What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is a serious condition which can dramatically affect your sexuality. It needs to be identified and treated to prevent a distressing impact on your health. Chlamydia has been recognised as the most prolific STI in the US.
The reason is mainly because there are often no symptoms, and is passed to sexual partners during unprotected sex whether it be vaginal, oral or anal – occurring in both men and women. Intensive research and surveys have indicated that about 75% of infections in women have no symptoms, while similar studies in men suggest that up to 60% have no symptoms.
Symptoms which may possibly occur
Approximately 4 weeks after being infected, some symptoms may possibly arise. Although the symptoms between men and women differ, both will need medical tests to make sure that it is a chlamydia infection.
Possible symptoms in men:
- Pain or a burning sensation when urinating.
- Tenderness or pain in or around the testicles.
- A cloudy, whitish discharge from the tip of the penis.
- Pain in the rectum, and rectal bleeding or discharge.
- A bacterial throat infection.
Symptoms in women may include:
- A vaginal discharge with an unpleasant smell.
- Bleeding between periods, as well as painful periods.
- Painful sexual intercourse.
- Some abdominal pain with a fever.
- Vaginal itching or burning.
Some of these symptoms, in both men and women, may overlap with other medical issues as well as chlamydia. A visit to the doctor will determine what the problem actually is. If the chlamydia tests are positive, treatment will involve a course of antibiotics. The infection should clear up after just one course of antibiotics which must be completed – even if you feel better. The doctor will also recommend that you refrain from sex until tests show that the infection has cleared up.
- If chlamydia is not treated, there could be some serious results. Women run the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease that may lead to damage of the fallopian tubes which may prevent the egg being carried to the uterus to the for fertilization.
- Untreated Chlamydia is known to cause premature births, or if the infection is passed from mother to child during childbirth, it may cause serious eye problems or pneumonia in the new born.
- Chlamydia can cause painful inflammation in the urethra of a man, or infection of the epididymis, the tube which carries sperm away from the testes for ejaculation – resulting in a low sperm count which may affect fertility.
- Untreated chlamydia can cause proctitis, in both sexes, which is inflammation of the tissues in the rectum, making the passing of stools painful and uncomfortable.
To prevent spreading of STI’s, always use protection, especially if you have more than one partner.
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