Chlamydia is caused by a bacterial infection transmitted through oral, anal, or vaginal sex with a person who is already infected with Chlamydia. In the US, Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection, with half of the infected individuals exhibiting few or no symptoms at all. Is Chlamydia curable? Chlamydia is curable with a full course of antibiotic treatment.
Spotting Chlamydia Symptoms
For someone infected with Chlamydia, it is normal for them to feel or to show no symptoms at all. Some research done on Chlamydia found that as many as 50% of men and 75% of women with the infection exhibit no symptoms. For those who do, the signs only appear after 1 week or 3 weeks of acquiring the infection. And even when they don’t show or feel evident signs of Chlamydia symptoms, the probability of them able to transmit the disease and develop reproductive system damage is still high.
Men and women exhibit different Chlamydia infection symptoms, but the most commonly reported symptoms are:
- Vaginal yellowish discharge that may have a strong odor for women. For men, a cloudy or clear penile discharge.
- Painful urination also called dysuria, which is a common symptom for STDs, the most significant and basic signal to get tested.
- Inflammation or itching of the areas around the vagina or penis - inside the vagina for women, and for men - usually seen around the penal opening.
- Women may experience painful periods, abnormal bleeding between periods, painful sex, abdominal pain, or a fever. Men may experience rare swelling or pain in both or either one of their testicles.
- The anus can also get infected with Chlamydia when the infection from the vagina and penis spread or get directly infected through anal sex. Symptoms of infection are cloudy/bloody/clear discharge, rectal bleeding, and rectal pain.
- Chlamydia can also infect the eyes; with signs of infection showing as redness and itching of the eyes with foul discharge. The throat can also be infected with Chlamydia, with acute soreness as symptoms.
When Suspicious -Get Tested
Like other STDs Chlamydia can be diagnosed by different laboratory tests, using a urine sample or a cotton swab from the infected area to test for the bacteria. For women, a swab from the cervix and men, from the urethra, but a swab of the anus or of other possibly infected areas may also be included. The swab is used to provide an antigen or a culture specimen for testing to establish the presence of Chlamydia. A physical exam can also be performed by a doctor and can be used to establish the presence of Chlamydia symptoms or to check for other STDs. Symptoms of Chlamydia and gonorrhea are closely similar, it is advisable to test for both to ensure you will be prescribed with the right treatment.
Questions that can help determine if you have STDs:
- Have you had unprotected sex recently or how often do you have unprotected sex?
- Are you in the habit of engaging in sex with multiple partners or have you recently changed partner?
- Have you noticed feeling any one or more of the symptoms listed above lately?
A yes answer or more increases the likelihood that you may have Chlamydia, but getting tested for STD can be downright scary, but this is all about your health. Getting a diagnosis and knowing if you have an STD or not, will eventually be worth the peace of mind in knowing you don’t have an STD and how to manage your treatment.
The Common Antibiotics for Chlamydia Treatment
Chlamydia is curable with a course of oral antibiotics. When in a day or two your infected area and symptoms improve, you have been prescribed the right course of antibiotic treatment. You are still contagious at this stage though, so make sure to finish the full course of your prescription. After a week or two, the infection should clear. Not finishing the full prescribed course of antibiotics when you feel better, is not a good decision. This will only make the infection come back, already resistant to antibiotics, consequently making it harder to treat.
Most prescribed antibiotics for Chlamydia include:
Azithromycin - is the most common antibiotic prescribed for Chlamydia treatment. It is not related to penicillin so it is less prone to produce gastrointestinal side effects than the penicillin family. Often prescribed as a single dose of 2 or 4 tablets. This antibiotic is very effective for Chlamydia along with doxycycline, which is reported to cure up to 95% of Chlamydia infection cases.
Doxycycline - the antibiotic also commonly prescribed for chlamydia, not recommended for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant as it can lead to birth defects. The prescribed dose is usually 2 tablets a day for one week. Extra care should be taken to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen if you are on this medication because it intensifies sensitivity to sunlight.
Amoxicillin - a powerful antibiotic prescribed for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and breastfeeding. This a broader spectrum form of penicillin, also prescribed for those who have allergies to other drug preparations.
Erythromycin - prescribed only for babies who contracted Chlamydia during birth from an infected mother.
Levofloxacin or Ofloxacin - both have an adverse effect on women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Comparable to doxycycline, when it comes to sensitivity to sunlight on patients prescribed with both. These are only used as Chlamydia treatment when the patient is already resistant or allergic to the other forms of antibiotics.