Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is transmitted during sex and affects the reproductive organs, throat, and eyes. Classified as a sexually transmitted disease (STD), chlamydia is spread between sexual partners through unprotected anal, oral, or vaginal sex. Anyone who has sex is at risk of getting chlamydia, but young sexually active people are at a higher risk due to factors of behavior and biology. Women who have a chlamydia infection left untreated may develop pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal factor infertility, and chronic pelvic pain. Chlamydia can be passed from mother to baby during birth with the baby at risk for eye infections and pneumonia. Around 2 million people each year contract the disease within the United States alone. This infection is most prevalent in young adults age under 25 years of age.
There are often no symptoms of chlamydia and this can lead to serious complications if left untreated. When there are symptoms, they usually appear between 1 to 3 weeks after sexual contact with an infected person.
- Vaginal or penile discharge
- Lower abdominal and/or pelvic pain
- Pain during sex
- Burning with urination
- Testicular pain
- Bleeding between periods
- Bleeding or discharge from the rectum (after anal sex)
- Sore throat, fever, and cough (after oral sex)