One of the most common bacterial STD or sexually transmitted diseases reported is Chlamydia. It affects more women than men. The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis causes Chlamydia which can infect the rectum and urethra in men and women. In women, Chlamydia could infect the cervix. Sometimes other parts of the body can also be infected such as the eyes and throat. It is asymptomatic which means that it shows no symptoms, particularly in women. This causes serious health problems lasting a lifetime when left untreated. This also causes the spread of the infection as infected individuals unwittingly infect other uninfected sexual partner/s.
Signs and symptoms
Between the period of a week to 3 weeks after infection, Chlamydia symptoms may or may not appear which has given it the name of being a ‘silent’ infection. But if ever symptoms appear it may include:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- The inflamed cervix brings about abnormal discharges from the vagina
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse or pain during sex
- Frequent urination with a burning sensation
- Pain in the lower abdominal area
- Even when they are asymptomatic, men notice more symptoms than women
- Stained underwear brought about by watery and cloudy or white discharges from the penis
- Swelling and pain in the testicles
- Pain or burning during urination
A Chlamydia infection in the anus will rarely show symptoms in both men and women.
The modes of Chlamydia transmission include:
- Infection from the genitals to fingers to eyes may be one way of transferring the infection although this happens very rarely.
- Unprotected sex with an infected person through oral, anal, and vaginal contact.
- A vaginal birth from an infected mother to an uninfected baby.
There are numerous testing places that can help you if you feel that you have been infected with Chlamydia.
- Some countries have chemists and pharmacies that could offer self-help testing kits which allow an infected person to get his or her sample to be analyzed by the pharmacy.
- Visit your own medical professional who can refer you to a testing center if their facilities do not carry testing procedures.
- Sexual health clinics that are purposely set up to help people infected with STD.
Once the infection has been diagnosed, Chlamydia is easy to cure. A regimen of antibiotics is usually prescribed and taking them correctly will be effective in healing the infection.
If you happen to be allergic to the antibiotics prescribed or if you are pregnant, the doctor has to be informed right away so another mode of treatment can be done. Starting the course of prescribed antibiotics has to be maintained as interruptions may have to make you start from the beginning.
The doctor will be asking about any sexual contact that you had for the last 6 months. This is to give a chance to inform your sexual partner/s about the infection and the need for them to be tested and treated.
A check-up has to be done after the treatments have been completed to ensure that infection has been cured. Sexual relations can only be resumed once a negative result has been seen after the check-up.