Chlamydia is Common, Do Get Tested and Here is What You Need to Know

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STD. If you have sex with an infected partner transmission is fairly high, and incubation period is from 5-14 days.

Men, women, and babies born through infected birth canals can acquire chlamydia and get ill from the infections; however, most infections are not symptomatic. It is unclear just how long someone can have chlamydia with out having any symptoms at all.

Since chlamydia may not cause symptoms, testing is important if you are sexually active especially with a new partner.

When symptoms do occur, they are usually in the form of genital pain, itching, and vaginal discharge for women, and urinary symptoms in men.

Although chlamydia can infect all of the genital tract, the eyes, the lungs, the throat, the bladder, the urethra, and the rectum, it is most common to harbor the infection in the cervix so that is where most testing is done for women. This testing can be done at the time of a pap smear or pelvic exam. In men we usually screen the urine.

Rectal chlamydia can cause pain or rectal discharge, but in most cases this is missed if not screened.

If a chlamydia infection becomes severe, it can lead to infertility in women.

Partners should always be treated at the same time or re-infection is common. At Women’s Health Practice we routinely offer partner treatment for our clients.

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Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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