The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis causes Chlamydia infection which is spread through sexual intercourse.
Men and women can be infected with Chlamydia without showing any symptoms. This leads to being infected or transmitting the infection to a sexual partner without being aware of it. This also causes Chlamydia to remain untreated for a long time which could lead to serious health complications.
You have a bigger chance of becoming infected with Chlamydia if you:
- Use alcohol or drugs before having sexual intercourse
- Unsafe sex practices such as not using a female or male condom during sex
- Multiple sexual partners
The symptoms that are produced in men may have the same as that of an infection from gonorrhea and may include:
- Pain or discharges from the rectal area
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating
- Pain, swelling or tenderness in the testicles
- Discharges from the rectum or penis
Symptoms in women include:
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse or discharges from the vagina
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Symptoms of inflammation of the liver identical to hepatitis, PID or pelvic inflammatory disease or inflammation of the fallopian tubes or salpingitis
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Discharges or pain from the rectum
When you consult a medical professional for possible Chlamydia infection, he or she will give you a PCR test or get a specimen.
- Other than Chlamydia, the doctor will also check for other types of STDs such as syphilis or gonorrhea.
- In men, the specimen will be collected from the rectum or penis while a swab from the pelvic area will be taken from the women.
- You will be advised to return after 1 to 2 days to know the results.
Women who are asymptomatic should submit to a Chlamydia test if they:
- Have more than one sexual partner or a new partner
- Are sexually active and are younger than or 25 years old which will be advised to have the test performed every year.
Urine samples are also the basis of most STD tests.
When you are getting an STD test, the doctor may also have you tested for herpes, syphilis, trichomoniasis, HIV, and hepatitis.
The usual mode of treatment for Chlamydia is antibiotics.
A sexual history for the past 6 months will have to be provided by the infected person so sexual partners can also be treated to avoid passing the infection to other uninfected partners. A person can be re-infected with Chlamydia many times.
After 4 weeks, the infected individual has to go back to the doctor for a check-up to see if he or she has been cured of the infection.
When medicines are taken as directed, you and your partner will benefit greatly from a treatment using antibiotics.
Chlamydia can cause infertility when it reaches the uterus and cause scarring. This can be prevented by:
- Practicing safe sex by wearing a condom in every sexual activity
- Finishing the antibiotic treatment prescribed by the doctor
- Get an STD test when you manifest symptoms
Discuss your options openly with your medical professional