Learning about Chlamydia

In talking with our teens about the risks they face if they’re sexually active, it’s a good idea to be informed about STDs.  The DuPage County Health Department STD clinic offers (for $50) screening for 4 STDs:  Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV.  Chlamydia,  is the most commonly reported STD in the U.S.   From dupagehealth.org, and the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet), we learn that:

  • Men or women can get chlamydia by having anal, vaginal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia.
  • It is a bacterial STD, which means that it can be cured with antibiotics.
  • You can be reinfected even after cured, if you again have sex with someone with chlamydia.
  • About 75% of women and 50% of men don’t know they are infected (they have no symptoms).
  • “It can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on. Chlamydia can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb)” (CDC)
  • It can spread to a baby during birth, causing an eye infection or pneumonia in the newborn. Premature birth (and it’s risks) can also occur.
  • In men and women who have symptoms, it can produce symptoms such as an abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina and a burning sensation while urinating.
  • In DuPage County, two out of three cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea occur in people under 25 years of age.
  • DuPage County cases of Chlamydia have risen 81 percent since 2000.