Chlamydia trachomatis, or just chlamydia, is a common curable bacterial sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is caused by the pathogen bacterium. This bacteria affects the cervix in women and the urethra and rectum in woman and men. But it can been found in other areas, such as the lining of the eyelid and throat.
This STD is common, with around 90 million cases reported annually word-wide. Most cases are female, and between the ages of puberty and young adults.
How it is transmitted?
As this is also known as the silent disease, approximately 70–95 percent of women and 50 percent of men with chlamydia do not observe chlamydia symptoms at all. And in many cases the transmission from one partner to another occurs without detection.
It is transmitted through unprotected intercourse (vaginal, anal) with an infected partner oral sex, although a less common cause of infection as bacteria chlamydia trachomatis targets the genital area rather than the throat. Although it is possible the transmission from mouthtopenis and penistomouth are rare. But the vagina, cervix, anus, penis or mouth will get infected if they are in contact with the infected discharges. The bacteria can also be transmitted even if the penis or tongue does not enter the vagina or anus. That is since the bacteria can travel from the vaginal area to the anus or rectum of women while wiping with toilet paper, sharing sex toys, or from mother to the new-born during vaginal childbirth through the infected birth channel. But the bacteria can also be transferred from infected areas like the genitals to other areas of the body like the eyes through touch and the use of fingers.
Still, chlamydia is not contracted through simple kissing, handshaking, any casual contacts, sharing baths, towels and cups as well as from toilet seats.
There is a risk of passing chlamydia from the pregnant infected woman to her baby during delivery which makes it obligatory to treat the disease during the pregnancy. The treatment is absolutely safe with the right antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
Symptoms of chlamydia
Unusual or abnormal vaginal discharge, sometimes yellowish and smelly painful and frequent urinating bleeding between periods or heavy periods. Also painful sex or bleeding after sex, or pain in the lower abdominal. And sometimes with nausea and low-grade fever swelled skin inside the vagina or around the anus.
White/cloudy, watery discharge from the tip of the penis. Also painful urinating, and testicular pain and/or swelling, as well as swollen skin around the anus.
Depending on the infected area, women, men and children may experience inflamed rectum, urethra or eyelids. The symptoms of mouth and throat infections are rare, although some can suffer a sore throat. Eyes infected with chlamydia can be itchy, swelled, and can cause painful sensations or produce discharge similar to conjunctivitis. Infection in the rectum results in bleeding, chlamydia discharge and pain.
Testing for Chlamydia
Tests are needed to diagnose chlamydia. These are accurate and easy to take. Swab tests taking samples of the cells and fluid from the penis, cervix, urethra or anus. For men, the swab test at the tip of the penis maybe uncomfortable with a burning sensation. Alternatively an urine tests can be done.
Patients are treated with antibiotic, like azithromycin and doxycycline. Depending on the type of chlamydia, the treatment be from a single dose to 2 weeks. Patients are advised to abstain from sex till tested negative. With 3-4 months later, retesting is recommended.
Patients being treated for chlamydia are often treated for gonorrhea as well because the symptoms are similar and a person can be infected of both (about 50% of patients suffer both diseases together).
Woman can struggle to get pregnant. The reproductive system can be impacted, even resulting to infertility.
With the infection been untreated it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in woman, as it spreads to the womb and fallopian tubes, and cause damage and even long-term health problems.
Inflammation of the urinary bladder, or the cervix in woman
Men can suffer painful inflammation of the inner structures of the testicles that can reduced fertility or cause sterility. This can also lead to arthritis. If the urethra is infected kidney problems can develop.
Use condoms during sex. Chlamydia is contracted even if the penis or tongue does not fully enter the vagina or anus. Also avoid using water based spermicides as nonoxynol9 as they are ineffective halting the transferal of chlamydia to another person.