Chlamydia is one of those sexually-transmitted diseases that infect the genital area. It is a bacterial infected caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis. Studies show that in the United States, four million people are diagnosed with the disease every year. It is more common in adults, although there have been cases where teenagers have gotten infected with it.
How do you get Chlamydia?
Like any other STD, Chlamydia is contracted by unprotected sex. Those that like to engage in sexual intercourse – whether anal, vaginal, or oral - with multiple partners are prone to getting the bacteria.
What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?
Men and women exhibit different symptoms of the infection. It will take as long as three weeks before the first symptoms show in both.
In women, a foul odor and strange discharge, like a mucusy/milky fluid, coming from the vagina will usually occur. This is more likely to happen in girls that have not reached the puberty stage yet. Additionally, pain while urinating is also a sign, as well as pains in the lower abdominal area, nausea, throat infection, and sore throat. A female Chlamydia patient will also experience bleeding outside her menstrual period, and will have heavier menstruation. She will also feel pain every time she has sex.
In men, the early symptoms include fever, sore throat, and painful urination. If they had anal sex, a burning sensation in the rectal area will be felt. Bleeding and strange discharge will also occur in that body part.
Upon noticing those symptoms, patients are encouraged to consult a doctor and get tested immediately. This way, the right treatment for Chlamydia can be given to them before it causes more damage to their bodies. If untreated, Chlamydia will end up attacking more parts of the body, and will make the patient’s condition worse.
In women, untreated Chlamydia will lead to many more serious complications such as salpingitis, cervicitis, and pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. A female who has PID is at risk of having ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage, and becoming infertile.
In men, untreated Chlamydia can cause complications such as conjunctivitis, skin problems, and eye inflammation.
How do you treat Chlamydia?
Doctors will usually prescribe antibiotics to treat Chlamydia. Doxycycline and azithromycin are two of the most common ones. They act by getting rid of the Chlamydia pathogen that caused the infection. After two weeks of medication, a patient will show signs of recovery, and he or she is advised to not engage in any kind of sexual activity until every single symptom has disappeared.
It is also encouraged that the patients’ partners get tested and undergo the same treatment, whether they are showing symptoms or not.
Chlamydia is a recurring disease which means it can come back and infect the person again in the future. To avoid this occurrence, remember all the precautions about the disease and always practice safe sex.