Communicable Diseases - Chlamydia

Communicable Disease Prevention and Control

Chlamydia - Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

Chlamydia is sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacteria. Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in North America.

Who Can Get Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is only spread through oral, vaginal or anal intercourse. Babies can also get infected during vaginal delivery when a mother has Chlamydia.

What are the Symptoms?

More than 50% of males and 70% of females have no symptoms. For those people who get symptoms, the symptoms may appear 2-6 weeks after the person has had sexual contact with anyone with Chlamydia.

Symptoms in females may include:

  • Discharge from vagina
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pain during sex

Symptoms in males may include:

  • Discharge from penis
  • Pain when urinating

What is the Treatment?

A doctor will test you for chlamydia and prescribe an antibiotic if positive. The doctor may retest you after the treatment stops. If chlamydia is not treated, it may cause an inflammation in a woman’s pelvis. This is called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can be very serious and may later affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant.

How Can You Prevent Chlamydia?

You can reduce your risk of getting chlamydia by practicing safer sex.

How Can I Practice Safer Sex?

You can practice safer sex by:

  • Limiting the number of sexual partners you have.
  • Learning all about prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • If you are having sex, remember: Use a latex condom every time—it’s the most important thing you can do.
  • IT TAKES TWO! The birth control pill prevents pregnancy, and the condom prevents STDs.
  • Consider doing other things with your partner, like kissing, caressing and touching, instead of having intercourse
  • The riskiest way of having sex in terms of catching an STD is anal sex (for both males and females).