Despite its colorful name, chlamydia is not a flower! It is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection on university campuses. Approximately 2.8 million new cases are reported in the United States each year. Screening tests for chlamydia along with other STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are recommended as part of your general health maintenance if you are sexually active, regardless of your gender identity or who you have sex with.
If you are a student, you may drop in to see a Consulting Nurse and request an order for a chlamydia test, which is done with a urine specimen. There is a lab fee, but there is no charge for this visit if you are currently registered as a UW Student.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection spread through sexual contact that can occur without symptoms and often goes undiagnosed.
Chlamydia can easily be treated with antibiotics when diagnosed through screening tests.
Without recognizable symptoms, patients do not seek medical attention, yet they continue to infect others, and may allow their own infection to become more serious.
See a health care provider for an exam and tests. Chlamydia testing can be done through samples from the genital area as well as from a concentrated urine test for both women and men.
Chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics.
It is very important that you take all the prescribed antibiotics and do not have sex until you and your sexual partner(s) have taken all antibiotics as prescribed and waited an additional 7 days after finishing the antibiotic treatment.
If you still have symptoms after treatment, see your provider.
You should get tested again 3 months after you finish your treatment. This is especially important if you are not sure if your partner was also treated.
In Washington State, chlamydia is reportable to the Health Department. The Health Department may contact you by phone to be certain that you and your partner have had adequate treatment.
The surest way to prevent chlamydia is not to have sex. The second surest way is to have sex only with someone who is not infected and who has sex only with you.
Condoms can reduce your risk of getting chlamydia if used correctly (in place before any sexual contact) every single time you have sex.
Washing the genitals or urinating after sex will NOT prevent any STI.
You should be tested for chlamydia at least once a year if you are:
While STIs like chlamydia are less likely to be trasmitted between women, it does happen rarely. Talk to your doctor about whether you should be tested.
See your doctor once every 12 months for testing if you've had anal or oral sex in the last year.
Yes, you can get chlamydia again. You can get it from an untreated partner or a new partner.
Protect yourself and your partner.
Read Hall Health's article on how to tell your partner you have an STD.
Schedule an appointment with Hall Health for testing.
If you have any questions and are a UW student or established Hall Health patient, you may call one of our Consulting Nurses for further information.
Public Health-Seattle & King County's website on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender health
CDC's factsheet on chlamydia
Authored by: Hall Health Center Women's Health Clinic staff
Reviewed by: Hall Health Center Women's Health Clinic staff, January 2014