Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in the U.S., with approximately 2.8 million new cases each year. If you have oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with someone who has chlamydia, you can contract the disease. Although women are more susceptible to the disease than men, it is also possible for men to get chlamydia. It is especially prevalent among men who have sex with other men, and among men who have multiple sexual partners.
Men get chlamydia when they have sexual contact with someone who is carrying the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. This bacteria is passed through contact with the mucous membrane secretions or semen of an infected person during sexual activity. You do not need to have intercourse to contract the infection; it can be passed through sexual contact alone, without penetration necessary.
Chlamydia is often called a "silent" disease because it often has no symptoms, especially in men. So if you have chlamydia, you probably won't have symptoms, though you may experience discharge from the penis, a burning sensation when urinating, burning and itching around the opening of the penis, or, less commonly, pain and swelling in the testicles.
The best way to avoid getting chlamydia is by maintaining a monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested. Condoms are also effective in preventing the disease.
People who are sexually active should be screened for chlamydia annually. The disease can be found with a simple urine test. If you do contract chlamydia, it is easily treated by antibiotics.
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