• Chlamydia: The Silent STD

    IMAGE Anna had no symptoms when she went to a clinic to get a prescription for birth control pills. But, a routine test revealed that the 20-year-old had chlamydia. Despite having no symptoms she was still diagnosed with this sexually transmitted disease.

    A Common, Yet Curable STD

    Chlamydia is a common, yet curable STD that is caused by an infection by a specific bacteria. The infection can be spread during oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with an infected partner. It can also be passed from mother to baby during delivery.
    Chlamydia is diagnosed by testing discharge from the vagina or penis. It can also be diagnosed by testing a urine sample. Once diagnosed, the STD is easily treated with antibiotics.

    Routine Screening to Avoid Complications

    The STD often remains undiagnosed because a person may not have any symptoms or may only have mild symptoms such as discharge or burning during urination.
    Screenings are available to diagnose chlamydia in women. All women 25 and younger should get screened for chlamydia every year as well as women over the age of 25 who have new or multiple sex partners. Sexually active young men, especially men who have sex with men, should also be tested annually.
    If left undiagnosed, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and lead to infertility. In pregnant women, it can cause childbirth complications and illness in newborns such as conjunctivitis or pneumonia.
    Men can also experience complications such as epididymitis, an inflammation of the tube that carries and stores sperm cells. It can also cause urethritis, which affects the tube that carries urine out of the body.

    Practicing Safe Sex

    Luckily, Anna’s condition was diagnosed early and treated before complications occurred. To prevent a future infection, she was advised to practice safe sex. You can reduce your chance of getting Chlamydia or giving it to your partner by using male latex condoms correctly every time you have sexual intercourse.


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov


    Sex Information and Education Council of Canada http://www.sieccan.org

    Sexuality and U—The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sexualityandu.ca


    Chlamydia - CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm. Updated March 13, 2014. Accessed March 28, 2014.

    Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 11, 2013. Accessed March 28, 2014.

    Chlamydia: symptoms. American Academy of Family Physicians, Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chlamydia/symptoms.html. Updated July 2013. Accessed March 28, 2014.

    Chlamydia testing. Lab Tests Online—American Association for Clinical Chemistry website. Available at: http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/chlamydia/tab/glance/. Updated March 19, 2014. Accessed April 2, 2014.

    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 4, 2013. Accessed March 28, 2014.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.