Sometimes questions about sexual health matters are the hardest to discuss. That’s why we wrote a quick blog on one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the United States, chlamydia. It can have serious health consequences if left untreated, so it’s important to be knowledgeable about the infection and get tested if you have any symptoms.
- What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that causes a sexually transmitted disease. It’s one of the most common STDs in the U.S. and can affect both men and women. Because symptoms of chlamydia are not always apparent, it can be easily spread.
- How can someone get chlamydia?
Chlamydia can be spread through unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
- How do you get tested for chlamydia?
Your doctor can order a lab test for chlamydia. Typically the test is either a urine test or a swab test of the urethra (in males) or cervix (in females). Chlamydia can also be tested for in the throat.
- Can it be treated?
Yes. Chlamydia can be successfully treated with antibiotics. At MedSpring, we offer treatment at the time of your visit and may treat you before your test results return depending upon your symptoms. If you are allergic or unable to take the medication offered, the physician may offer an alternative medication that you can pick up at the pharmacy once you leave the center. It is advised to abstain from sexual activity for seven days after the start of either treatment to ensure complete clearance of chlamydia. It’s important to take the antibiotics for the entire time the doctor recommends them even if you start feeling better beforehand.
- How accurate is the test?
The chlamydia test is extremely accurate.
- What happens if you don’t get treated?
Chlamydia can cause serious health risks if left untreated.
- In women, chlamydia can cause:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Damage to fallopian tubes
- For pregnant women, chlamydia can cause:
- Increased pregnancy risks
- Premature birth
- Risks to the baby
- In men, chlamydia can cause:
- Urethra infections
- Epididymitis (infection of the epididymis)
- Inflammation of the rectum
It’s important to get regular tests for STDs like chlamydia if you’re sexually active because oftentimes STDs do not have obvious symptoms.
If you think you or your partner may have chlamydia, or another STD, get tested and treated right away. MedSpring offers discrete STD testing and treatment every day, including weekends, from 8am to 8pm.