Chlamydia (“kluh-MID-ee-uh”) and gonorrhea (“gah-nuh-REE-uh”) are STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) that can be passed on during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. A pregnant woman can also pass these STDs 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 feel sick or have any symptoms.
It’s also important to talk with a doctor or nurse if someone you recently had sex with has an STD.
Can chlamydia and gonorrhea be cured?
Yes. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can both 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 a woman to get pregnant.
If you have an STD, it’s important to get treatment right away. It’s also important to tell anyone 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 and gonorrhea?
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 more than one sex partner 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?
Many people who have chlamydia or gonorrhea don’t have any signs or symptoms. When there are symptoms, chlamydia and gonorrhea cause very similar things.
- 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.
Read more about:
- Chlamydia signs and symptoms
- Gonorrhea signs and symptoms
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.
Learn more about chlamydia:
- Chlamydia Fact Sheet [PDF – 4 MB]
- Women and Chlamydia
Learn more about gonorrhea:
- Gonorrhea Fact Sheet [PDF – 19 KB]
- Women and Gonorrhea
Get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea if you are at risk. Talk with your partner about getting tested, too.
Make an appointment at a health center or clinic.
If you think you may be at risk, talk with your doctor about getting tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Be sure to ask about getting tested for HIV, too.
The best way to protect yourself from STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Wait to have sex until you and your partner have tested negative for STDs.
Here are some other ways to protect yourself from STDs:
- Use a latex condom the right way every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
- Make sure you and your partner have been tested for STDs.
- If you know that you or your partner has an STD, get it treated before having sex.
Get tips on talking with your partner about STD testing.
If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about STD testing.
Having chlamydia, gonorrhea, or another STD while you are pregnant can be very serious for you and your baby. Find out more about STDs and pregnancy.