Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is becoming increasingly common in the United States, United Kingdom, and other parts of the world. Its symptoms and pattern of transmission is very similar to those of gonorrhea. The disease is caused by a tiny bacterium known as chlamydia trachomatis. It is branded as “The Silent Infection” because it has very few observable symptoms. Individuals affected usually don’t encounter any outward symptoms which can cause serious effects if left untreated.
Since they aren’t aware that they’ve been infected, it increases their risk of major health problems. The infection could be experienced by both men and women. It is believed that 25%-50% of male chlamydia infections are completely unnoticed. On the other hand, women can seriously damage their reproductive organs which in the worst cases can cause infertility. The infection could also be damaging to the throat, lungs, and eyes.
Generally, symptoms in men are random and infrequent but there are a still a few which can help you recognize if you’ve been infected. The earliest sign is you find having white, cloudy, or watery discharge from the tip of your penis. You may also feel discomfort, pain, or a burning sensation whenever you urinate. Pain, inflammation, and tenderness around the testicles is also a common symptom. They usually appear in a span of one to three weeks from your initial exposure. It is important to know that chlamydia in men can also occur in the eyes, nose, and rectum. You may feel rectal pain, see some discharge and bleeding. You may also get throat infection. Male infertility caused by chlamydia is often underestimated. It can cause damage to the sperm and scarring of the reproductive tract, which can lead men to be permanently infertile.
There are also a few common symptoms for women. Some of them are bleeding in between periods, abnormal vaginal discharge, pain while having sex, abdominal pain, difficulty in urinating, and a burning feeling around the vagina. In some women, the disease can also spread to the Fallopian tubes which causes the condition called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This is a very high risk condition which should be taken seriously. The most common PID symptoms are severe pelvic pain, fever, abnormal bleeding between periods, and nausea. It is also possible to get the infection in your anus. When you have oral sex with someone who is infected, you may get throat infections as well.
The most effective diagnostic for the disease is to swab the vagina for women and to test urine for men. If the infection is found in your throat or anus, they will also be swabbed by the doctor. Chlamydia is fairly easy to be treated. Because it’s bacterial in nature, it can be treated with antibiotics. Azithromycin is one of the most prescribed antibiotic which is taken in a single or large dose, depending on the severity of the infection. There is also Doxycycline which must be taken for about a week. It is highly recommended to abstain from sexual intercourse while you’re being treated to make sure that the disease will be fully eradicated.