Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can result in many types of infections in both women and men. It is the most commonly reported infectious disease in the US, even though many cases go unreported because people do not know they have it. Chlamydia can cause serious reproductive complications if left untreated. The good news is that chlamydia is detectable, curable, and easy to treat.
Chlamydia is caused by a specific bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. It is transmitted via body fluids through oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected partner. The bacterium infects the cervix (entrance to the uterus), urethra (the tube that carries urine from the body), rectum, or throat depending on the route of transmission. You can transmit and acquire chlamydia without ejaculation.
Transmission can also occur from an infected mother to a newborn during childbirth. The baby is exposed to the bacteria in the birth canal, which may cause conjunctivitis (an eye infection) or pneumonia (a lung infection).
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 03/2018 -
- Update Date: 03/15/2015 -