July 11th, 2017
Chlamydia is referred to as a very common STI (sexually transmitted infection). Its prevalence is fairly high in US especially among young adults. Infected men usually remain unaware of the infection until tested and diagnosed during a routine testing.
Infected individuals may experience the symptoms within 1-3 weeks after the initial exposure. Noticeable symptoms usually appear in only 10% of the men who gets infected. The infection may affect the eyes, throat, rectum and urethra. Chlamydia spreads by anal or vaginal intercourse or by means of oral sex. The symptoms, if present, include:
In women, symptoms of Chlamydia are also very rare. Almost 30% of women doesn’t experience any symptoms. Some common symptoms in women are:
For the diagnosis of infection, the doctor may recommend a urine test or a collection of swab sample from the areas like cervix, for females, and penis, for males.
Antibiotics are commonly recommended for treating this disease. However infected people are also recommended to avoid sexual intercourse until treatment course is completed. People who do not abstain from sexual activities while being on Chlamydia treatment have increased likelihood of getting re-infections. Some people do not complete the entire treatment course which can lead to adverse consequences.
Re-infection is also common with Chlamydia, as a history of infection does not confer any immunity against the infectious agent. Therefore, the chances of recurrence of infection are fairly high in individuals who live a risky lifestyle. The best way to prevent the recurrence is by practicing safe sex.
If the Chlamydia infection remains untreated then it potentiates the risk of transmitting/ acquiring HIV. HIV is the virus which causes AIDS. In men, untreated Chlamydia may consequently lead to epididymitis, a condition characterized by the inflamed tubes within the testicles. It may cause swelling, fever and pain. If epididymitis also remains untreated it may produce long lasting adverse effects even on fertility. Rarely, untreated Chlamydia infection also causes reactive arthritis.
In women, untreated Chlamydia causes more damage than in men. It leads to pelvic inflammatory disease which may cause permanent infertility. Women may also experience long lasting pelvic pain. If the infection remains untreated during pregnancy, the risk of premature delivery and ectopic pregnancy increases significantly.
Based on statistics, 1 of 20 young women who are sexually active and aged between 14 and 24 develops Chlamydia infection, whereas 3-10% of men, who have sex with male partners, are infected by this infection. The infected people pass on the infection through sexual intercourse to healthy contacts.
The best prevention against this condition and any sexually transmitted infection is to practice safe sex. Safe sex can be practiced by the use of condoms.