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About Chlamydia

Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis)

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. It enters your body through tiny breaks in the delicate surfaces (mucous membranes) just inside your body, allowing it to set up inside you. Sometimes these tiny breaks are caused by the friction of sex. The bacterium that causes chlamydia doesn’t survive well outside the body, so it needs close contact between people to go from one person to another. But where you’re having close contact with another person, the chlamydia bacterium is really good at getting into your body. In fact, anything from kissing and fingering to oral, anal, and vaginal sex can let the chlamydia bacterium in.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

The symptoms of chlamydia can show up differently, depending on what genitals you have. It can show up in other parts of your body, too. And sometimes, chlamydia can have no symptoms at all.

For those with a penis, you may notice the following:

  • Discharge from the penis or rectum

  • Redness around the opening of the penis

  • Discomfort when passing urine

  • Swollen and sore testicles.

For those with a vagina, you may notice the following:

  • Unfamiliar vaginal discharge and/or bleeding

  • Discharge from the rectum

  • Lower abdominal pain.

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