Avoiding An Embarrassing Condition {And What To Do If You Have It}

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can infect both men and women. Untreated, it can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to become pregnant, and increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection along to your baby during delivery. This could cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your newborn. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to have a preterm birth.

How Did THIS Happen?
Chlamydia is contracted by having sex of any type with someone who has chlamydia. If you’ve had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can still get infected again if you have sex with someone infected with it.

Being in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship such as marriage is the best way to avoid contracting a STI.

The Symptoms – Ugh!
Most people with chlamydia have no symptoms. However, if you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system.

Symptoms for women may include abnormal discharge and/or a burning sensation when urinating. The discharge may have an unpleasant odor. Some women may have pelvic pain and (rarely) may experience unusual bleeding. Men may experience discharge, a burning sensation during urination, and/or pain and swelling.

How In the World Do You Know?
There are laboratory tests that can easily diagnose chlamydia. There are two main ways to test for chlamydia: a urine sample or a swab test. Test results come back in 2-7 days depending upon the lab. You should not have sex while waiting for the results of the test.
If detected early, chlamydia is a highly treatable STI, responsive to antibiotics. During treatment, it is important to take all of the medication prescribed by your health-care provider. When taken properly, it will stop the infection and could decrease the chance of later complications. Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sexual partner(s) was treated. You should not have sex again until you and your partner(s) have completed treatment. If your health-care provider prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medication before having sex. If you health-care provider prescribes a medication to be taken for seven days, you should wait until the seven days of medication have been taken and completed. Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone else.

Have an honest and open discussion with your health-care provider and ask whether you should be tested for Chlamydia or other STIs. If you are a sexually active person not in a monogamous, committed relationship such as marriage, or have had new or multiple sexual partners, you should be tested for chlamydia each year.

Information in this article were taken from the following website:
Lab Tests Online

For more articles on STIs, how to identify, treat and avoid:
So You Think You Know All About STD?
Sex Education Articles

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