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What is chlamydia Chlamydia klah-MIH-dee-ah is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the US Its full name is chlamydia trachomatis trah-ko-MAH-tis It is a kind of bacteria that can infect the penis vagina cervix anus urethra or eye Chlamydia is the name of several types of bacteria Chlamydia trachoma for example has been a major cause of blindness for centuries Chlamydia trachomatis is sexually transmitted One strain occurs primarily in the tropics and causes lymphogranuloma venereum -- symptoms include skin lesions and swelling of certain glands in the genital area The other we simply call chlamydia a very common infection in the US What are the symptoms of chlamydia Usually chlamydia has no symptoms Up to 85 percent of women and 40 percent of men with chlamydia have no symptoms Most people are not aware that they have the infection When symptoms do occur they may begin in as little as 5-10 days after infection When women have symptoms they may experience bleeding between menstrual periods vaginal bleeding after intercourse abdominal pain painful intercourse low-grade fever painful urination the urge to urinate more than usual cervical inflammation abnormal vaginal discharge mucopurulent cervicitis MPC -- a yellowish discharge from the cervix that may have a foul odor When men have symptoms they may experience pus or watery or milky discharge from the penis pain or burning feeling while urinating swollen or tender testicles These symptoms are like the symptoms of gonorrhea They are called nongonococcal urethritis NGU Men often dont take these symptoms seriously because the symptoms may appear only early in the day and can be very mild In women and men chlamydia may cause the rectum to itch and bleed It can also result in a discharge and diarrhea If it infects the eyes chlamydia may cause redness itching and a discharge How is chlamydia spread Chlamydia is spread by vaginal and anal intercourse It can also spread from a woman
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