Chlamydia - Sexually Transmitted Disease
What is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a sexually
transmitted disease (STD) that infects both men and women. In men it affects
the urethra of the penis. In women Chlamydia affects
the cervix, the upper reproductive organs, or the urethra, or some combination
of all three. Chlamydia can also affect the rectum or the conjunctiva (the
lining of the eyeball). Chlamydia is bacterial in nature and also the most
common STD in the US.
The bacterium responsible for Chlamydia is Chlamydia Trachomatis. Chlamydia and
Gonorrhea are very similar and can
sometimes be misdiagnosed as the other. It is also possible to be infected with
both Chlamydia and Gonorrhea a the same time. The symptoms of Chlamydia can be
silent, which means you may not know you have Chlamydia for a long time.
How Chlamydia Spreads
Chlamydia can be spread during any kind of sexual contact, including
vaginal sexual intercourse and anal
sex. It is also be
possible to spread it during oral sex.
infected with Chlamydia can infect their sexual partner at any time, even if
symptoms are not present. The infected person is contagious until they have been
treated by a medical professional. An important fact about Chlamydia is that you
are not protected from future infections if you have had Chlamydia in the past
and have been treated and cured.
You will become infected every time you are exposed to this STD. 80% of women
who become infected with Chlamydia will not show symptoms, whereas in men, only
half will show no symptoms of being infected. This does not preclude them from
How to Prevent Chlamydia
Besides abstaining from sexual contact, how can you prevent
Using latex condoms each and every time during any sexual
contact is one way to prevent chlamydia. This will lower your risk significantly
if the condoms are properly used during all sexual encounters.
Having a long-term relationship that is monogamous for both
partners is another good way. Of course, both partners need to be tested for
chlamydia early on during the relationship to know that they are both uninfected
from the start.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
The incubation period of this disease (the time it takes from exposure to
the time you show symptoms) is anywhere from one week to fifteen months. The
usual length of incubation of Chlamydia is one to three weeks. This is if
symptoms appear at all. It is important to note that Chlamydia may not show
symptoms until it has spread to other areas of the body.
Symptoms of Chlamydia are very similar to Gonorrhea and this STD can be
misdiagnosed as such sometimes. Often the early symptoms of Chlamydia can be
very mild. Chlamydia male and female symptoms are included below.
Symptoms of Chlamydia for Men:
· A slimy or watery discharge from the penis.
· Conjunctivitis. Pink-eye. This is a
rare symptom, having conjunctivitis does not necessarily mean you have
· Tenderness in the scrotum or anus.
· A crust forming at the top of the penis.
· Painful urination or an itching sensation
when urinating. This is often the first symptom.
· Cloudy urine.
Symptoms of Chlamydia for Women:
· Abnormal vaginal discharge.
· Painful or itchy urination. This is often the
· Abnormal bleeding during vaginal sex
or between menses.
· Irregular menstruation.
· Genital itching.
· Swollen Bartholin glands.
· General tiredness and fever.
· Lower abdominal pain.
· Pain in the lumbar region of the back (lower
Chlamydia Diagnosis and Treatment
Chlamydia is diagnosed through an examination and a medical history. Samples
of bodily fluids taken from the penis or vagina may also be taken for cultures
to determine it definitively. A urine test may also be used, and is less
invasive than taking fluids from the penis or the vagina.
Chlamydia has no long- term effects as long as it is treated effectively and
quickly. If Chlamydia is
left untreated it can lead to many complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory
Disease in women, infertility, and epididymitis. Chlamydia is treated using
antibiotics. It is very important to take these as prescribed since the bacteria
can build up a resistance to the antibiotics if taken improperly. This can make
it much harder to treat.
For more information see these resources provided by the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline
1-800-227-8922 or 1-800-342-2437
American Social Health Association
P.O. Box 13827
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-9940
The following resources are provided by the Center for Disease Control:
STD Prevention (DSTDP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
health inquiries and information about STDs:
STD and AIDS Hotlines
(800) 227-8922 or (800) 342-2437
En Espanol (800) 344-7432
TTY for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (800) 243-7889
Prevention Information Network (NPIN)
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849-6003
Social Health Association (ASHA)
P. O. Box 13827
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3827
STD questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chlamydia can be prevented, treated and cured. If you have the
symptoms above or want to be sure that you are not infected, you and your
partner should be tested for Chlamydia infection by a medical