Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

The two most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in women are chlamydia and gonorrhea. Also known as STDs, these conditions can cause serious long-term problems for teenagers and young women if they are left untreated.

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are STDs caused by bacteria, and often appear together. These bacteria can be transmitted by way of vaginal, anal or oral sex. Most often found in the cervix, gonorrhea and chlamydia can also occur in the mouth, reproductive organs, urethra and rectum. While women under 25 are at a greater risk, these two STDs can be contracted by women of any age.

In terms of symptoms, women with gonorrhea and chlamydia often do not exhibit any symptoms early on. Many of the symptoms that do show do not appear for 2 days to 3 weeks after infection; often they are so mild they are mistaken for a urinary tract infection or a vaginal infection.

Here are the most common symptoms:

  • yellow vaginal discharge
  • painful or frequent urination
  • vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods
  • rectal bleeding, discharge or pain

The danger of leaving gonorrhea and chlamydia is that they can eventually cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This occurs when bacteria travel from the vagina and cervix up into the reproductive organs. PID can happen anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be detected either with urine tests through your healthcare provider, or a sample of cells from the throat, cervix, urethra or rectum -- wherever the infection seems to be occurring. If detected, these STDs can be treated with antibiotics.

To read more about STD infections, please visit The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.