Chlamydia Symptoms in Women
Chlamydia is a serious and potentially life-altering sexually transmitted disease (STD). While the disease can affect both men and women, its effects can be particularly devastating for females. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility in women and can also increase the risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies. As such, it is very important to be aware of the common chlamydia symptoms in women. However, understand that not all women who have been affected with chlamydia will have symptoms. In the roughly 25% of infected women who do experience chlamydia symptoms, many mistake these symptoms for other conditions or problems, thus not getting the treatment they so desperately need. Definitely look out for chlamydia symptoms, but, whether you experience them or not, make the effort to get tested for chlamydia and other STDs regularly if you engage or have engaged in unprotected sexual activity.
Common Chlamydia Symptoms in Women
Be aware that any changes in or around a woman’s vagina, menstrual cycle, or general health always merit medical attention. With that said, however, some symptoms that may be indicative of chlamydia and that point to an immediate need for STD testing include:
- Unusual vaginal discharge that may or may not have a foul odor
- Lower stomach pain with or without a fever
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Painful intercourse or vaginal foreplay
- Bleeding during or after intercourse
- Itching in and around the vagina
- Burning in and around the vagina
- Painful or burning urination
How Chlamydia Spreads
Chlamydia is spread through unprotected sexual contact of any kind. Women who engage in standard intercourse can be vaginally infected. And, while vaginal cases are the most common, the anus (in the case of anal sex) and the mouth (in the case of oral sex) can also be infected. You can also spread chlamydia to the eye by touching the eye area after coming into contact with the bacteria that causes chlamydia.
Fortunately, wherever it occurs, chlamydia can be treated. If it is caught early enough, it can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics and without causing irreversible damage or fertility problems. When left untreated, however, chlamydia may require hospitalization for female sufferers. Furthermore, chlamydia can spread to a woman’s unborn child and cause serious complications, so women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant and who have or have had unprotected sex especially need to be checked out.
As soon as chlamydia is contracted, it can be spread to others. As such, women should not engage in unprotected sexual contact with others if they think they may have chlamydia or are waiting on test results. Women should also not engage in unprotected sex while undergoing treatment for chlamydia. In order to be truly “clean” of chlamydia and unable to pass it onto others, an infected woman should have completed treatment, been retested, and have tested negative for chlamydia.
A person who has recovered from chlamydia may still be reinfected, however, so practicing safe sex is vital whether you have had chlamydia in the past or not.