Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Fortunately, however, it is also a treatable one. The sooner you seek treatment for chlamydia, the less likely it is that you will suffer severe adverse effects from the disease. With that said, however, not everyone will display or notice the symptoms. As such, if you engage in unprotected sex, you are strongly advised to be tested for chlamydia and other STDs on a regular basis. Remember, as well, that you can greatly reduce or even eliminate your risk of contracting most STDs by practicing safe sex each and every time you engage in sexual activity!
Chlamydia can and does affect both men and women. Women can suffer the most serious adverse effects, however, since the disease can make it difficult or even impossible for a woman to get pregnant and successfully bear a child later in life. Typically, if chlamydia is treated early enough, it will not affect fertility.
The disease can be spread through all types of sexual activity, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
There are some recognizable chlamydia symptoms. However, not every person will have symptoms or will notice them. The early signs of chlamydia are often written off as being due to other problems, such as yeast infections in women. Anyone who does experience possible chlamydia symptoms should visit a doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms include:
- Burning or pain during urination
- Unexplained testicle pain
- Vaginal or penile discharge
- Pain during intercourse
- Unexplained stomach pains
- Bleeding between periods
- Running a fever
- Itching or burning of the genitals
If you think you may have chlamydia, visiting your doctor is the only way to know for sure. Until you are certain about whether or not you have the disease, you should refrain from engaging in unprotected sexual contact to avoid passing the disease onto others.
Typically, a doctor will take a small swab from the urethra (males) or the cervix (females) and will then send the sample off to a lab to be analyzed and tested. Results can take a few days to come back.
In most cases, if you are diagnosed with chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe a course of oral antibiotics. The antibiotics typically rid your system of the disease in a week to two weeks, but you should not engage in unprotected sexual contact with others until you have completed the antibiotic course and have been re-tested and come back negative for chlamydia.
In severe cases, such as when chlamydia has gone untreated for a long period of time, hospitalization may be necessary, which is yet another reason to be tested regularly if you engage or have engaged in unprotected sexual activity.
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, it is your responsibility to contact past partners whom you have had unprotected sexual contact with and to let them know that they may have been infected. Remember, you can avoid this situation and the disease itself by choosing safe sex every time!