Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) that can be passed on during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. STDs can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby before or during the baby’s birth.
STDs are also sometimes called STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
How can I know if I have an STD?
Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD. Most people who have an STD don’t have any symptoms.
It’s also important to talk with a doctor or nurse if a recent sex partner has been diagnosed with an STD, even if you don’t feel sick.
Can chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis be cured?
Yes. These STDs can be cured with medicine if they are treated early. If these STDs aren’t treated, they can cause serious health problems, like making it dangerous or impossible for women to get pregnant.
If you have an STD, it’s important to get treatment right away. It’s also important to tell anyone that you have sex with so he or she can get treatment, too. This will help prevent you from getting infected again.
Who needs to get tested for chlamydia (“kluh-MID-ee-uh”) and gonorrhea (“gah-nuh-REE-uh”)?
The recommendations for getting tested for chlamydia and for gonorrhea are the same.
- If you are age 24 or younger and having sex, get tested once every year.
- If you are age 25 or older, get tested if you have multiple sex partners or a new sex partner.
- Talk with a doctor about getting tested if you are worried about chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other STDs.
What are the signs of chlamydia or gonorrhea?
Chlamydia and gonorrhea usually cause very similar symptoms – but many people who have chlamydia or gonorrhea don’t have any signs or symptoms.
- Women with symptoms may have abnormal discharge (fluid) from the vagina, burning when they urinate (pee), or pain during sex.
- Men with symptoms may have abnormal discharge from the penis or burning when they urinate.
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How do doctors test for chlamydia and gonorrhea?
A doctor or nurse can test your urine (pee) for both chlamydia and gonorrhea. Sometimes, the doctor might take a sample from the vagina or penis to test. The test is easy and painless.
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Learn more about gonorrhea:
Who needs to get tested for syphilis (“SIF-uh-lis”)?
- If you are pregnant, get tested for syphilis.
- If you are a man who has sex with men – and you or your partner has sex with anyone else – get tested for syphilis.
What are the signs of syphilis?
Many people who have syphilis don’t have any signs or symptoms. Some people have symptoms during the early stages of the infection.
- In the first stage, a painless sore appears on the genitals, anus, lips, or in the mouth.
- The second stage may include a body rash or a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It may also include sores in the mouth or genital area, a fever, or patchy hair loss.
Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of syphilis.
How do doctors test for syphilis?
A doctor or nurse may test your blood for syphilis. The doctor may also take fluid from a sore to see if the sore is caused by syphilis.
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