Chlamydia can be an STD or an STI, depending on the situation. In either case, it can cause serious health consequences if left untreated, so it’s important to learn about how it can be transmitted and what you should look out for as you try to get tested and treated. Read on to learn more about the differences between chlamydia as an STD and an STI, as well as their symptoms and treatment options.
There is a big difference between chlamydia as an STD and chlamydia as an STI. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses, or other organisms that spread from one person to another during sexual contact.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), on the other hand, are caused by organisms that spread from one person to another through sex. These infections may be passed on even if you don't have intercourse. Some common sexually transmitted infections include HPV, herpes, and syphilis.
If left untreated these can result in serious health problems such as infertility, cancer of the cervix, or HIV. Chlamydia is not typically thought of as a sexually transmitted infection because it usually does not lead to any major health issues; however, it's important that people with chlamydia get tested since some strains of this infection can lead to reproductive problems like infertility and cervical cancer later in life.
WHAT IS CHLAMYDIA?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can be contracted through vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has it. Chlamydial infections can also occur through contact with infected genital fluids. It's important to know the difference between chlamydia as an STD (sexually transmitted disease) and as an STI (sexually transmitted infection).
While both are caused by bacteria, the difference is that you can get a chlamydial infection without having sex with someone else. With chlamydia as an STD, this means you have had sexual intercourse with someone who has the disease. With chlamydia as an STI, this means that the person has been exposed to the bacterium through unprotected sex or other risk-taking activities such as using dirty needles while injecting drugs.
HOW IS CHLAMYDIA TRANSMITTED?
Chlamydia is transmitted through unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex. It can also be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth. If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to PID in women or infertility in men or women. There is no cure for chlamydia, but it can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
Anyone who has had sexual contact with someone infected with the bacteria should get tested immediately to avoid passing it on unknowingly. Those who are diagnosed should tell all of their recent sexual partners so they can also get tested and treated if needed.
Some people think that because there’s no cure for chlamydia that it isn’t a serious disease. But this disease can cause long-term consequences such as infertility, so anyone who suspects they might have contracted it should see a doctor right away.
HOW COMMON IS CHLAMYDIA?
Chlamydia is a type of bacterial sexually transmitted disease that can be easily cured with antibiotics. It can lead to long-term problems in women such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which can make it hard for them to get pregnant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are approximately 1.5 million new cases of chlamydia in the US every year.
In 2010, more than half of these were among people aged 15-24 years old. The infection is most common in those who have multiple partners. In fact, according to research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), young adults between 20-24 years old were three times more likely to contract chlamydia than their counterparts under 20 years old.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CHLAMYDIA?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. It affects both men and women. Men with chlamydia may have discharge from their penis, pain in the testicles, or pain in the area between their anus and their scrotum. Women can experience vaginal discharge, itching, burning when urinating, bleeding between periods (or after sex), or pain during sex.
When you go to your doctor for treatment, you will get a pelvic exam. If your doctor does not suspect that you have any other infections, they will give you antibiotics to take for 10 days to two weeks.
You should also tell your partner(s) so they can be tested and treated too! Your doctor will probably recommend repeating the test one month later because it sometimes takes this long for symptoms to appear. Remember: Chlamydia can make it harder to get pregnant later on.
CAN CHLAMYDIA BE PREVENTED?
Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis which spreads from infected genitals to others. There are two types of Chlamydia: sexually transmitted disease (STD) and sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Some people with chlamydia do not show any symptoms, but it can cause infertility or pelvic inflammatory disease if left untreated. Untreated chlamydial infections may lead to a higher risk of contracting HIV.
The CDC recommends getting tested for both STDs and STIs during annual visits. Some protection against STDs/STIs can be obtained through condom use, latex barriers (e.g., gloves), male circumcision, sexual abstinence, monogamy between uninfected partners, limiting one’s number of sexual partners, and using lubricant during intercourse.