Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted
disease, or STD, caused by the organism Chlamydia
trachomatis. Sexually transmitted disease refers to any contagious
disease transmitted from one person to another during sexual contact.
What is going on in the body?
The organism Chlamydia trachomatis causes chlamydia
infection. It infects the cells and causes a number of changes. The organism is
usually passed from one partner to another during sexual intercourse. An
infection can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during
Chlamydia infections most commonly involve the following parts of the body:
the urinary tract, cervix, or pelvis in women
the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the tip of the
penis, in men
the rectum, if anal sex is practiced
the throat, if oral sex is practiced
the eyes or lungs in newborns who are exposed to the mother's chlamydia
infection during delivery
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
The organism that causes a chlamydia infection is usually passed
from one partner to another during sexual intercourse. Any other intimate
contact of the genitals, mouth, rectal area, or the sharing of sexual toys can
transmit the organism from one individual to another.
A person is at higher risk if he or she has more than one sexual partner or
doesn't practice safer
sex measures, such as using condoms.
A newborn baby is at risk of chlamydia infection if the mother has a
chlamydia infection involving the birth canal.