Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis and can affect both men and women. Often, chlamydia has no symptoms, so many affected do not seek health care or treatment for it. Getting tested regularly is the only way to find out for sure.
This blog what chlamydia is, potential signs and symptoms in men and women, and how to treat it.
How is Chlamydia Transmitted
Chlamydia trachomatis (the bacteria that causes the disease) is transmitted through vaginal fluid and semen. Any sexually active person, regardless of gender, can transmit the infection. Also, women infected with chlamydia while pregnant can pass the disease along to the fetus.
Signs and Symptoms of Chlamydia
While many affected with chlamydia show no symptoms, there are some potential signs to be aware of.
For vaginas, chlamydia often causes:
- abnormal vaginal discharge
- Burning during urination
- Pain during sex.
For penises, chlamydia may cause:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Discharge from the penis
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles
- Chlamydia can lead to serious health complications such as infertility if left untreated.
Chlamydia typically appears 1-3 weeks after a sexual encounter with someone afflicted with it. But, it could also take several months before signs appear (if they appear at all).
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, inform your current sexual partner(s) and all partners within the last three months. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause severe long-term health problems and even infertility in women.
How to Get Tested and Treated for Chlamydia
The CDC recommends yearly testing for sexually active men and women for chlamydia and other STDs. Regular testing prevents spread and allows for early treatment.
There are a few different ways that you can test for STIs. The most common way is through a blood test, which can be done at your doctor's office or via an at-home testing kit. You can also get tested for STIs through a urine sample or swabbing the potentially affected area.
Chlamydia can be treated and cured completely with the proper treatment. Your healthcare provider will provide a prescription of antibiotics to heal your body of infection in approximately seven days. If you remain sexually active within those seven days and do not wear a condom, you can still pass chlamydia on to your sex partner even if you have no symptoms. When taken correctly, Chlamydia treatments will stop the infection and decrease your chances of severe problems and side effects later.
Once treated and cured of chlamydia, reemergence is rare but can happen. If chlamydia does come back, it is still treatable with a similar short antibiotic course.
While chlamydia is an infection that is easily cured (when treated), its mild and sometimes undetected symptoms make it a very dangerous disease. If left undiagnosed or untreated, chlamydia can have detrimental long-term effects on your reproductive health. Being proactive about your and your partner's (s) health is the best way to prevent and treat chlamydia.
If you or a loved one is unsure about whether or not you are living with chlamyida, buy a test kit online.
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CDC Recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/screeningreccs.htm