Bacteria cause Chlamydia, which is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI). In the early stages of chlamydia, people often don’t show any symptoms. The majority of people (40 – 95%) with Chlamydia do not exhibit any symptoms. Chlamydia can, however, lead to later health problems and severe complications. Chlamydia is a source of serious complications if left untreated, so you should get regular screenings and talk with your doctor if you have any concerns. It may be difficult to distinguish chlamydia symptoms from those caused by other STIs. (1)
Chlamydia is transmitted mainly through sex without a condom or other barrier method and oral sex without a barrier method. Infection does not require penetration. Infection may be transmitted by touching genitals together. This may happen during anal sex as well.
During birth, mothers can transmit chlamydia to their newborn babies. During the first prenatal checkup, an OB-GYN should verify that the test for chlamydia has been done. If oral or genital contact with the eyes occurs, chlamydia can infect the eyes, but it’s not common. Even if someone has been infected with Chlamydia once before and successfully treated it, they can contract the infection again.
CDC estimates that there are approximately 4 -5 million cases of chlamydia in the United States in 2017. Women are more likely to contract this infection than men, but both can get it. It is most common among younger women, with the highest rates occurring in women between 15 and 24 years old.
CDC recommends that women 25 and under and those who have risk factors for chlamydia receive annual chlamydia screenings. Statistics show that people who have had sex with more than one person are more likely to contract an STI. You may also be at risk if you’ve had an infection in the past, or if you’re currently infected, as these factors can severely lower your immune response.