Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It can infect both men and women and is transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected partner. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth.

Many people infected with chlamydia do not experience symptoms, especially in the early stages of infection. However, when symptoms do occur, they may include:

  1. Painful Urination: A burning sensation or pain during urination can be a symptom of chlamydia infection.
  2. Abnormal Vaginal Discharge: Women with chlamydia may experience abnormal vaginal discharge that is yellowish or greenish in color and may have a strong odor.
  3. Discharge from the Penis: Men with chlamydia may experience discharge from the penis, which may be white, cloudy, or watery.
  4. Pain or Swelling in the Testicles: In some cases, chlamydia infection can lead to pain or swelling in the testicles (epididymitis).
  5. Pain During Intercourse: Both men and women may experience pain during sexual intercourse if they have chlamydia.
  6. Lower Abdominal Pain: Women with chlamydia may experience lower abdominal pain, which can be mild or severe.
  7. Bleeding Between Periods: Chlamydia infection may cause abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods.
  8. Rectal Pain, Discharge, or Bleeding: Chlamydia can infect the rectum in individuals who engage in anal sex, leading to symptoms such as rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding.

It’s important to note that many people with chlamydia do not experience any symptoms, which is why regular STI testing is essential, especially for sexually active individuals. If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, which can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. In men, untreated chlamydia can lead to epididymitis and infertility.

Chlamydia is usually treated with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare professional. It’s important for both sexual partners to be treated to prevent reinfection. Additionally, individuals diagnosed with chlamydia should abstain from sexual activity until they have completed their treatment and their sexual partners have also been treated.

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