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Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects all genders. Left untreated, chlamydia can lead to serious health complications, particularly to the female reproductive system. Chlamydia is spread through anal, vaginal, and oral sex.
Chlamydia is mostly asymptomatic although some people will show symptoms several weeks after being infected. Symptoms include abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina and a burning sensation while urinating. Chlamydia can also infect the rectum causing discharge, rectal pain, and bleeding.
Chlamydia is easily treated. However, if left untreated it can cause serious problems for the female reproductive system. Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and can make it difficult for women to get pregnant. It can also cause ectopic pregnancies. Untreated chlamydia can also increase one's chance of being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The consistent use of dental dams and condoms is the best way to prevent chlamydia.