What is chlamydia? It is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria (Chlamydia Trachomatis). It is spread by unprotected sex of any kind.

 

The Symptoms

 

 For women symptoms include the following

 

  • A discharge from the vagina
  • Spotting or heavier bleeding between monthly cycles
  • Painful burning during urination  
  • Pain during intercourse and bleeding afterward
  • Pain in the abdomen

 

For women it infects the cervix, spreads to the uterus and fallopian tubes where it can cause severe problems such as infertility and painful inflammatory pelvic disease.

 

For Men Symptoms Include

 

  • Painful burning during urination
  • Swelling and or pain on either or both sides of testicles
  • Discharge from the penis

 

Diagnosis And Treatment

 

The diagnosis is very simple and treatment is generally an antibiotic that is either a single dose or a seven-day treatment. The test consists of either a urine test or cotton swab of the discharge from the either vagina or penis which is then sent to the laboratory.  If you are treated for chlamydia you will need to notify your sexual partner(s) so they can get tested and treated to or they may have contracted it and will give it back to you later after you have used treatment to get rid of it.

 

How Is It Spread

 

Chlamydia is spread through unsafe unprotected sex of any form. You cannot tell if someone has chlamydia without a test, they look perfectly healthy unless they have a discharge going on at the time of sex that has an odor but again you have no way of knowing what the cause of that discharger and odor is from.

 

Get Tested Or Screening

 

It is recommended that if you are sexually active you get tested once a year especially if you are under 25 years old. Remember though any age can get this sexually transmitted infection who has unprotected sex or multiple sexual partners.

 

Prevention

 

The best prevention is either abstaining from any forms of sex or practice safe sex and use a condom.  Condoms are sold in many stores and women can get them from planned parenthood most times for free. There are even latex free condoms for those allergic to latex.

 

Where To Get Help

 

  • Your doctor
  • School Nurse
  • Local health center
  • Family planning
  • Sexual health centers
  • If diagnosed early it can be treated with a single dose if not it will require a seven day cycle of medications.
  • If left untreated women can suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease and or infertility for men swelling and pain on one or both sides of the testicles.
  • You must inform any partners you’ve sex with in the past 2 to 3 weeks, if you have been diagnosed with chlamydia.
  • It is spread from unprotected sexual encounters
  • Get screening once a year to be sure you do not have it or have complications from having it.