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BBSTIs

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is an infection caused by a bacterium. It’s one of the most widespread BBSTIs in the world. In Quebec, it mainly affects people aged 15 to 24. It can remain hidden (without symptoms) for a long time. Many young people are infected without knowing it and so they’re at risk of transmitting the infection to their partners. People infected with chlamydia often have gonorrhea as well.

Transmission

Chlamydia is transmitted during unprotected sex with penetration of the penis in the mouth, vagina, or anus. A mother can also transmit the infection to her baby while giving birth. 👶 It’s possible to be infected more than once.

Symptoms

In most cases, chlamydia doesn’t cause any symptoms. Many people carry the infection without knowing it and can spread it because it’s contagious.

Symptoms may appear 5 to 10 days after sexual contact with an infected person. Sometimes they’re intermittent: they appear, disappear, and appear again.

Symptoms in women 👩:    

  • vaginal discharge
  • bleeding between periods and during penetration
  • burning feeling while urinating
  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • pain during penetration
  • fever
  • frequent need to urinate

Symptoms in men 👨: 

  • abnormal discharge from the penis
  • burning feeling while urinating
  • inflammation of the testicles

🔍 Screening and treatment

Screening is done during a medical examination. The doctor samples secretions and has them analyzed to verify the presence of the bacterium and identify it.

Chlamydia is treated by antibiotics 💊 prescribed by the doctor. 
👉 Important :
Be sure to take the whole course of antibiotics as prescribed, up to the last pill, even if the symptoms disappear. You must also avoid unprotected sex during treatment.

Prevention

To avoid catching or spreading chlamydia, use a condom during vaginal and anal sex. Also use a condom or a dental dam (a sheet of latex that protects the mouth) during oral sex. Finally, ask your sexual partners to see a doctor and take a screening test, even if they don’t have any symptoms.