Here at BeingGirl.com, we are dedicated to giving you the information you need to make intelligent decisions about your bodies, your sexuality, and your health. To make sure that some day you'll look back and see your teen years as the best years of your life, you should be aware of the facts about a silent sexually-transmitted infection that has become a hidden epidemic among teenage girls. Here are the chlamydia facts in answers to the questions we figure you might have about chlamydia.
Chlamydia Facts: What is chlamydia and why is it so important that I need to know about it now?
Chlamydia is a sexually-transmitted disease (also known as an STD) whose numbers have risen dramatically in recent years among people between the ages of 15 and 24. Recent reports estimate that the infection, caused by bacteria, affected almost three million people last year, almost half of whom were teenagers. What makes it so dangerous is that it is invisible, silent and hidden.
Chlamydia Facts: How can I avoid getting chlamydia?
The only surefire way to avoid getting any STD is to abstain from sexual touching below the waist. Your next best bet is to practice safer sex. There is a risk only when one person has already been infected. Condoms greatly reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
Chlamydia Facts: How do I know if I have chlamydia?
That's the hardest part. Seventy-five percent of the women who have it have no symptoms at all. Those that do have it complain of abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, or pain during urination. The only way to know for sure is to go for a physical examination where the doctor might take a urine sample and check out your cervix.
Chlamydia Facts: If I find out I have chlamydia, what can I do about it?
Finally some good news—chlamydia is completely curable and easy to treat. The solution is taking an antibiotic, exactly as directed, for as long as it's prescribed. You should avoid sexual contact and tell your partner, so that he can get tested and treated, too. Your doctor might suggest getting re-tested about three months after you finish the medication to make sure you are cured.
Chlamydia Facts: What can happen if I don't do anything about it?
Chlamydia will not go away by itself. Like with any problem in life, ignoring it is a bad idea. Chlamydia can rob you of the ability to have children. When left unchecked it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the internal reproductive organs. PID is known to scar your fallopian tubes, which in turn can lead to infertility.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. STDs cannot spontaneously come about. The more you know about how to stay safe and healthy, the more empowered you are. And the more knowledgeable you become about sexually-transmitted diseases, the less likely you are to become a statistic. If you have any further questions, you can contact us in Ask The Experts or call the CDC National STD Hotline at 800-227-8922, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week