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8 Common STDs

From HIV to herpes, get the facts

Chlamydia

What is it?

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and the most common STD in the United States. The penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, throat, and eyes can all be infected by chlamydia.

What are the symptoms?

Chlamydia is another STD that often has no symptoms, especially in women. If symptoms do appear, it usually happens between five and 10 days after infection. The symptoms in women can include abdominal pain, a strong-smelling yellowish discharge, painful intercourse, and low-grade fever. In men, pain or burning during urination, a watery or milky discharge from the penis, and swollen or tender testicles are the most common signs of chlamydia. The symptoms of chlamydia are most likely to be present only in the mornings.

How is it spread?

You’re unlikely to be infected with chlamydia during oral sex. The disease is spread through vaginal and anal intercourse.

How is it diagnosed?

Urine tests are the most popular for diagnosing chlamydia. It’s also possible to swab the penis, cervix, urethra, or anus to test for the disease.

How is it treated?

A course of antibiotics is prescribed to treat chlamydia. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes. In men, it can cause epididymitis, an inflammation of the testicles that in turn can lead to sterility. In rare cases, chlamydia can cause an autoimmune condition called reactive arthritis.

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