An integral part of being sexually active is being sexually smart. This doesn't just include practicing safe sex techniques, but this also includes being educated on the different threats sexually transmitted infections pose. A lack of information or misinformation can lead to an increased risk of contracting an infection or getting the incorrect form of treatment, particularly when it comes to chlamydia.
Symptoms Are Overt
Many people think sexually transmitted infections come with overt symptoms like discharge or painful urination. While chlamydia can produce these types of symptoms, this isn't always the case. Some cases of chlamydia aren't even discovered until the individual has an STI test performed. This is especially the case for woman since as many as 75% of infected woman don't display any outward signs of the condition.
My Partner Tested Negative So I Don't Have It
Chlamydia is a highly contagious STI. If you are sexually active with multiple people and one of your partners test positive for the infection and one doesn't, don't think you're safe. Chances are there is something else going on. For example, if the partner who tested negative was taking antibiotics during the period they were tested, this could actually mask the infection and provide a false negative. Even if only one of your partners has a positive test, you still need to be checked.
Only A Tiny Risk For Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
For females, it's somewhat common knowledge that untreated cases of chlamydia can eventually lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. However, most people consider this risk to be much smaller than it actually is. In reality, as many as 40% of all cases of untreated chlamydia turn into PID. Pelvic inflammatory disease can cause permanent damage to the female organs, leading to abdominal discomfort and infertility.
It's Just A UTI Or A Yeast Infection
Two somewhat common symptoms of a chlamydia infection are painful urination and discharge. For both males and females, both of these signs are also commonly linked to a urinary tract or yeast infection. Don't be fooled and overlook the significance of your symptoms and self-treat for a UTI or yeast infection. Doing so will only make matters worse and allow the infection to develop further. If you are sexually active and experience these symptoms it's time to get tested.
If you are sexually active, make sure regular testing is a common practice. How often you need to be tested depends on a number of factors; however, visiting a free STD testing center and speaking with a health associate can help formulate a schedule best suited for your needs.