Chlamydia is the most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States. However, most people who could be diagnosed with chlamydia are not aware of the infection and do not seek testing. Women are particularly vulnerable to the disease, which can be transmitted easily from a sexual partner who is not treated for the infection, and can eventually damage the reproductive organs. But what is chlamydia? And how is it passed from one person to another?
What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that causes genital infections in men and women. Chlamydia is sometimes called a "silent" disease because it causes no symptoms in three of every four infected women and in half of all men.
How is chlamydia spread?
Both men and women are infected with chlamydia through sexual contact with someone who is infected. Chlamydia is not passed from one person to another by shaking hands or using the same toilet seats. Chlamydia is spread primarily during unprotected anal or vaginal sex and is less likely to be transmitted via oral sex. To be definitive, if the vagina, cervix, anus, penis or mouth comes in contact with infected secretions or fluids, chlamydia transmission is possible. Even if a person with chlamydia is treated and cured of an infection, they can be re-infected when exposed to the chlamydia bacteria again.
The infection can also be transmitted to newborn babies by mothers who are diagnosed chlamydia during the end of a pregnancy. As the baby passes through an infected birth canal, eye infections, pneumonia or other complications may result. In children, chlamydia may be a possible sign of sexual abuse.
Are you at risk of developing this common STD? Do you know what causes chlamydia? Continue reading to learn more about who is at greater risk of contracting chlamydia and chlamydia causes here.
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