Like most STD infections, Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is contracted through sexual intercourse of any kind. Chlamydia is not restricted to women alone because men could also be infected with it.
Despite its prevalence amidst men and women, Chlamydia bacteria have no visible symptoms in some and when the symptoms do eventually appear, they could range from mild to moderate as they gradually and progressively cause more damage.
The short-term effects of Chlamydia in women and men
- Vaginal or rectal discharge
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse or between menstrual periods
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Discharge from the penis or rectum
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Pain in the testicles or swelling
The Long-Term Effects of Chlamydia
If Chlamydia remains undetected, the infection spreads, thereby resulting in inflammation of the reproductive organ in the body. In such cases, Chlamydia symptoms become more severe and painful and this may result in complications such as:
- Cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix). The effect of this inflammation is that it causes unpleasant odorous vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding after intercourse, and bleeding outside the menstrual circle.
- Pregnancy problems. In pregnant women, Chlamydia results in Ectopic pregnancy, recurrent miscarriage, stillbirth, chronic pelvic pain, and even death. Pregnant women can transmit Chlamydia to their infant at birth if left untreated, which will cause trachoma (eye disease) and pneumonia.
- Urethritis. This is an inflammation of the urethra (the tube that carries urine outside the body). It causes pain while urinating and increases the urge to persistently urinate. Urethritis does not have age limitation as it affects men of all age who are infected with Chlamydia bacteria.
- Inflammation of the testicles. Chlamydia infection, if untreated, causes inflammation in the epididymis which is the tube where sperms mature after they have been formed in the testicles.
- Inflammation of prostate gland (prostatitis). Untreated Chlamydia causes sore and irritation on the prostate gland, which causes inflammation. It is usually very painful and has major effects on life and living. Having unprotected sex with a person infected with Chlamydia allows the bacteria into the urethra then it moves up to the prostate gland which could reduce the quality of life.
The long-term effect of untreated chlamydia infection poses a high risk of contracting HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea infection in both men and women. Therefore it is advised that one sees his or her physician gets tested for proper treatment as soon as possible.
What puts one at the risk of experiencing the effects of Chlamydia?
A person is at risk of getting infected with the Chlamydia bacteria if he or she indulges in any of the following:
- Having unprotected sex. A person can be infected by having any form of unprotected sexual contact (vaginal, oral, or anal) with an infected person. Therefore it is necessary to inform your partner of your Chlamydia status in order to get him or her tested and also treated. Although some persons do not have visible symptoms and are not aware of the existence of such infections in them, to rather be on a safe side, one should practice safe sex via the use of latex condoms.
- Untreated pregnant women. Pregnant women have a high risk of infecting their babies in the womb and likewise, they stand the risk of losing the unborn child. Therefore it is advised that pregnant women get tested or screened and treated at the early stage of the pregnancy.
It is necessary to take precautionary measures in order to shield against the debilitating and resultant effects which could be experienced as a result of Chlamydia infection.
Certainly men and women can live a Chlamydia free life if they protect themselves by maintaining proper hygiene, use latex condoms for sexual protection, reduce their number of sexual partners, practice abstinence, and women should get treated at the early stage of their pregnancy to protect the baby from getting infected. Also, persons who are sexually active should get tested yearly to be certain that they are free from Chlamydia infection.
Undetected and untreated Chlamydia has severe health complications and in order to avoid these health complications, it is of utmost necessity for men and women to get tested and screened to ensure the detection of Chlamydia bacteria if existent in them.
Crucially also, self-medication is not advised; therefore, persons with positive Chlamydia outcomes should see their physician immediately in order to get the right prescription for medication and such medications should be administered properly. Treatments should commence early in order to avoid future complications and total eradication of the Chlamydia disease at hand.