Chlamydia is one of the worst sexually transmitted diseases (STD). It is the most common STD in America and a growing disease in Europe. Chlamydia affects women more than it does men. The virus called Chlamydia Trachomatis transmits this disease. The disease may affect the reproductive system in women and may harm the rectum and urethra in both men and women. It mainly affects the human genitals and sometimes the eyes.
Chlamydia is curable but the risk with Chlamydia is that, it often is ‘silent’. So, most of the times it happens that the disease has already made a huge damage before the first symptoms start showing up or is eventually checked. Sexually active individuals, with more than a single partner are always at a higher risk of hatching on to the virus.
It may occur in any type of relationship, whether gay, straight, heterosexual or lesbian. If not spotted and treated on right time, the sufferer has the risk of losing fertility or getting hospitalized for other pelvic diseases. The disease is mostly found in adults under the age of 25 years. The symptoms of Chlamydia normally appear around 1-3 weeks after exposure. However, it may take time to emerge. More than 3/4th of the time, the women are asymptomatic, and many men too have no symptoms until too late.
Transmission Of Chlamydia
It can be transmitted by having sexual intercourse with an infected person. If it is a vaginal childbirth, the transmission can take place from mother to baby. In fact, it is one of the leading factors of infant conjunctivitis and infant pneumonia.It is not transmitted through casual skin contact or sharing the same toilet/bathroom.
Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Symptoms are often late to arrive in case of Chlamydia, which is why it is also called ‘silent’ in its approach. Often symptoms are not noticed until the situation has gone worse. Symptoms appear more often, and faster, in men than in women, but sometimes they too are asymptomatic. However, if symptoms start to appear, this is what you should look for:
• One may experience pain and/or a burning sensation while urinating
• Discharge from Penis, which may stain under garments
• Anal Discharge
• Pain in/ around rectum
• Bleeding from anus
• Pain in the testicles, and/or possible swelling
• The inflamed cervix causes vaginal discharge
• Pain while urinating and/or urge to urinate more frequently
• Bleeding after sexual intercourse or pain during the intercourse
• Menstrual bleeding irregular
• Pain in lower abdomen
Chlamydia conjunctivitis caused a widespread of blindness in earlier days. Chlamydia symptoms show up in the eyes after fingers, or other infected clothing or towels have transmitted it.
Either urine sample is taken from the patient or a swab from his/her genitals (tip of the penis or vagina). Though urine sampling is the most popular, swab is much more acclaimed. Though it should be taken into the mind to get both the partners checked. Recently, self-testing options are available where by taking the vaginal sample one may get the results in less than half an hour.
Risks And Complications Of Chlamydia Transmission
Men have lesser complications relating to Chlamydia infection compared to women. In women if it lays untreated it may travel all the way through the cervix to the fallopian tubes and may lead to PID. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is the name given to the infection in the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. This infection raises the chances for ectopic pregnancy, i.e. pregnancy outside a woman’s womb and/or premature birth. The Chlamydia disease is now the most common reason for PID. It may affect over 165,000 women in a year. In these almost 10% will lose their fertility to this disease.
The disease may also lead to Cervicitis, which is the name given for the inflammation of the cervix. Its causes or it’s symptoms are vaginal discharge and painful sex. If an untreated woman is pregnant, her baby bears the risk of catching hold of an eye or lung infection.
In men, this infection may lead to Epididymitis (painful inflammation on one/both the testicles), or Urethritis (Inflammation in urethra), which may later cause kidney problems or narrowing of the urine tube. The theory of men being made infertile because of the infection of Chlamydia is also around, but nothing is proven yet. Chlamydia also may cause Reiter’s Syndrome, mainly in younger men. It may also attack the lymph nodes.
Treatment Of Chlamydia Transmission
Once the infection is diagnosed, the treatment should consist of antibiotic pills, which may cure you more than 95%. After the treatment has begun, or the treatment has ended, the individual should remind himself/herself to get checked-up once in a while to avoid recurring of infections. Until the patient is fully free of the disease and the report comes negative on Chlamydia, he/she should not indulge in any penetrational intercourse. An evaluation, test, must be performed after a moth or so, to see if the infection is cured or not.
Prevention Of Chlamydia Transmission
Pursuing and maintaining monogamy with a single tested partner is the best way to avoid any Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). Chlamydia is no exception. Try and be honest with your partner. It is best to inform the partner if you are having the infection. Occasionally get yourself, and your partner, tested at a clinic for Chlamydia symptoms and signs.
Using latex condoms is a great way of reducing the risk of transmitting Chlamydia during sexual intercourse. It is also advisable that pregnant women are checked once in a while, or before the delivery, to make sure of her situation. The infection may also spread to the eyes by fingers, or any other shared clothing, sneezing, coughing, etc. Any discomfort, genital symptoms like soreness, pain, etc. should immediately be consulted with doctor at the earliest.
Chlamydia is a very common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), especially with individuals with more than one sexual partner. The worst part of the disease is that it is almost always is silent till the very end. So there is no telling if you have it or not. The only thing, which can be done is prevention and suggested monogamy.