What Causes Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria can infect the genitals, rectum, throat, and eyes. It is primarily spread through sexual contact, but it can also be spread from mother to baby during childbirth.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is spread through:

  • Vaginal sex: The bacteria can infect the cervix, urethra, rectum, and throat through vaginal sex.
  • Anal sex: The bacteria can infect the rectum through anal sex.
  • Oral sex: The bacteria can infect the throat through oral sex.
  • Pregnancy: The bacteria can be passed from a mother to her baby during childbirth, potentially leading to eye infections or pneumonia in the newborn.

It is not possible to pass on chlamydia through:

  • contact with a toilet seat
  • sharing a sauna
  • using a swimming pool
  • touching a surface that a person with chlamydia has touched
  • standing close to a person who has the infection
  • coughs or sneezes
  • sharing an office or house with a colleague who has the infection

It’s worth noting that Chlamydia is often asymptomatic, meaning that many people who have the infection do not show any symptoms. This means that they may unknowingly spread the infection to others, and it’s important to get tested and treated to avoid any complications.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a mother who has chlamydia infection can pass it on to her baby during childbirth. Sometimes, the infection leads to complications for the infant, such as eye infections or pneumonia. A female who has a diagnosis of chlamydia during pregnancy will need a test 3–4 weeks after treatment to ensure the infection has not returned.

Additionally, practicing safe sex by using condoms can help to prevent the spread of Chlamydia and other STIs.