Chlamydia is a relatively common sexually transmitted disease that can be effectively treated, but it has been known to cause infertility when left untreated. It can be hard to know if an active infection is present sometimes because not everyone develops symptoms. If you are sexually active and have more than one sexual partner in your past, then being tested is important – even if you feel fine. More than 1 million cases of chlamydia are reported every year and medical experts believe 3 million people get the disease.
To prevent chlamydia from spreading, it is important to protect yourself. If you suspect an infection, don’t have sexual contact with anyone until you’ve been tested. Make sure your sexual partners are tested as well. Antibiotic treatments will eliminate the STD, but women can pass it along to their children during a pregnancy. Follow up in 3 months to make sure the infection has been eradicated.
1. It’s in the Young
The chlamydia infection rates in the 14-24 age demographic are triple that of the 25-39 age demographic. According to recent research by the CDC, it is estimated that 1 in 15 sexually active girls under the age of 19 has an active chlamydia infection at any given time.
2. There’s a Racial Component
African-Americans are 5 times more likely to have chlamydia than Caucasians. Men who have a same sex preference also typically see higher infection rates of this disease, with as many as 10% of this specific demographic having an active infection at any given time.
3. It Can Be Persistent
Chlamydia has been known to stay active in children who are born with it for 1 year or longer. Just because clamydia is present in an infant does not necessarily mean that the child is being sexually abused. Any prolonged infection, however, or an infection that occurs in children above the age of 2 should be thoroughly investigated.
4. Anyone Can Get It
If you are sexually active, then it is possible for you to contract chlamydia. It is especially problematic in the United States because American young people tend to have more rapid, sexually active, yet still monogamous relationships. The rapid movement between sexual partners sets up the foundations needed for chlamydia transmission to occur.
5. It Is Silent
As few as 5% of women with an active chlamydia infection actually experience symptoms. About 10% of men also experience symptoms. Part of the problem is that medical science actually knows very little about the incubation period of the organism that causes the infection. It can be several weeks after exposure for symptoms to occur – if they occur at all.
6. Make Sure To Get Tested
Untreated chlamydia creates a lot of problems. It can make it easier to transmit HIV or receive it. It can also cause conjunctivitis and pneumonia. In women, it can also create chronic inflammation within their pelvic region. Screening is necessary in almost every instance to confirm an infection, so if you see anything unusual, do not hesitate to see a doctor.