Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STD or STI). It is the most common STI in the United States with about 2-4 million cases annually, and it is often asymptomatic in many people. If symptoms do exist, women will often get discharge from their vagina and pain when they urinate. Men will have the same symptoms in their penis. It can even affect the eye. Since women can have life and fertility threatening complications from Chlamydia infections, it is recommended that women have annual screening for this condition.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Men and women who are asexually active are at risk of Chlamydia, as it is spread during sex. It occurs most commonly in those aged 14-24 years, but occurs at all ages. You cannot get chlamydia from a toilet seat or other physical object, but you can get it even if your male partner who has chlamydia does not ejaculate during intercourse.
70-90% of men and women with the infection do not have symptoms, and once infected it can take weeks for symptoms to develop. When symptoms do occur, they include vaginal and penile discharge, burning with urination, pain during sex (women), and swelling of the testicles or scrotum (men).
DIAGNOSIS AND CHLAMYDIA TREATMENT
Multiple tests exist for the diagnosis of chlamydia. The recommended test examines the specimen for the DNA of the Chlamydia bacteria: it is a urine specimen for men and a vaginal swab for women. Older tests used urethral swabs for men and more invasive cervical swabs for women, and while these are cheaper they are no longer recommended. Results are available with 1-2 days.
If you test positive for Chlamydia, or if you had sexual contact with someone know to be infected, you should be treated. The recommended treatment is antibiotics, and your partner should be treat simultaneously. Antibiotics are curative in more than 95% of patients. Because Chlamydia often occurs at the same time as other sexually transmitted infections, you should be tested for HIV, gonorrhea, and syphilis as well.
HOW PLUSHCARE WORKS
1. Tell your doctor about your symptoms or how you were exposed to chlamydia.
2. The doctor can issue a prescription or send you to a local lab to drop off a urine sample for testing.
3. Pick up your prescription or go to a lab for testing and have another video chat with your doctor if needed.