Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria can infect the urinary and reproductive organs when it is transmitted through sexual contact. Although there are two other kinds of the chlamydial bacterium that lead to other illnesses: Chlamydia pneumoniae, which can be spread through coughing and sneezing, and Chlamydia psittaci, which birds can pass to humans, the term chlamydia we refer here is the STD Chlamydia trachomatis.
Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics. But because chlamydia often causes no symptoms, an individual can be infected without even knowing it. It is advisable that sexually active teens are screened for chlamydia at least yearly by a health care provider. It's also advisable for them to take the precautions to prevent Chlamydia. If one suspects of having chlamydia, he or she must immediately seek treatment. Chlamydial infections can lead to more serious health problems, such as infertility, if left untreated.
In many cases, when there are chlamydial symptoms, it is only mild. An infection can last for weeks or months before it is discovered. Women may experience burning feeling in urination, lower abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, and vaginal irritation as part of their symptoms.
When left untreated, chlamydia could lead to some serious health conditions such as the pelvic inflammatory disease or better known as PID. PID, it should be noted, is a disease that can greatly affect its victim's ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, and/or vagina. PID often times has no symptoms but causes abdominal or lower back pain, painful urination, vomiting, nausea, bleeding between the victim's menstrual periods, pain during intercourse, fatigue, or fever.
The scarring of the fallopian tubes caused by untreated chlamydia or PID infections can lead to other serious health problems just like ectopic or tubal pregnancy, infertility or some chronic pelvic pain.
Chlamydia may go without symptoms in men just like in women. When present, men can experience symptoms that include discharge from the patient or victim's tip of his penis as well as some burning feel during urination. When left untreated, the infections can lead to epididymitis, an inflammation of the coiled tubes in the back of the testicles. This can result in testicular swelling, pain, and even infertility.
Chlamydia is contagious. It can be transmitted through sexual contact through semen and vaginal secretions and other bodily fluids.
Chlamydia does not transmit and spread through casual contact such as shaking hands or using the same toilet as someone who is infected. Even if they don't have any symptoms, sexual partners of someone diagnosed with Chlamydia need to seek medical help.
Chlamydia is treatable with antibiotics. If detected early on and treated well, chlamydial symptoms can alleviate within 7 to 10 days. If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to serious long-term complications that can appear months or even years after the person is infected. This may heightens the risk of infecting other people. Chlamydia medications that are available currently in the market are effective treatment.
Once treated, about 3 months after treatment, a young person is encouraged to be screened for chlamydia again. 20% of young women are re-exposed to chlamydia and need to be treated again. A sexual partner who hasn't been adequately treated is the most common reason for recurring symptoms and exposure.
Those who have been diagnosed of chlamydia or any other STD should inform their partners as soon as possible. Sexual partners should also be examined and treated for chlamydia and other STDs along with the one infected to prevent complications, and avoid the cyclical spreading of the infections to one another. Report any possible Chlamydia symptom to your nearest private clinic to gain early detection of a spreading infection.