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Chlamydia trachomatis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. It is most prevalent among young women, however, people of all ages contract this STI. It is usually spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sexual contact and can also be passed from mother to child during childbirth. Chlamydia can also cause eye infections when infectious secretions make contact with the eye area.  It should also be noted that it's possible to contract chlamydia in the rectum area through anal sex.

Chlamydia doesn't always produce symptoms in those affected. However, when it does, typical symptoms include pain during urination, bleeding between menstrual periods, lower stomach pain, and discharge from the genitals, which can occur in both men and women. Although it's easy to treat once it's discovered it can create serious health problems if it goes untreated.

Certain behaviors can put a person at risk for contracting chlamydia. These behaviors include sexual activity before the age of 25, as well as sexual contact with multiple partners in under a year.  A person can also be predisposed to developing this infection if they have a history of contracting other sexually transmitted infections and don't use condoms consistently.

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You can eliminate your chances of developing chlamydia by abstaining from vaginal, anal, and oral sex. However, if you engage in sexual activity, you can decrease your chances of contracting chlamydia by using condoms with each sexual encounter, limiting your number of sex partners, and getting tested regularly. In addition, women should avoid douching. Douching lowers the body's natural defense against infections by decreasing the good bacteria present in your vagina.

Common Symptoms

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Painful urination
  • Painful sexual intercourse
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.