Chlamydia, a prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI), is caused by bacteria. In the early phases of chlamydia, symptoms are typically absent. The majority of individuals with chlamydia (40–95%) manifest no symptoms. However, chlamydia can cause long-term health issues and dire complications. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause serious complications; therefore, you should undergo regular screenings and consult your doctor if you have any concerns. Chlamydia symptoms may be difficult to distinguish from those of other STIs. (1)
Chlamydia is transmitted predominantly through oral intercourse and sex without a condom or other barrier method. Infection requires no penetration. Infections can be transmitted through genital contact. This may also occur during anal intercourse.
During birth, chlamydia can be transmitted from mothers to infants. During the first prenatal visit, an OB-GYN should confirm that the chlamydia test has been performed. Chlamydia can infect the conjunctiva if oral or genital contact occurs, but this is uncommon. Even if previously afflicted with Chlamydia and successfully treated, it is possible to contract the infection again.
In 2017, the CDC estimates that there will be between 4 and 5 million cases of chlamydia in the United States. Women are more likely than men to contract this infection, but both sexes are susceptible. It is most prevalent in younger women, with the greatest rates occurring in those between the ages of 15 and 24.
The CDC recommends that women under the age of 25 and those with risk factors for chlamydia undergo annual examinations. Statistics indicate that individuals who have had intercourse with multiple partners are more likely to acquire a STI. Additionally, you may be at risk if you’ve had an infection in the past or if you’re presently infected, as these conditions can significantly weaken your immune system.