What is Chlamydia Infection?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis). Once the person is infected, they can spread chlamydia to their partners through intercourse, anal sex, or oral sex. Infections can also occur when partners share sex toys that have been contaminated with chlamydia bacteria. According to estimates, 40 to 96 per cent of those with chlamydia have no symptoms. Chlamydia, on the other hand, can potentially produce health problems in the future.

Infections with Chlamydia can be treated and even cured. It is, however, critical to get treatment as soon as feasible. If left untreated, chlamydia can have significant repercussions; therefore, it's important to obtain frequent testing and speak with a doctor or another physician if they have any concerns.

Chlamydia Infection

Symptoms of Chlamydia Infection

Early-stage infections with Chlamydia trachomatis frequently have little or no symptoms. Even when signs and symptoms appear, they are frequently minor, making them easy to detect. However, certain chlamydia symptoms may differ somewhat between men and women.

Chlamydia Symptoms in Men

Many men are unaware of the signs and symptoms of chlamydia. The majority of males show no signs or symptoms at all. The following are some of the men's most prevalent chlamydia symptoms:

  • Yellow or green discharge from the penis
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pain in the testicles
  • Burning sensation during urination

It’s also possible to get a chlamydia infection in the anus. In this case, the main symptoms are often:

  • discharge
  • Pain
  • bleeding from this area

Chlamydia Symptoms in Women

Many guys aren't aware of chlamydia's indications and symptoms. Some of the most common chlamydia symptoms in guys are as follows:

  • Painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Burning sensation during nation
  • Inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis)
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Vaginal discharge

Chlamydia may infect the rectum as well. A woman with a chlamydia infection in the rectum may not have any symptoms. Rectal discomfort, discharge, and bleeding are all possible signs of a rectal infection


When to see a doctor?

If a person has a discharge from the vaginal, penis, or rectum, or if they have pain when urinating, they should see a doctor. Also, if someone discovers their sexual partner with chlamydia, he or she should visit a doctor. The doctor will most likely prescribe an antibiotic even if the person has no symptoms.

Get the best treatment for Chlamydia Infection from our Gynaecologist at Medicover Hospitals.


Causes

When vaginal fluid or sperm with the bacterium that causes chlamydia passes from one person to another, chlamydia infections spread through sexual contact. All forms of sex are included in sexual contact, including sex that does not involve penetration or ejaculation. Fluids from one person's genitals can spread the bacterium that causes chlamydia in various ways.

Intercourse

Bacteria pass from one person's penis to their partner's vagina or vice versa during intercourse.

Anal Sex

Bacteria can move from one person's penis to their partner's anus or vice versa during anal sex.

Oral Sex

Bacteria can travel from one person's mouth to their partner's penis, vagina, anus, or vice versa during oral sex.

Sex Involving Toys

Bacteria can spread from a toy to a person's mouth, penis, vagina, or anus.

Manual Stimulation of the Genitals or Anus

Infected vaginal fluid or sperm can occasionally come into touch with a person's eye, resulting in conjunctivitis. This can happen by contacting an infected person's genitals and wiping their eyes without first washing their hands.


Risk factors

Chlamydia trachomatis is caused by several factors, including

  • Being sexually active before age 25
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Not using a condom consistently
  • History of sexually transmitted infection

Complications

If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to a variety of issues in both men and women.
In women, chlamydia can cause complications such as

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Infertility
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • A higher chance of ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants outside the womb.
  • Premature birth, infection transmission to the baby, miscarriage, or stillbirth are complications that can occur during pregnancy.
  • Reactive arthritis

In men, chlamydia complications includes

  • Inflammation of the testicles, epididymitis, or epididymo-orchitis
  • Reactive arthritis where the joints, eyes, or urethra becomes inflamed
  • Inflamed rectum

Chlamydia Prevention

Using a condom or other barrier technique during sexual intercourse is the most effective strategy for a sexually active individual to avoid catching chlamydia. It is suggested that you:

  • Use a barrier strategy with each new sexual partner
  • Test for STIs frequently with new partners
  • Avoid having oral sex or use protection during oral sex until you and a new partner have been tested for STIs
  • Following these steps can prevent you from getting infections, unexpected pregnancies, and other problems
  • STI prevention can be highly successful if done correctly

How is Chlamydia Infection diagnosed

Diagnosis

When seeing a doctor for chlamydia, they will almost certainly inquire about the symptoms. If symptoms are present, the doctor may perform a physical examination. This allows them to look for any discharge, lesions, or odd places that might indicate an infection. Swabs of the vaginal mucosa in women and urine tests in males are the most efficient diagnostic tests for chlamydia. Chlamydia testing is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sexually Active Women aged 25 or Under

An annual screening test is suggested since they are at the highest risk of chlamydia infection. You should be tested again if you've had a new sex partner in the last year.

Pregnant women

should be tested for chlamydia after their first prenatal visit. Individuals should be tested again later in the pregnancy if they have a significant risk of infection due to shifting sex partners or the potential of the typical partner being contaminated.

Women and Men

who have several sexual partners or don't always use a condom and men who have sex with guys should get chlamydia testing done regularly. Increased risk is also indicated by current infection with another sexually transmitted infection and potential exposure to an STI through an infected partner.
Chlamydia screening is quite simple. The tests include the following:

Urine Test

The existence of this illness is determined by analysing a sample of your urine in a laboratory.

Swab

If you're a woman, the doctor will take a swab of the cervical discharge for chlamydia culture or antigen testing. During a standard Pap test, this can be done. Some women choose to swab their vaginal tissues themselves, which has been proved to be as accurate as swabs acquired from a specialist.
To get a sample from the urethra, the doctor inserts a thin swab into the end of the penis. Your doctor may swab the anus in some circumstances./p>


Treatment

Chlamydia is a disease which can be treated. Since it is a bacterial infection, doctors may prescribe drugs to treat it. A doctor will most likely prescribe azithromycin (Zithromax) or doxycycline as an oral antibiotic if someone has chlamydia. They also recommend that you and your partner(s) get treated to prevent illness transfer and reinfection. With treatment, the infection should go away in a week or two. Even if the patients are feeling better, they must finish their antibiotics.
Women with a severe chlamydia infection may need to be admitted to the hospital and receive intravenous antibiotics (medicine given through a vein) and pain medication. After the patient has finished the medications, they should be retested in three months to check that the infection has cleared up. This is extremely important if you have any reservations about how their partner(s) was treated. Even if their partner(s) has(have) been treated, they should still be checked. Do not engage in sexual activity unless you are certain that neither you nor your partner(s) is infected.


Do’s and Don’ts

A diagnosis of Chlamydia comes as a major surprise to the people and their families. However, the specified dos and don'ts can assist in avoiding the negative outcomes of the disease. The following are some guidelines:

Do’sDon’ts
Use condoms and dental dams if you have sexHave sexual contact with someone who has it
Maintain a high level of personal hygieneprefer sex without completing the treatment
Get Tested for STDs if you see symptomsShare your personal products with others
Use the antibiotics prescribedStop medication without completing the course
Tell your partner about past and present sexual partners who may have ChlamydiaHave multiple sex partners if you have symptoms

Precautions and self-care will help you fight the condition positively and improve your quality of life.


Chlamydia Infection Care at Medicover

At Medicover, we have the best team of Gynaecologists and infectious disease doctors who work together to provide Chlamydia disease treatment with utmost precision. Our highly skilled team utilises the latest medical equipment, diagnostic procedures and technologies to treat various gynaecological conditions and ailments. For treating Chlamydia, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to provide comprehensive care to the patients and attend to all their medical needs at once for faster and sustained recovery.

Citations

https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/
https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/std-chlamydia.html
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/symptoms/

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