Chlamydia is a bacterial disease affecting the genital organs. The disease is spread by close, sexual contact including sexual intercourse, anal sex, and possible oral sex. If left untreated, chlamydia may result in infection of the ovaries, cervix, and uterus in women and the urethra in males. It may also result in an infection of the rectum, prostate, mouth or eye.
In women, symptoms may include discharge from the vagina, burning with urination, bleeding from vagina between periods, and abdominal pain. However, 80% of women experience no symptoms. Men may notice burning with urination and/or discharge from the penis. However, 10% of men have no symptoms. With rectal chlamydia, symptoms include itching, watery discharge, cramping and diarrhea.
Chlamydia is diagnosed by a laboratory test. If you are at risk (having more than one sexual partner), you should see a doctor every six months to test for chlamydia and other STDs.
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. It is important to complete all medication. Unfortunately, accuracy of currently available laboratory tests are substantially less than 100%; thus, false-negative tests are possible. Avoid having sex until both you and your partner have completed medication.
If chlamydia is not treated properly, the disease may progress to serious pelvic disorders and sterility. Women with untreated chlamydia can pass the infection to a newborn baby. These complications can be prevented by early, complete treatment under proper medical supervision. Avoid alcohol while taking medication. Complete absorption of the medication is important.
- ABSTINENCE if you do not know your partner.
- Use condoms.
- Use birth control spermicides (foam, cream, or jelly).
If you suspect you may have contracted chlamydia, you should make an appointment with a Nurse Practitioner at the Student Health Center. If your health care provider determines that you have chlamydia, you will be given antibiotics to destroy the bacteria. If you have any questions please contact the Student Health Center for more information at (970) 351-2412.