How to Prevent Chlamydia
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There are two major ways to prevent yourself from becoming infected with chlamydia and from further spreading this disease to other people. The first is by making sure you don't have unprotected sex with your partner (whether it's vaginal, anal, or oral sex)1 given that chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
This isn't to say that you should avoid having sexual intercourse altogether. Sexual intercourse is actually linked to a number of benefits such as:
- Better immunity and heart health
- Improved sleep
- Optimal bladder control (for women),
- Decreased blood pressure levels
- Reduced pain and better stress relief
- Lower risk for prostate cancer
- Improved intimacy between partners
If you're sexually active, make sure that you and your partner use contraceptives such as condoms unless you're certain that both of you are not infected with chlamydia.2 Communication is key between the two of you — inform your partner of infections that you may currently have or are being treated for.
Furthermore, if you or your partner is already diagnosed with chlamydia, see to it that the treatment is completed first and that you or your partner is retested for the infection prior to having sex again.3
Being tested for chlamydia is the other way to help prevent spreading this STI. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that sexually active women aged 25 and under should be screened for chlamydia yearly.
Likewise, older women who have multiple sexual partners or other risk factors for chlamydia should be examined for this STI.4 A woman who was already diagnosed with chlamydia should be retested around three months after treatment.5
The CDC also advises that sexually active men (whether homosexual, bisexual, or men who have sex with men [MSM]) should have an annual screening not just for chlamydia, but also for other STIs.6 Young men should also think about being checked for chlamydia, especially when there's a rampant surge in chlamydia cases among people he may be acquainted with.7
Meanwhile, if you're a couple who plans on having a child, you should undergo tests for chlamydia and other STIs prior to conceiving. If you happen to have been diagnosed with chlamydia already, do not attempt to conceive until the disease has been treated.
A mother with chlamydia may infect her child during birth when the baby passes through the vaginal canal.8 This leads to instances of pneumonia and conjunctivitis or pink eye (this is the inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva, a tissue located in your eye) in the newborn.9,10