What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is an infection that is spread through sex. It is very common among teens and young adults. If it is not treated, chlamydia can damage a woman's body so she can never have children.

The good news is that chlamydia is easy to treat. But most people with chlamydia do not know they have it. If you have had sex, you may need to be tested, even if you feel healthy.


Why Chlamydia Is Dangerous?
Chlamydia must be treated early, or it can damage your body for life.

Chlamydia can be very harmful to women because it can infect a woman deep inside. The infection can spread up to the fallopian tubes and cause lasting pain. It can scar the tubes so a woman can never get pregnant. It can also lead to a pregnancy in the tubes, where a baby cannot grow.

In men, chlamydia can cause a discharge from the penis and pain when peeing. In rare cases, it can keep a man from being able to father children.


Most people with chlamydia have no symptoms. They have no way of knowing they have an infection.

If symptoms do occur, they may be like the symptoms of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Always go to a clinic or doctor at once if you feel burning when you pee, or you have a strange discharge from the penis or vagina. Women may also have pain in the lower belly, pain during sex, or bleeding between periods.


Getting Tested
The only way to find out if you have chlamydia is to be tested. Because chlamydia is very common, people who have had sex should be tested at least once a year, even if they feel healthy.

There are many ways to test for chlamydia. One kind of test uses a sample of urine. Another test uses a cotton swab to collect a small amount of fluid from a man's penis or a woman's cervix. A Pap smear does not test for chlamydia.


If you think you could have chlamydia, get tested right away. Early treatment can prevent lasting damage to your body.

Chlamydia is treated with pills. One kind of medicine can cure chlamydia with a single pill. Other medicines must be taken every day for a week or more.


While you are being treated:
  • Never share your medicine with anyone.
  • Be sure to take all your medicineeven if your symptoms go away.
  • Make sure your sex partner(s) get treated.
  • Avoid sex for one week while you and your partner are being treated.

Telling Your Partner
Tell anyone you have sex with right away if you find out you have chlamydia. They should also be treatedeven if they have no symptoms. If they are not treated, they may be harmed for the rest of their lives. They may also give chlamydia back to you or to someone else.

True, telling a partner can be hard. But keep in mind most people with chlamydia do not know they have it. Don't let fear or anger stop you from doing the right thing.


If You Are Pregnant
A pregnant woman can give chlamydia to her baby during birth. Chlamydia can cause eye, ear, and lung infections in a newborn. The good news is that a pregnant woman can take medicine to cure chlamydia and protect her baby.

A warningWomen who are pregnant or nursing should not take some medicines because they might hurt the baby. If you think you might be pregnant, tell your doctor or clinic. They can give you a medicine that is safe. You may need to be tested again to be sure you are cured.


Talking To Your Doctor
Because chlamydia often has no symptoms, you may need to talk to your doctor or nurse about whether you should be tested. Most doctors decide what tests to give based on what you tell them. You can get the best care by talking honestly about your sex life.

You could say something like:

"I've had sex with someone new, and we haven't been using condoms every time. Should I be tested for STDs?"
"I think my partner had sex with someone else. I want to be tested for STDs."

Staying Healthy
You can protect yourself from chlamydia in the same ways you protect yourself from other STDs, including HIV.
Don't Have Sex:
There are many ways to show love besides sex. Kissing, touching, and talking feel good and are safe. You cannot give or get an STD if there is no contact between the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus.
Use a Condom:
If you have sex, use a condom from start to finish every time. You can use male or female condoms. You can also use a spermicidal jelly, film, or foam during vaginal sex to help prevent STDs. Use it with condoms, not in place of them.
Be Prepared:
Have condoms on hand, and be ready to use them. Be aware that you may not make good choices if you get drunk or stoned.
Limit Number of Partners:
The more people you have sex with, the greater your chance of getting an STD. If your partner has sex with others, you are also at risk.
See a Doctor:
If you think you have an STD, go to your doctor or clinic right away. Ask your partner to get tested too. If you have sex, get a checkup at least once a year. People who have had chlamydia may need to be tested more often.