What is an STD?
STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease. An STD is an infection that you get from having sex (vaginal, anal or oral). There are over 35 STDs, but one of the most common STDs among young people is chlamydia.
How many people have an STD?
About 20 million new STDs occur each year and half of them are among young people aged 15-24.
How can I prevent STDs?
- Being in a long-term monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected reduces your chances of getting an STD.
- Abstaining from sex is the only 100% way to prevent STDs but if you do have sex, ALWAYS use condoms the right way for each and every sex act.
- Learn about condom myths and facts.
- Get tested with your partner before you start having sex so you both know each other’s status.
- Get STD testing at least once a year or anytime you are about to have a new sex partner.
Can you get an STD from oral sex?
Yes, you can. Find out more about oral sex and STDs.
What is chlamydia?
- Chlamydia is a curable infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, a bacteria that targets the moist tissues of the body that cover the genitals, mouth, anus and the eyes.
- Chlamydia is treatable with a single dose antibiotic that you take orally.
- If left untreated, in women, chlamydia can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy (pregnancies that happen outside of the womb) and PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease).
- Having chlamydia when pregnant can cause the baby to be born too early or to be born with an eye infection that can lead to blindness or pneumonia that can be life threatening.
- Chlamydia symptoms include:
- Pus (yellow, white or watery), discharging from the penis or the rectum of women who practice unprotected anal intercourse
- Pain or burning during urination or when making a bowel movement in women.
- Pain and swelling of the testicles
- Most people do not have any symptoms. The only way to know if you have chlamydia or not is to get tested.
Untreated chlamydia infections can lead to:
- Painful urination
- Painful swollen scrotum (epididymitis of the testicles)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ectopic pregnancy (a life threatening event in women)
- If you have chlamydia, you are 2 to 3 more times likely to contract HIV when exposed
- Get more information on chlamydia.