For Teens: What You Should Know About Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a disease spread through sex. It's common among young adults. Chlamydia is easy to treat, but you need the right medicine. You must get treated by a doctor or clinic.

Chlamydia may have no signs

  • Most people have no signs early on. They don’t even know they have this disease. They may find out later when they are unable to have children.

  • Some people do have signs. Signs may be discharge from the penis or vagina. There may be burning during urination or pain in the sex organs.

  • For women, chlamydia can lead to bleeding between periods. It can spread infection and cause pain. It can also make a woman unable to have children.

  • For men, chlamydia can make the tip of the penis burn. It can make the testicles swell.

  • Babies born to women with this disease can also get sick. The baby’s lungs and eyes can be damaged.

Protect yourself from chlamydia

The safest way is to not have sex. If you have sex, be sure your partner doesn’t have chlamydia. The best way to be sure is to get tested. If you’re not sure whether you or your partner has this disease, use a latex condom. Stay sober. Getting high on alcohol or drugs can make you lose control. Then you may be more likely to have sex without using a condom.

Use condoms right

Using a latex condom right will help prevent the spread of chlamydia. If you use a lubricant, make sure it’s water-based. Astroglide and K–Y jelly are water-based. Don’t use petroleum jelly, oil, or hand cream. They can make the condom break.

Always use a condom

  • Always use a new latex condom. Use one each time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.

  • Latex male condoms and female condoms, used correctly and consistently, can reduce the risk of transmitting a sexually transmitted disease.

  • Keep latex condoms on hand. Store them in a cool place. Don’t keep them in your wallet or in your car.