The Basics: Overview
Chlamydia (“kluh-MID-ee-uh”) and gonorrhea (“gah-nuh-REE-uh”) are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can be passed on during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. A pregnant woman can also pass these STDs to her baby during childbirth.
STDs are also sometimes called STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
How do I know if I have an STD?
Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD. Most people who have an STD don’t feel sick or have any symptoms.
It’s also important to talk with a doctor or nurse if someone you recently had sex with has an STD.
Can chlamydia and gonorrhea be cured?
Yes. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can both be cured with the right treatment. If these STDs aren’t treated, they can cause serious health problems, like making it difficult or impossible for a woman to get pregnant.
If you have an STD, it’s important to get treatment right away. It’s also important to tell anyone you have had sex with so he or she can get treatment, too. This will help prevent you from getting infected again.
The Basics: Who Needs Testing?
Who needs to get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea?
The recommendations for getting tested for chlamydia and for gonorrhea are the same.
- If you are age 24 or younger and having sex, get tested once every year.
- If you are age 25 or older, get tested if you have more than one sex partner, a new sex partner, or a sex partner with an STD.
- Talk with a doctor about getting tested if you are worried about chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other STDs.
What are the signs of chlamydia or gonorrhea?
Many people who have chlamydia or gonorrhea don’t have any signs or symptoms. When there are symptoms, chlamydia and gonorrhea cause very similar things.
- Women with symptoms may have abnormal discharge (fluid) from the vagina, burning when they urinate (pee), or bleeding between periods.
- Men with symptoms may have abnormal discharge from the penis or burning when they urinate. A less common symptom is painful or swollen testicles.
The Basics: What to Expect
How do doctors test for chlamydia and gonorrhea?
A doctor or nurse can test your urine for both chlamydia and gonorrhea. Sometimes, the doctor might take a sample from the vagina, penis, rectum, or throat instead. The test is easy and painless.
Learn more about chlamydia:
Learn more about gonorrhea: