Chlamydia The Silent STD That Destroys Your Organs
What Is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease. This probably occurs because the disease does not display any symptoms, it silently invades your genitalia and reproductive organs causing infertility in many people.
In men 1 in 4 may not experience any symptoms whatsoever. For those who do experience symptoms, Chlamydia produces symptoms similar to gonorrhea. Symptoms may include:
- A burning sensation whilst urinating
- A Discharge from the penis or rectum
- Tenderness and pain in the testicular region
- Rectal discharge or pain
The complications of Chlamydia infection in men can lead to inflammation of the urethra called urethritis.
Only 30% of women with Chlamydia experience any symptoms. So, a whopping 70% are walking around asymptomatic, totally unaware that they are infected, which is worrying as complications of Chlamydia in women can be severe.
Chlamydia symptoms that may occur in women include:
- Burning sensation during urination
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Rectal pain or discharge
- Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease,(PID is a general term for infection of the uterus lining, fallopian tubes, or ovaries),and liver inflammation.
- Vaginal discharge
Chlamydia infections in women has all sorts of complications and could lead to inflammation of the cervix, and if left untreated the infection may spread to the uterus or the fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease. Infertility can also be an indirect side effect and the risk of ectopic pregnancy increases.
If a woman has Chlamydia while pregnant, it can lead to an infection in the uterus after delivery, and the baby could develop Chlamydia related illnesses such as eye infection and pneumonia.
Tests for Chlamydia
To be tested and diagnosed with Chlamydia you will have to provide a sample of urethral discharge in men or cervical secretion in women to the Sexual Health Unit. Further, if an individual engages in anal sexual contact, samples from the rectum will also be needed. The sample is sent for testing of monoclonal antibodies, DNA probe test, or cell culture.
Treatment for Chlamydia
Chlamydia is usually treated with antibiotics, including tetracyclines, azithromycin or erythromycin.
It is important that all sexual partners should also be treated in order to prevent passing the infection going back and forth. A follow-up evaluation should be done in 4 weeks to determine if the infection has been cured.
Provided you are treated early with antibiotic treatment there is a good prognosis and you may be able to prevent long-term complications.
Prevention of Chlamydia
Because many people with Chlamydia do not have any symptoms they may not even realise that they are infected. For this reason it is important that you get screened periodically for the infection and if you have a new partner or multiple partners you should practise safe sex.
All sexually active women up through age 25 should be screened yearly for Chlamydia. All women with new sexual partners or multiple partners should also be screened.
The proper use of condoms during intercourse usually prevents the spread of the infection, but it is not full proof. If you are infected you should conisder taking antivirals in conjunction with using condoms.
Further Reading: Another STD on the rise is Herpes. Read this informed article 'Herpes The STD that Lives In Your Body For Life'