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What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Unfortunately, it can be asymptomatic. This makes it so most individuals don’t know that they have contracted it, which is why it is so widespread.

How is it transmitted?

Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact. The only other form of transmission is through a mother to her child during birth. This is because the means of transmission are semen, precum, and vaginal fluid. The infection will primarily take place in sexualized locations such as the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, and urethra. However, the throat and eyes can be infected through contact with infected fluid. 

How is it not transmitted?

Unlike some other STDs, chlamydia can not be spread through blood. It can only be spread through sexual contact and not everyday contact. This means it’s impossible to contract chlamydia from everyday activities such as sharing drinks, hugging, or coughing. It is also impossible to contract it from blood transfusions and sharing needles.

What are the symptoms?

Most individuals won’t show any symptoms of chlamydia. That is why it’s important to be tested if you think you are at risk, as it is the only way to know for sure if you have chlamydia. If you have had unprotected sex then you can use the Safe App to schedule an STD test at a nearby clinic. 

If you do have symptoms, they are likely to include different forms of genital pain and/or discharge. If in rare cases, you have a chlamydia infection in your throat or eyes, this may lead to soreness, itchiness, and/or redness. 

What kind of damage can it cause?

Untreated chlamydia can lead to major health problems. For those with female genitalia, chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) If you have a penis, the infection can spread through your bloodstream, causing chronic joint pain. In extreme cases, the bacteria can also make you infertile. On top of direct damage to your body, chlamydia infections increase your chances of contracting the life-threatening human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

How is it treated?

The good news is that chlamydia is curable! If diagnosed your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics to treat the infection. You usually only need to medicate for one to seven days. However, be sure that you don’t have any sex for at least seven days after finishing the medication. Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure your infection is gone and remember that being cured once does not make you immune.

That being said, you can only cure your chlamydia if you know you have it. This is why it’s important if you’ve had any unprotected sex to use the Safe App to schedule a comprehensive STD panel at a clinic nearby. Use your insurance, and you only have to cover the copay, or if you prefer a cash-pay option, SAFE has the lowest option on the market at only $99.

Sources

https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm

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