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Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of the vagina, penis, anus, and sometimes the throat. It is the most common STI among youth in the US.


Chlamydia is a bacteria that is spread through vaginal fluids and semen. You can get it through vaginal, anal, or oral sex without a condom or dental dam.

Symptoms & complications

Most people don’t have any symptoms.  For people who do get symptoms, they can include:

  • painful urination

  • painful ejaculation

  • pelvic pain

  • change in discharge (this could mean change in color, odor, consistency, or amount)

  • pain or bleeding around the anus

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Like all bacteria, chlamydia will multiply if left untreated. If the infection is left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage to the reproductive organs, leading to problems like infertility (the inability to get pregnant). Untreated chlamydia will get worse even if a person never experiences symptoms.


If you are thinking about becoming sexually active or already are, it’s important to get tested. Because chlamydia does not always show symptoms, it can be really difficult to know when someone is infected. Teen Clinic tests for chlamydia most commonly through a urine sample. It’s simple! Results are available within a week or two.


Chlamydia is curable and treatable with antibiotics. It’s important to finish the entire course of medication, even if symptoms go away.  It is also important to refrain from any sexual contact for 7 days so reinfection does not occur, and to make sure your partner is being treated as well.

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