Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by bacteria, Chlamydia trachomatis. Fortunately, it is one of the four types of sexually transmitted infections that are curable besides syphilis, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Chlamydia affects both women and men.
Sexually Transmitted Infections Statistics:
According to American Sexual Health Organization (ASHO), one in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) young people ages 15 to 24 years old accounted for 65% of chlamydia diagnoses and 50% of gonorrhea diagnoses in 2015.
CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new STIs occur every year in the USA, half of those among young people aged 15–24.
The total estimated direct cost of STIs annually in the U.S. about $16 billion.
Why should I worry about Chlamydia?
It takes only one unsafe sexual contact to catch Chlamydia. If you are sexually active, you should be equipped with the basic information on Chlamydia. Why is it a big deal? Maybe you think it is just a rash or that since it is curable, but you can always get the treatment. Here is the seriousness of this matter:
Chlamydia has the potential to cause permanent damage to a women’s reproductive health. It can cause damage to fallopian tubes, increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, and even infertility. If a woman is pregnant and catches a Chlamydia infection, there are higher chances of having a low birth weight or a preterm baby. Not only this, but Chlamydia can also be transmitted to the newborn through the birth canal. This results in neonatal complications like pneumonia and eye damage.
Chlamydia has a slow-growing appearance. The problem is that in the initial stages, you may not find any obvious symptoms. By the time outward symptoms appear, it may already have caused enough damage to be repaired. Moreover, there are cases where men and women despite being infected by Chlamydia, do not show any symptoms and remain unaware of its presence. This is the worst case scenario.
How do I get Chlamydia Infection?
The bacteria, Chlamydia trachomatis, can be present anywhere in cervix, urethra, penis, vagina, rectum, or even throat of the infected person. So, the clearest indication is that having any type of sexual contact with the infected person is a sure way to get the same infection.
Remember, Chlamydia is a communicable disease that spreads through sexual contact. Any type of sexual contact (vaginal, oral, anal) puts the person on a high risk of catching this disease.
As Chlamydia doesn’t always show symptoms, there is no way for you to get an idea of your loved one’s infectious status. It is therefore recommended that you must avoid unprotected sex at all cost.
What to do if I had unprotected sex with my partner?
You must always suspect getting a sexually transmitted disease if you had unsafe sex. The good news, however, is that there’s a solution to every problem. Chlamydia is a curable infection. If you get one, the best you can do is to get treated as soon as possible.
The medical industry has come up with a home test kit to see if you have got Chlamydia infection or not. The best part is that it is easy to carry and easy to use. You do not need to check in STD clinic every time you accidentally had unprotected sex of any form.
Chlamydia rapid test is a kit that provides you with 99 percent accurate results within 15 minutes. As it is tested worldwide for detecting Chlamydia infection, there is no harm in suggesting that you should buy one.
At times, the health clinic is a nearby facility, and we prefer to get there. Other times, it is annoying to waste the next day in the clinic over the unprotected sex you had last night. That is when Chlamydia home test kits come handy. You do not need to wait for any signs of infection. Anytime you had unprotected sex; it is time to check for sexually transmitted infection.
How do you know if you have Chlamydia?
The problem with Chlamydia is that it has no symptoms at all and oftentimes, 90% of infected men and women wouldn’t know that they have it. For those who experienced some symptoms, the common symptoms of a Chlamydia infection are:
- Abdominal pain
- Painful discharge in the vagina or burning sensation when urinating
- Excessive bleeding during the menstrual period
- Low-grade fever
- Painful intercourse or vaginal bleeding after intercourse
- Swelling in the anus or around the vagina
- Having the urge to urinate more often than normal
- Smelly discharge from the cervix
- Itchy and bleeding anus
- Throat soreness
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Watery discharge from the penis
- Swollen testicles
- Swelling around the anus
- Itchy and bleeding anus
- Throat soreness
These symptoms are often mild and disappear after a few hours. If you often experience it though, it might be a red flag so seek medical attention immediately.
Threat of Chlamydia
When Chlamydia is treated immediately, it can be cleared in a few days since it has no symptoms. It is often left untreated for a period of time. This makes it complicated and it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. PID causes an inability to get pregnant among women. In men, this condition is called epididymitis, leading to sterility among men. In addition, men who have untreated Chlamydia can develop reactive arthritis that can cause disabling joint pains.
Since Chlamydia has no symptoms and when it does, it only appears for a short period of time, it is important to be watchful of your body especially if you have an active sex life and multiple partners. A slight symptom can indicate a possible start of a major health problem so don’t disregard it and seek medical attention immediately.