Chlamydia, is a common sexually transmitted disease which is caused by a bacterium that infects both men and women triggering serious permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive organs. A large number of cases of Chlamydia are not reported because; most of the people who are suffering from this disease do not show symptoms and thus do not seek testing.
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium known as Chlamydia trachomatis that is found in vaginal fluids and semen of men and women who have infection. Chlamydia is easily transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact as the bacterium is spread through oral, vaginal and anal sex. A person, who had once recovered from Chlamydia, can even be infected again; if he/she has sex with an infected person.
This disease may also spread from an infected woman to her newborn baby causing pneumonia or a serous eye infection.
Signs & Symptoms
Chlamydia is a silent infection because in most cases, the symptoms do not appear until several weeks after exposure. But, it can damage the reproductive organs of a woman, even if it causes no symptoms. The bacteria first infect the cervix or the urethra of women. The infection may spread upward to the uterus and fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), unless treated earlier.
The chlamydia symptoms appeared in women is the following.
Bleeding between periods
Bleeding after sex
Pain in lower abdomen
Abnormal vaginal discharge with odour
Abdominal pain with fever
Itching and burning in and around the vagina
The common symptoms appeared in men include the following.
Pain when urinating
Swelling and pain around the testicles
Itching and burning around the opening of the penis
Small amounts of cloudy or clear discharge from the tip of the penis
Several tests can be used by the doctor to diagnose chlamydia. Doctors usually take samples from the cervix in women and the urethra in men using a swab and then send the specimen to a laboratory for analysis. There are also other tests such as checking urine sample in order to identify the presence of the bacteria in body.
Usually antibiotics are provided to treat chlamydia. The patients may be asked to take the medicine as a one-time dose or daily or multiple times a day for five to 10 days. Most of the time, the infection resolves within one or two weeks. The patients are told to abstain from sex during this time and the doctors suggest the partners also to take treatment in order to prevent reinfection.
Sexually active women younger than 25 and older women with multiple sex partners are more likely to have this disease. The women who has been infected from chlamydia, has up to 20% risk of a long-term complication like chronic pelvic pain or infertility.
Abstaining from sex with a person who has bacterial infection is the main prevention for chlamydia. You can also take the other measure such as using condoms, limiting the number of sex partners, avoiding douching and getting regular screening.
Chlamydia can even cause permanent damage to reproductive structure resulting infertility and other lifelong complications.