Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that’s spread by having unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person. The infected individual carries bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis in their genital secretions and urine. The infection then spreads to other areas of the reproductive tract leading to diseases like vaginitis, urethritis, and pelvic inflammatory infections.
Although most people who have Chlamydia don’t have symptoms, there are some things you can watch out for as they can indicate infection. Women with the STI have an unusual vaginal discharge, feel pain when passing urine, have light virginal bleeding after sex, and feel pain in the lower abdomen. The men will typically have a discharge from the penis and experience pain when urinating.
Since most people don’t experience pain or other symptoms, medical professionals gauge risk of infection based on sexual history. This includes finding out if the patient has had unprotected sex. To confirm infection, the medical professional will ask for a urine sample or swab fluid from the cervix and then test it. If you have engaged in risky sexual behaviour, you should get tested as soon as possible. This will make sure that you are treated before the disease causes any damage to your body.
Fortunately, Chlamydia is treated in almost all medical facilities. If the doctor confirms that you are infected, they will provide you with the best choice of medication to take. If you take the medication as prescribed, the infection should clear soon and chances of developing further complications will reduce. You should, however, not share the medication with other people; the doctors test patients to check if they are infected before deciding on a course of treatment.
When seeking Chlamydia treatment, you should abstain from sexual intercourse until you have completed your medication. If you are taking a single medication dose, wait for at least a week before engaging in sexual activity. If you are unsure, you could always ask your doctor when it’s okay to resume sexual activity. You should also get tested after a couple of months to make sure that there is no repeat infection, which happens in some patients.
After treatment, take measures to avoid getting infected again. Since Chlamydia is transmitted sexually, ensure that you have protected sexual intercourse with one uninfected person, and that you use condoms when having sex. Also get regular pelvic checkups if you are at risk of contracting the disease. People who have risk of infection include:
•Anyone who has had unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex
•Gay men are also likely to get infected since Chlamydia is commonly spread through anal and oral sex
•Sexually active younger women
•Older women with many sexual partners
•Pregnant women who are younger than 25 years
•Older pregnant women who have multiple partners
Although Chlamydia is treatable, it is important to get tested for early diagnosis. If you do not get immediate treatment, it could be disastrous for you and others. The STD can cause infertility, tubal pregnancy, and pelvic pain that don’t go away in women. It also leads to pneumonia and eye infections in newborns of mothers who have the disease. That’s why you should get checked as soon as you suspect infection. Most importantly, avoid engaging in risky sexual behaviour.
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