Click on the links below to learn detailed facts about chlamydia and how to keep yourself healthy.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by germs called bacteria. It is the most common STD in Philly! If you have chlamydia, you may not even know it. That’s why it is so important to get tested. If you test positive for chlamydia, it can be cured with the right antibiotics. It is important to remember though that you can get chlamydia more than one time. That’s why it’s important to use condoms and talk to your partner(s) about STD testing.
Chlamydia is spread during vaginal, anal or oral sex without a condom. In other words, through regular sex, butt sex or blow jobs/eating out. Even if the penis doesn’t go completely into the vagina, butthole or mouth, it can be passed from one person to another. It can also be passed from a mother to a newborn baby during childbirth. That means it is very important to use a condom during any type of sex from the very beginning and that if you are pregnant, you are going to your doctor regularly.
Symptoms of chlamydia can appear between one and three weeks after having sex. Symptoms can sometimes go away on their own without treatment. Most people never have symptoms at all! If you do have symptoms, girls may feel pain and itching in or around their vagina or have vaginal discharge. They can also feel pain when peeing or while having sex. Guys with chlamydia may have discharge (a kind of liquid) from the head of the penis or anus. They can also have pain or itching at the head of the penis or sometimes feel pain when peeing. It is important to know that you may not experience any of these symptoms and still have chlamydia.
Chlamydia tests can be done a couple of different ways. Some of you may have been tested for chlamydia (and gonorrhea) at your high school by the Health Department. This kind of test needs a pee sample. Health Centers 1 and 5 use this test. A doctor’s office might use the pee test too. Sometimes doctors will swab the inside of the penis or vagina to test for chlamydia. Both tests give accurate results. If you have given or received oral or anal sex, you should also test your throat and butthole for chlamydia. This is done by a simple, painless swab in your throat and butthole.
If your test comes back positive, chlamydia can be treated and cured with medicine called antibiotics. It is very important to take all the pills you are given, even if you feel better and do not have any symptoms. Taking all the pills will make sure the infection is completely cleared. You should not have any sex for 10 days after taking the medication. If you don’t wait 10 days to have sex, you can still infect other people. You should also tell your sex partner(s) so they can be tested and treated too. Otherwise they might give the infection back to you and/or infect others.
Not having sex is the only way to be sure you will not get infected with chlamydia. If you are having sex, use condoms correctly every time. Just remember, the more sex partners you have, the greater the chance you will get chlamydia! Get STD check-ups every three to six months (that means at least twice a year, up to four times a year). This makes sure infections like chlamydia are caught early and treated fast.
Check out our map to find a testing site near you!
If chlamydia is not treated, very serious health problems can happen. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a common result of chlamydia that does not get treated. If you have PID, the infection spreads throughout the reproductive system. This can scar these areas and makes it so girls can’t get pregnant or have a hard time getting pregnant. The baby might attach to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus, where it’s supposed to be. These pregnancies are very dangerous.