Chlamydia is a common STD you may have heard about. But what exactly is chlamydia and how do you make sure you don’t get it?
What is chlamydia?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) chlamydia can affect men and women. Common symptoms can include a burning sensation while urinating, an abnormal discharge, and men can experience pain or swelling in one or both testicles. In some cases, no symptoms will be present at all.
Chlamydia can cause serious and permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system if left untreated. Common complications include an impossibility or difficulty getting pregnant in the future or a fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy occurring outside of the uterus).
It’s more common than you think
Louisiana actually ranks #2 in the nation for the most reported chlamydia cases, so it’s fairly common in our state. Chlamydia is spread from one partner to another by vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Even if you have had and been treated for chlamydia in the past, you can still contract it again by having sex with an infected partner. If you are pregnant, chlamydia can also be passed to your baby during childbirth if you have not been treated. Chlamydia in a newborn can cause an eye infection or pneumonia, so it is best to be tested at one of your prenatal visits and receive treatment before childbirth.
How to avoid it
According to the CDC, the best method to avoid contracting chlamydia is to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. Condom use may decrease the likelihood of spreading chlamydia and other STDs, but condoms must be used correctly and, in many cases, they are not. It is also wise if you and your partner seek STD testing and treatment if you are concerned about STDs.
If you are single, one of the best ways to avoid chlamydia, and all STDs, is to be very selective with your sexual partners. Remember that you and your body are important, and you do not have to have sex with someone to prove anything, show affection towards someone, or receive affection from someone else. You are valuable, simply because you are a human being. You deserve an opportunity to keep your body healthy and happy.
Currently, the CPC does not offer STD testing or treatment. But we do keep a list of resources on STD information to help equip you and empower you to make healthy life decisions. We also can refer you to local STD testing sites if you’d like. Give us a call to learn more, or email us to speak with a trained staff member.
You matter, we CARE.
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