Chlamydia is one of the most sexually transmitted infections in the world and it’s also one of the most common infections that we find and diagnosed through our kids. So what is Chlamydia? Chlamydia is a sexual infection which is caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis. It’s incredibly easy to be transmitted and it can be transmitted through oral, anal, vaginal sex and through skin to skin contact. There are still some cures for Chlamydia but it requires regular visit to your doctor’s clinic. STD testing has become very much confidential which protects the identity of the partners. You can have confidential STD testing at any clinic and are allowed to know the results without compromising your names and identities.
Who is at Risk?
If you are sexually active right now, you are at risk of having Chlamydia. It’s just that certain groups have much higher chances of having it. They are :
- Illicit Drug Users
- People with Multiple Sex Partners
- Teens and Young Adults
As you go through these 3 groups of people having the higher chances of getting the disease, you may ponder the question why! This is only becuase all these groups are exposed to unsafe sexual acts which leads to more diseases. Since Chlamydia can only be spread from an unprotected sex, you can have them via sexual contact or oral, vaginal and anal sex. It usually takes one to three weeks to develop symptoms after you have been exposed to the bacteria.
What Are the Symptoms of Chlamydia?
First of all, the symptoms for Chlamydia are different for men and girls.
So for example, most men do have symptoms of Chlamydia that include pain when you pee, an unusual discharge from the penis, sore testicles or a condition called epididymo-orchitis where one of the testicles swells and it becomes very hard and red on touching. You may also feel fever or feel sick and they would be the most common symptoms in men. If you had involved in anal sex, you may have discharge from the bum or bleeding from the bum. Occasionally, if you have Chlamydia in the throat, you can have a sore throat, but most of the time if you have Chlamydia in your throat, it doesn’t have any symptoms.
So what’s the story for women? Unfortunately, the problem of Chlamydia for women is that most women don’t have any symptoms at all and that is why Chlamydia is such a serious infection theoretically. If women do have symptoms, it includes a discharge from vagina and like men this can be green or yellow or white. Since women already have vaginal discharge but the color indicates something related to abnormal. Second most common symptoms would be abnormal bleeding like bleeding after sex is a warning sign for Chlamydia. The bleeding can also take place in between your periods. Some other symptoms include pelvic pain. Pelvis is located below the belly button, so women may have cramping pain down there or a dull aching pain. The fourth common symptom for women would be pain during sex. Since having pain is quite common during intercource but having it at a level which becomes uncommon, needs medical concern. These abnormalities should prompt you in getting tested with one of the kits.
Just to reiterate for men, most men have symptoms which are good because that will compel them to have the test as early as possible so that they can have the treatment soon. The only bad news for women is, since they don’t have any symptoms that will inform them about the abnormalities, women may be at a higher risk of having it.
Treatment for Chlamydia
If the treatment is not done at the right time, women can develop a condition which is known as Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases. It can lead to ectopic pregnancy or infertility and chronic pain. In men, that very same infection can cause problems where it spreads to the testicles and may also cause infertility. The treatment is really simple. There are two main types of symptoms! Thankfully we live in an era where we have treatments for these infections. There are two main types of antibiotics that we use for this infection and both need a prescription from the doctor.
The first one that is used is called Azithromycin. This is taken as 2 tablets that are 500 milligram tablets. That’s all is needed! The one thing to know about Azithromycin is that you must abstain from sex for a week because potentially you can pass on the infection to your partner. Also, it’s great if you can let any sexual contact that you have had in the last three months know that you have got Chlamydia because then they can get treatment and hopefully, prevent infertility as well.
The other type of treatment that is used is called Doxycycline, which is another antibiotic. You are advised to take 100 milligrams tablet, twice daily for a week. This is used mostly for the people who have been diagnosed with Chlamydia. With antibiotics, it’s really important to take the full course of antibiotics. If you stop too early, often the infection can reoccur so you want to finish every antibiotic you have been given. One important thing to note is that although Chlamydia is totally curable with antibiotics, if left untreated it can lead to infertility as discussed above.
People who are infected with Chlamydia are often co-infected with Gonorrhea so often they will test for Gonorrhea if they suspect you have Chlamydia and they wll treat you for both. The antibiotics for treating Gonorrhea would be the same as that for the Chlamydia. You won’t be automatically told to test for Chlamydia, if you have gone for an annual pelvic exam or if you have gone to the doctor, so if you suspect of having the infection, here you have to ask to be tested for it.
What Does the Test Involve?
You will be tested for Chlamydia by giving either urine samples or swab tests at the clinic. Usually the test is performed by a clinician. Getting the result is also very simple. You will just have to wait for a few minutes and your result will be right with you. Once they know what you have, they will prescribe you the medicines as per your condition and then you can cure yourself.
Preparing Yourself Before the Transmission
Did you know that you can actually protect yourself way before you get in touch with someone infected with Chlamydia? If you have known a person who has suffered from Chlamydia, it’s better to get rid of any type of sexual contacts unless he/she is cured completely. You can use condoms that will help in preventing not only this infection but some other types of sexually transmitted diseases. You can also decrease the number of partners and stick to only one if possible. As the number of partners will increase the risk more! You can also ask your partner if he has STD as these infections may also come in groups and you may have more than one STDs. However, the symptoms of chlamydia will always be a big hint to get tested as soon as possible. A slight negligence can ruin your life and everything before it spreads to other people