Reviewed by Ruthann Cunningham, MD, May 23, 2017

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a very common and curable sexually transmitted disease (STD). It's caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis and can be passed from person to person during vaginal, oral and anal sex. There are an estimated 2.8 million new cases of chlamydia in the United States each year, with most going undiagnosed.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

The majority of people infected with chlamydia do not have any symptoms, so many do not know they have it. If you do get chlamydia symptoms, they'll typically appear a few weeks after contracting it. Chlamydia symptoms in women can include painful urination, unusual vaginal discharge, and bleeding in between periods. Chlamydia symptoms in men include discharge from the penis, painful urination, burning or itching around the penis.

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What should I know about the chlamydia test?

The test for chlamydia is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), and it’s also the same test used to detect gonorrhea. It’s a urine test. We ask that you do not urinate an hour before testing to prepare.

If you are concerned about either chlamydia or gonorrhea, we recommend testing for both at the same time. After your results are ready, you can speak with a member of our medical team to discuss any questions you may have, next steps and, if necessary, prescribe treatment if medically appropriate or permitted by state law.

How do I get chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be contracted from vaginal, anal, and less often, oral sex. Chlamydia can be passed along even if the penis or tongue doesn't fully enter the vagina or anus. Not having sex is the only way to be 100% safe from STDs. If you are sexually active, condom use every time for oral, vaginal, and anal sex is your best bet for staying healthy.

How do I get tested for chlamydia?

The test for chlamydia is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). This is a simple urine test. This test is highly recommended by the CDC for its accuracy.

Is there a cure for chlamydia?

Chlamydia is usually easily cured. If you test positive our doctors may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. With all medication, it only works if you follow your doctor's instructions.

What if I don't get treated for chlamydia?

For some people, untreated chlamydia can have serious consequences. In women, untreated infections can lead to chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and the need for hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics. Chlamydia infections in women can lead to serious problems for the fetus. In men, untreated infection can spread to other parts of the penis, prostate and testicles and cause pain and inflammation requiring hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics. may also damage the urethra, affect the ability to urinate normally and require surgery to fix. Untreated, chlamydia can also lead to sterility in men.

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