According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In 2010, 1,307,893 chlamydial infections were reported to CDC from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Under-reporting is substantial because most people with chlamydia are not aware of their infections and do not seek testing. Also, testing is not often done if patients are treated for their symptoms. An estimated 2.8 million infections occur annually in the U.S. Women are frequently re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.”
If untreated, chlamydial infections can progress and cause serious reproductive problems, including: pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pain and infertility and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (where the egg is fertilized outside the uterus). Chlamydia may also increase the chances of becoming infected with HIV, if exposed.
Annual screening for chlamydia is recommended for all sexually active women age 25 years and younger. An annual screening test also is recommended for older women with risk factors for chlamydia (a new sex partner or multiple sex partners). All pregnant women should have a screening test for chlamydia.