STDs & Safe Sex

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Chlamydia

What is it?
A highly contagious bacterial infection, Chlamydia is the most common STD. There are approximately 4 million new infections each year. It is very common among teens and young adults. Sexually active individuals should be tested at least once a year.

How is it harmful?
It can cause cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Women with Chlamydia might not be able to become pregnant or, if they do, the pregnancy can occur in the fallopian tubes, a potentially fatal occurrence.

What are the symptoms?
For women, Chlamydia usually has no symptoms at all. If symptoms do occur, they are: unusual discharge, unexplained bleeding or pain during urination. For men, discharge, pain during urination or testicular pain.

What is the treatment?
Antibiotics; however, long-term complications like infertility may not be reversible.



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STDs: The Low Down

STDs are both common and sneaky. One in two sexually active young people will get an STD by age 25, and most of them won’t even know it. That’s because many STDs do not show any symptoms.

How can I protect against STDs?

Abstinence is the best way to protect against STDs. For those that choose to have sex, practice safe sex. That means that guys should use latex condoms during oral, vaginal and anal sex.

Should I get tested for STDs?

STDs are sneaky — often they don’t cause any symptoms, so many infected teens don’t know they’re infected. Click here to see if you should get tested.

Many Reproductive Health Centers throughout Pennsylvania offer free and confidential STD screenings for teens.

Find a teen-friendly health center near you