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How is Chlamydia Transmitted and Can It Be Prevented?

How is Chlamydia Transmitted and Can It Be Prevented?

Chlamydia is one of the most common types of STDs or sexually transmitted diseases. It can easily be treated with antibiotics, but people can still easily get infected with this disease. But how is chlamydia transmitted, and what can people do to prevent this disease?

What is Chlamydia?

A bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis causes the infection. This bacteria primarily affects the mucus membranes of the body, which are usually the urethra, cervix, rectum, throat, and even the eyes.

Most people with chlamydia experience symptoms one to three weeks after infection, depending on where the infection starts.

Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Discharge coming from the penis or vagina
  • A burning sensation when peeing
  • Swelling in the testicles for men
  • Bleeding in between periods for women
  • Conjunctivitis or pink eye
  • Pain and bleeding in the rectum

In men, chlamydia can cause inflammation in the epididymis, or the tube in the testicle that carries sperm. This leads to a condition called epididymitis, which can cause infertility.

In women, one of the more serious complications of chlamydia is pelvic inflammatory disease. This is a condition that happens if the infection affects the uterus and the fallopian tubes.

Aside from pelvic pain, this can also cause infertility, as well as increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a type of pregnancy where the embryo implants itself outside of the uterus.

Despite these complications, chlamydia is a treatable disease. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria and stop the infection. However, reinfection can occur, so it is important for patients to take safety precautions to avoid getting infected in the future.

How is Chlamydia Transmitted?

Chlamydia is an STD, so the way people can get infected is through unprotected sex. People who are sexually active and don’t use protection are particularly prone to contracting chlamydia.

The semen or vaginal fluids of a person with chlamydia can also spread the infection. If these fluids get into the vagina, penis, or rectum, then the infection can easily spread. Even a person who gets these infected fluids in their eye or mouth can develop chlamydia as well.

Using sex toys can also spread the disease to others. If a person with chlamydia uses a sex toy, and someone else uses it without disinfecting it properly, then the disease may also spread.

And to debunk some common myths about chlamydia, sharing towels, bathrooms, kitchen utensils, as well as hugging and kissing don’t spread the disease.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Here are some things that you can do in order to protect yourself against chlamydia:

  • Practice safe sex. This means that you or your partner needs to use a condom during penetrative sex, whether it’s vaginal or anal. If you’re engaging in oral sex, then use a dental dam or a condom to prevent infection.
  • As much as possible, avoid trying to have multiple sex partners to reduce your risk of contracting STDs.
  • When using sex toys, be sure to wash them thoroughly, and disinfect them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • It’s a good idea to use condoms on your sex toys to prevent infection.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to your partner about getting an STD test, especially if they have had unprotected sex recently.
  • If you are the one who had unprotected sex, be sure to get tested for STDs to prevent spreading the infection to others

how is chlamydia transmitted

Key Takeaways

Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs. It is important to always practice safe sex, and get tested regularly for STDs if you have multiple sex partners. Taking these precautions can help lower your risk of not just chlamydia, but also other common sexually transmitted diseases.

Learn more about Chlamydia here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Chlamydia | CATIE – Canada’s source for HIV and hepatitis C information, https://www.catie.ca/en/fact-sheets/sti/chlamydia, Accessed December 28, 2020

Chlamydia symptoms & treatment | Avert, https://www.avert.org/sex-stis/sexually-transmitted-infections/chlamydia, Accessed December 28, 2020

Chlamydia (chlamydia trachomatis genital infection), https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/chlamydia/fact_sheet.htm, Accessed December 28, 2020

STD Facts – Chlamydia, https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm, Accessed December 28, 2020

Chlamydia – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/, Accessed December 28, 2020

What is Chlamydia? | Causes of Chlamydia Infection, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/chlamydia, Accessed December 28, 2020

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Medical reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Jan Alwyn Batara
Updated Dec 28, 2020
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