Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis and doesn't have any defined symptoms and hence, most people who suffer from it are not even aware of their status. Of all the sexually transmitted diseases, Chlamydia is the most common.
And, since it doesn't have any defined symptoms, it is transmitted unknowingly from one person to another. Chlamydia can also be passed on from mother to child, if the mother suffers from Chlamydia while she is pregnant. Here are a few things you should know about this sexually transmitted disease.
Symptoms: Symptoms of Chlamydia are noticeable within 1-3 weeks of unprotected intercourse. The symptoms of Chlamydia are different in men and women.
Symptoms in Men
Symptoms in Women
A simple urine test or lab test can be used to diagnose Chlamydia. For the lab test, the doctor will take a sample swab from a man's urethra or a woman's cervix.
Once diagnosed, Chlamydia can be easily treated. In most cases, oral antibiotics will cure the patient in a week or two. It is important to complete the antibiotic course even if the symptoms disappear early. In some cases, women with severe Chlamydia may need to be hospitalized for intravenous treatment.
With Chlamydia, it is important not only for you to get yourself treated, but to also get your partner treated. This will eliminate the chances of the disease recurring. You must also test yourself after three months to ensure that the disease has been completely cured.
Chlamydia can affect your health badly, if left untreated. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which may make the woman infertile by affecting her fallopian tubes. It could also increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy and premature birth. Further, remember that Chlamydia can also be passed on from mother to child if left untreated. This can cause the newborn to have an eye infection or pneumonia at the time of birth. If left untreated in men, Chlamydia can cause nongonococcal urethritis, epididymitis and proctitis. The first is an infection of the urethra; the second, an infection of the tube that carries the sperm from the testis and the third is an inflammation of the rectum.
Like all STDs, Chlamydia can be prevented by the use of a condom and fidelity between sexual partners.