The Five Most Important Things You Should Know About: Chlamydia

1. Chlamydia is really common, but I don’t think anyone I know has told me they’ve had it. But they must have told someone, because Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STD in the US. In 2006, there were over a million reported cases. Eww. Teenagers and young women are more susceptible to infection because the cervix has not fully matured and gets infections more easily. Careful out there, Hannah Montana!2. Chlamydia can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and also from mom to child during childbirth. But like all those sneaky STDs, symptoms can be pretty mild and even absent, which is why you should ask your gyno to test you for it during your annual pap smear.

3. If gone unnoticed and untreated, Chlamydia can go from being a pesty annoyance to something far more serious, as infertility and other permanent damage to the reproductive organs can occur “silently.” Shh.

4. So let’s say you are one of the lucky bastards who actually has symptoms – be on the lookout for abnormal vaginal discharge (weirdly colored or super stinky), burning when you pee, lower back pain, abdominal pain, and bleeding between periods. Oh, and it might hurt when you have sex and not in that “it’s been awhile so I’m a lil’ tight”-way.

5. Treatment for Chlamydia is super easy – just some simple antibiotics (azithromycin or doxycycline usually). Any sexual partners should also be tested of course, especially if you plan on having sex with them again. Getting Chlamydia multiple times raises your risk of reproductive health complications. []