Chlamydia a most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the U.S. It is an infection of a bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is similar to gonorrhea in its symptoms and pattern of transmission. It is consequential to note that many people who are infected with chlamydia do not have any symptoms and may not be aware that they have the infection. Chlamydia infection may cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes in a woman and can lead to future infertility and an incrementation risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Chlamydia infection during pregnancy increases a woman’s risk of preterm labor and having the low birth weight of a baby. Lymphogranuloma venereum is also another type of STD that is common in the developing world and is caused by a different strain of the Chlamydia bacteria.
Causes of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is an infection of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. When infection is present, bacteria can be present in the cervix, urethra, vagina, and rectum of an infected person. It can additionally live in the throat. Any type of sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral) with the infected person can spread the infection.
Adolescent people who are sexually active are at high risk for chlamydia.
An infected mother can spread the infection to her baby at the time of birth when the baby passes through the vaginal canal. The most prevalent complications of chlamydia acquired through the birth canal are eye damage and pneumonia in the newborn.
Even after a person has been treated for chlamydia, it is also possible to get the infection.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
Most of the people with chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms and don’t know they retain it.
- If develop symptoms, you may experience:
- Pain when micturating
- burning with urination and an abnormal vaginal discharge;
- In the case of women, pain in the tummy, bleeding during or after sex
and bleeding between periods
- In the case of men, pain, and swelling in the testicles
If you think you’re in peril of having an STI or have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your physicians or local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic to get tested.
Is Chlamydia Serious?
Chlamydia doesn’t customarily cause any symptoms and normally be treated with a short course of antibiotics, it’s maybe serious if it’s not treated early on.
If untreated, the infection can spread to other components of the body and lead long-term health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymal-orchitis (inflammation testicles), and infertility. It can sometimes cause reactive arthritis.
This is why it’s consequential to get tested and treated as early as possible if you think you might have chlamydia.
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Tested For Chlamydia
Testing chlamydia is done with the urine test or a swab test. You don’t need a physical examination by a nurse or physicians.
Anyone get a free and confidential chlamydia test at the sexual health clinic, a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.
People under 25 years old can get tested by the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP). This is often in places in pharmacies, contraception clinics or colleges.
You can buy chlamydia testing kits to do at home, the precision of these tests varies. If you do utilize one of these tests, verbalize with your pharmacist or physicians for advice.
Chlamydia can customarily be treated with antibiotics. You may be given some tablets to take all on one day or longer course of capsules for a week.
You shouldn’t sex until you and your current sexual partner have completed treatment. If had the one-day course of treatment, you should avoid sex for a week afterward.
It’s consequential that your current sexual partner and any other sexual partners you’ve had during the last six months are additionally tested and treated to avail stop the spread of the infection.
The NCSP recommends that under 25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test around three months after treatment. This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at incremented risk of catching it again.
Sexual health or GUM clinics can avail you contact your sexual partners. Either you or the clinic can verbalize with them, or they can be sent a note advising them to get tested. The note won’t have your name on it, so confidentiality will be protected.
Anyone who sexually active can catch chlamydia. You’re most in peril if you have a new sexual partner or don’t utilize a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom, when sex.
- You can avail to prevent the spread of chlamydia by:
- Using the condom to cover the penis during oral sex
- Using a condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex
- Using dam (soft plastic or latex) to cover female genitals during oral sex or when rubbing female genitals together
- Not sharing the sex toy