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How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia or Gonorrhea? What Are the Most Common Symptoms?

Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs, with more than 90 million cases reported each year globally and more than half of those cases occurring in women. Gonorrhea is also very common however, many people unknowingly spread gonorrhea because 50% of women will not experience any symptoms at all.



What are the most common symptoms of chlamydia?


While chlamydia is treatable with antibiotics, many women never experience any symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get tested if you have had a new partner or unprotected sex. Some noticeable or common symptoms for women can be:

  • Clear, white, greenish, or yellowish vaginal discharge (abnormal discharge)

  • Strong vaginal odor

  • Itching or irritation

  • Burning feeling while peeing

  • Rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding (if anal sex occurred)

If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) and can put women at risk for infertility and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancies.


What are the most common symptoms of gonorrhea?


Like chlamydia, gonorrhea often does not exhibit any symptoms, but it is a serious health condition, and you should receive treatment right away if you are at risk for contracting an STI. Some noticeable or common symptoms for women can be:

  • Painful or burning feeling while peeing

  • Increased vaginal discharge

  • Bleeding or spotting during periods*

  • Rectal pain, itching, or discharge (if anal sex occurred)

Gonorrhea may also infect the rectum, throat, eyes, blood, skin, and joints.

*This is also a common pregnancy symptom.


Do I need to get tested prior to an abortion?


During an abortion, the cervix is opened. If you have an infection, this can increase the risk of the STI spreading into other organs. Having an abortion procedure while infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea, two of the most common STIs, can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can cause lifelong damage and lead to future ectopic pregnancies or infertility.


If I’m pregnant, how will this affect my pregnancy?


An STI like chlamydia or gonorrhea can be transmitted to the fetus and can cause health complications. If you are pregnant, it’s important to rule out an STI and get treatment if needed. STIs are curable and treatment can ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth.


How do I get rid of an STI? Can both be cured?


Chlamydia is curable and most strains of gonorrhea can be cured. However, there is a new strain of gonorrhea that is currently resistant to all antibiotics.


An untreated STI is dangerous to your health and fertility and it can even be life-threatening. Even if you have no symptoms, it’s important to get tested regularly.


What are my next steps?


If you test positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea, we can provide treatment for either sexually transmitted infection. It is important that you complete the antibiotic and refrain from any sexual activity until you have been cleared by your healthcare provider.


Please note that if you think you may be pregnant or have an abortion scheduled, it’s important to rule out an STI and get tested right away.


Make an appointment today for free pregnancy and STI testing.


References:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm


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