Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo discusses what Chlamydia is and how it affects women.
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Chlamydia is a bacteria that actually is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the United States. And it’s a bug that basically infects women at their cervix which is the opening to the uterus or at the womb and the problem with that is that once it gets there, women often don’t realize they had it because it doesn’t cause symptoms. So, women don’t have trouble with vaginal discharge, or itching, or burning, or belly pain. It’s a very sort of secret stealthy infection. And the problem is that if you don’t recognize it and treat it, it can then get up into your pelvis. So, it can get into the uterus, it can get into the ovaries and it can cause inflammation and irritation up there that sets women up for long term problems. Those long term problems include things like problem getting pregnant in particular, problems with chronic pelvic or belly pain, problems getting pregnant in your tubes or tubal pregnancy, so it’s just not a good thing for women. And the problem with it as well is it that it is incredibly common. We see it probably in our teen clinics between 1 and 10 and 1 in 7 women. So, it’s a really, really common infection that women need to know about and know how to protect themselves against.
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