Chlamydia is known as a ‘silent’ infection because most infected people do not show symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), some studies have shown that as few as 10% of men and 5% of women who have chlamydia show any signs of infection. In the minority that do show symptoms, those symptoms are usually the following:
- An abnormal vaginal discharge;
- A burning sensation when urinating.
- A discharge from their penis;
- A burning sensation when urinating;
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles (although this is less common).
Chlamydia can also infect the rectum either through receptive anal sex, or by being spread from another infected area (such as the vagina). These infections, too, are often asymptomatic. If symptoms do show, they can cause
- Rectal pain;
The CDC states that if left untreated, chlamydia can cause lasting damage to a woman’s reproductive system. Untreated chlamydia can spread to the uterus and Fallopian tubes and lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), possibly causing pelvic pain and infertility. Not treating chlamydia can also increase your chances of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Easy Test and Treatment
The good news is that chlamydia can easily be tested for and treated. A simple urine test can detect the infection and a course of antibiotics can cure it.
Should I Get Tested?
Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs and usually only detected by testing. If you are sexually active, especially with multiple partners, it is a good idea to get tested on a regular basis. The CDC also notes that repeat infection is common. It recommends that a test be repeated three months after an previous treatment. Also, if you are at risk for chlamydia and are pregnant or considering an abortion, you will want to be tested right away, as chlamydia can cause complications.
Get Tested For Free
Abria Pregnancy Resources provides free chlamydia testing for women. If you test positive, treatment is also available.