Teen STI Card—Chlamydia

Think you can’t get chlamydia? Based on what?

What is it?

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). 1

Who gets it?

Both men and women – particularly young men and women2

Every year, over 9 million American young people between the ages of 14 and 24, get an STI.3 If you’ve had vaginal, oral, or anal sex, you could be infected with one or more STIs. Some STIs cause symptoms. Others don’t. You could have one now and not even know it. Just because you don’t know you’re infected doesn’t mean you’re not being affected.  Some STIs make you sick today and others cause problems later in life-serious problems like cancer or infertility.4 So get your facts straight about CHLAMYDIA.

How you get it:

From having vaginal oral or anal sex with an infected person

How will I know if I’m infected?

Most infected people-especially women don’t have symptoms, so they can’t tell. When people with chlamydia do have symptoms, the symptoms may include pain when going to the bathroom or a “discharge” coming from the penis or vagina.5

How do you treat chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics. But, if you don’t know you’re infected, you won’t be looking for treatment. If you have had sex, see your doctor and get checked. Don’t put it off. If treatment is delayed, infected women can get pelvic inflammatory disease (a serious complication of chlamydia). PID causes problems now (abdominal pain) and problems later (difficulty getting pregnant or infertility).6

What can I do to avoid being infected with chlamydia?

Avoid sexual activity if you are single. Be faithful to one uninfected partner for the rest of your life. Already had sex? See a doctor and get checked out- and next time, get your facts straight.

References:

1. CDC. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2013. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services; December 2014

2.  “Sexually Transmitted Diseases.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Dec. 2017, www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/stdfact-teens.htm.

3. Satterwhite CL, Torrone E, Meites E, et al, “Sexually Transmitted Infections Among US  Women and Men: Prevalence and Incidence Estimates, 2008,” Sexually Transmitted Dis. 2013 Mar, 40(3): 187-93

4. . Mayo Clinic, “Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)”  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/basics/complications/con-20034128

5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Chlamydia – CDC Fact Sheet” http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm

6. Haggerty CL, Gottlieb SL, Taylor BD, Low N, Xu F, Ness RB. Risk of sequelae after Chlamydia trachomatis genital infection in women. The Journal of infectious diseases 2010;201 Suppl 2:S134-55.