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Chlamydia is a commonly reported STI (sexually transmitted infection) in the United States and in North Carolina. Although it is easy to cure, most men and women who have chlamydia don't know they have it since it often causes no symptoms, and so do not seek screening or treatment.

Even though symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent, when left untreated serious complications can cause irreversible damage to a woman's reproductive system including infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal delivery and put the baby at risk for complications such as premature birth, pneumonia or eye infections (chlamydial conjunctivitis, or ophthalmia neonatorum). Since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex, men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydia. Chlamydia infection also increases the risk of HIV infection.

Sexually active females under 25 years old and women 25 years and older with STI risk factors should be screened for chlamydia at least annually. Since women are frequently re-infected if their sex partners are not treated, a woman who has been infected should ensure that her partner is also tested and treated. Chlamydia screening of pregnant women at intervals during pregnancy is required by North Carolina law.

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