynecologist right away if you have any symptoms of Chlamydia