Health & Diet

Chlamydia: Symptoms And Treatment

A couple silhouettePhoto by Chicka (X100s enthusiast)

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease and in order to avoid complications you should treat it quickly. It often spreads through sexual contact and it is caused by bacteria.

Usually, people who have chlamydia don’t have any outward symptoms. Therefore, you should get tested right away, if you think you may have been exposed to this sexually transmitted disease.

Causes

People of both sexes and all ages can get chlamydia. However, you chance of getting the disease can be greatly increased if you have sexual relations with several partners without using protection.

Women and men who are 25 or younger have a much bigger risk of being infected with the disease. Women, in general, also have a big risk. Also, women who are pregnant can pass the bacteria to their unborn babies when they give a birth. You should ask to be tested, if you think there is a chance you have chlamydia.

Symptoms

Since symptoms are not always apparent, it is hard to tell if you are infected with chlamydia. However, if they occur, they are typically noticeable within several weeks of contact. Chlamydia symptoms in women are bleeding between periods, abdominal pain with fever, burning or itching in or around the vagina, abnormal vaginal discharge which can have an odor, painful periods, pain when having sex, and pain when urinating.

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Chlamydia symptoms in men are painful urination, pain and swelling around the testicles, small amounts of cloudy or clear discharge from the tip of the penis, and itching or burning around the opening of the penis.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask you several questions about your sexual life, such as if you use condoms and if you have had several partners recently. Also, he or she will ask you about symptoms. If you don’t have any symptoms, you doctor will ask you why do you believe that you might have chlamydia.

Also, the doctor may run tests in order to discover if you have the bacteria in your body. This includes urine test. You may also have your urethra swabbed, if you are male, and your cervix swabbed as well, if you are female. If there is a chance that bacteria is in your throat or rectum, these areas may be swabbed, too.

Treatment

In case you have chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline or azithromycin. Also, your doctor will recommend the treatment for your partner, in order to prevent further spread of the disease and reinfection. The infection should be gone un about one or two weeks. Even if you feel better it is important to finish all of your antibiotics.

Women who have severe chlamydia infection can require hospitalization, pain medicine, and intravenous antibiotics. People should be re-tested to be sure that the chlamydia is cured after taking antibiotics. This is very important if you think that your partner or partners obtained treatment. In addition, don’t have sex until your are fully sure that both you and your partner no longer have chlamydia.

What happens if you don’t get your chlamydia treated?

If case you don’t treat chlamydia, you take a risk of several health problems. If chlamydia is left untreated in a woman, the infection can cause pelvic inflammatory disease or even infertility. Also, untreated chlamydia can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.

Furthermore, chlamydia can cause premature births, and it can be passed to the child during childbirth, causing blindness, pneumonia or an eye infection in the newborn. If chlamydia is left untreated in a man it can cause a condition called epididymitis, an infection of the epididymis, nongonococcal urethritis, an infection of the urethra, or proctitis, an inflammation of the rectum.

Prevention

By limiting the amount of new sexual partners you will avoid chlamydia infection in the most effective way. If you have several sexual partners, you are at greater risk of being exposed to the disease. Also, during every sexual intercourse you should use a condom.

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