Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria (chlamydia trachomatis). It can damage a woman’s reproductive organs, even causing her to be unable to have a child. Because symptoms of chlamydia are mild or absent, it can cause permanent damage before a person even knows about it.

Three quarters of infected women and half of infected men have no symptoms. The infection is frequently not diagnosed or treated until complications develop. In women, the bacteria initially attack the opening to the uterus (cervix) and the urine canal (urethra).

The few women with symptoms might have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. When the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes, some women still have no symptoms: others have lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse and bleeding between menstrual periods. Whenever the infection spreads past the cervix into the upper reproductive system, permanent damage can occur. This is one reason why you need to know if you have Chlamydia before you have an abortion. If you do not get treated with antibiotics, the abortion may spread the infection into the upper reproductive system.

Call Informed Choices for an appointment for your chlamydia test. In Iowa City call 319-337-0575.