Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Chlamydia is the most prevalent STD in the U.S. It is most common among people in their late teens and early twenties and can coexist with gonorrhea and other STDs. It is estimated that one in five college students are infected with Chlamydia. The infection is most commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse. Babies can also be infected while passing through the birth canal of an infected mother. If Chlamydia is left untreated, women can develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). There is also an increased danger of having an ectopic pregnancy if Chlamydia is left untreated.
People with Chlamydia do not necessarily know that they are infected. Sixty to eighty percent of women and ten percent of men who have Chlamydia exhibit no symptoms. In women, symptoms include: genital itching and burning, vaginal discharge, dull pelvic pain, bleeding between periods, and cervical inflammation. In men, symptoms include: mucus discharge from the penis (gradual onset five to twenty-one days after exposure) and painful urination. Again, these symptoms may be so mild that a man may not notice them. Treatment with an antibiotic is usually successful. Some people choose to be retested after the course of treatment has been completed. Testing for Chlamydia is performed at the Health Center free on request.
Gonorrhea is one of the most prevalent diseases in the U.S. Gonorrhea is an infection caused by bacteria,which can be cured with antibiotics. The only means by which Gonorrhea can be spread is through vaginal, anal, or oral-genital contact with an infected person. It is impossible to catch Gonorrhea from toilet seats, towels, drinking cups, etc. that have been used by an infected person. If Gonorrhea is left untreated, women may develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). If the disease is left untreated in men, the bacteria may spread to the urethra causing scarring and sterility. Most women and an increasing number of men exhibit no symptoms at all. If symptoms do appear, they will be two days to two weeks after you come into contact with the bacteria.
Gonorrhea is diagnosed by taking a culture of the cervix in women or the discharge from the penis in men. If oral and/or anal sexual contact has been made with an infected individual, a culture of these areas will be taken as well. Treatment is a full-course of antibiotics. It is important to have follow-up cultures taken seven to fourteen days later to make sure you have been cured. You should avoid intercourse until two negative cultures have been taken in a row. If you do have intercourse before two negative cultures have been taken, use condoms. Avoid oral-genital contact until the treatment is complete.