During the time spend in biology class you probably have heard about Chlamydia. Maybe it did not seem as interesting to find out what is Chlamydia then, it sure brought you here now. Well, you are in luck! We are here to share all the important facts and information on the topic of Chlamydia – from causes and symptoms to treatment options and prevention!
What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia, or also commonly known as “The Silent Infection”, is represented as a part of the group of sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases nowadays.
What Causes Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium known as Chlamydia Trachomatis. This bacterium is transferred through direct contact, from one to another partner during an unprotected sexual act in a situation where one partner is a carrier of the bacterium or is affected by Chlamydia.
What are the Symptoms of Chlamydia?
Do you wonder why is Chlamydia represented as one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases? The answer is in the symptoms. Chlamydia is very hard to be recognized because it hardly shows any symptoms at the beginning. The person could be affected with Chlamydia and at the same time, he or her not to be aware of the presence of the infection. During this period of unawareness, the person can be a part of unprotected sexual acts with other people and at the same time transmitting the disease. Approximately 50% of the male chlamydia cases go unnoticed and unaware of the presence of the infection.
Depending on how the infection is transmitted, the symptoms can occur either in the throat, eyes, rectum and most commonly on the genitals. The symptoms most likely occur 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.
Most common symptoms of Chlamydia around the area of the genital organs are:
- Painful urinating
- White, cloudy or watery discharge from the tip of the penis
- Feeling of burning or itching around the opening of the penis
- Feeling of pain in the testicles
- Swelling around the testicles
As we mentioned before, Chlamydia can also affect the throat, eyes, and rectum. There are other characteristic symptoms if these areas are affected – feeling of discomfort while defecating (if the rectum is affected), eye redness, pain, and conjunctivitis (if the eyes are affected). When the throat is affected the condition usually goes by without any characteristic symptoms.
How can a Doctor Diagnose Chlamydia?
The doctor can perform a few tests in order to determine if there is a presence of Chlamydia. The most common performed test is the one where the doctor takes a sample from the urethra in men using a swab, which then is sent to the laboratory for further analysis. The doctor may also ask you to give him or her a urine sample which is also taken to the laboratory for further analysis.
What is the Treatment Plan for Chlamydia?
Once you have been diagnosed, the doctor will discuss a proper treatment plan with you. This is the time where you need to inform the doctor about your medical history and any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or not prescribed. The doctor will explain the expected beneficial effects, as well as, the potential risks and side effects. Chlamydia is most commonly treated by prescribing proper medications. Over 95% of the cases have been successfully treated with proper medications. The patients treated with medications for Chlamydia have reported the presence of side effects, most commonly – diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. However, these side effects are considered to be mild and usually, there is no need for the treatment to be discontinued because of their presence. During the treatment, it is very important for contraceptives to be used during the sexual acts. Also, it is always a good idea for your partner to get tested for Chlamydia. After the treatment is over, you will need to visit the hospital after three months for testing to see if the infection has cleared completely.
What can you do to Prevent Chlamydia in the Future?
Luckily, there are a few things that you can do in order to prevent a Chlamydia infection.
- Do not avoid using a condom during the sexual act, even if there are contraceptive pills used by you or your partner. Condoms are the best prevention not only for Chlamydia but for the other common sexually transmitted diseases.
- Get informed if your partner is suffering from any sexually transmitted disease before you proceed to the sexual act.
- Limit the number of your sexual partners.
- If for any reason you think that you might have been infected with any sexually transmitted disease, avoid sexual intercourse until you get tested and it is proven otherwise.
Because it is represented as one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases all around the world, it is time to take not only Chlamydia but the other sexually transmitted diseases as well, seriously. Although there are many treatment options for the most of the sexually transmitted diseases, there is still the need for us to put a stop to their presence. As you can see from the article, Chlamydia is hard to be recognized at first due to the lack of symptoms. However, once the symptoms occur they will interfere with your everyday life, making it difficult. That is why you must ask for help as soon as you notice the first signs. Or there is always the better option and that is to prevent Chlamydia as well as all the other possible sexually transmitted diseases to occur!