Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD), especially among people under 25. It is spread through vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse and oral sex. Chlamydia trachomatis is an infection that is spread “fluid to fluid”, meaning an infected person’s secretions need to come in contact with the mucous membranes or blood stream of another: this means you can contract Chlamydia without penetration.
This disease can also be transmitted from mother to baby during childbirth. Since most people infected with Chlamydia have no symptoms, it is called the “Silent Disease.” The lack of symptoms of a Chlamydia infection not only causes a delay in treatment, but also makes it easier for the disease to spread.
There is evidence that a Chlamydial infection in a pregnant woman can lead to premature delivery. Babies born to infected mothers can also get Chlamydial infections in their eyes and respiratory tracts. The disease is a leading cause of early infant pneumonia and conjunctivitis (pink eye) in newborns. Transmission of Chlamydia cannot be prevented by washing the genitals, urinating, and/or douching after sex. Any unusual discharge, burning during urination or pain particularly in the groin area, should be a signal to stop all sexual activity and visit a doctor immediately.
Chlamydia’s main dangers stem from this fact that it is such a “quiet” disease. Left untreated, Chlamydia can spread into the uterus and adversely affect a woman’s sexual health: in the uterus it can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and damage a woman’s reproductive organs, especially the fallopian tubes, which carry the egg from the ovaries to the uterus. This could cause infertility problems and/or ectopic pregnancies. When PID is caused by a Chlamydial infection, a woman may be more likely to experience only mild symptoms of the disease even when serious damage is being done to her reproductive organs. Because of its vague symptoms, the infection can go unrecognized by women and their healthcare providers. Women who do have symptoms of PID most commonly have lower abdominal pain. Other signs and symptoms include fever, unusual vaginal discharge that may have a foul odor, painful intercourse, painful urination, irregular menstrual bleeding, and pain in the right upper abdomen (rare).
If symptoms are present, the symptoms of Chlamydia in women are:
- Vaginal discharge
- Painful urination
The symptoms for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) from Chlamydia or Gonorrhea are:
- Low-grade fever
- Non-menstrual bleeding
- Painful intercourse
- Lower abdominal pain
The symptoms of Chlamydia in men are:
- Swollen or overly–sensitive testicles
- Painful urination
- Discharge from the penis
- Rectal inflammation
In men, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can spread to the epididymis, the tube that connects the testicle with the vas deferens. It can result in:
- Blood in the semen
- Discharge from the urethra (the opening at the end of the penis)
- Discomfort in the lower abdomen or pelvis
- Severe groin pain
- Lump in the testicle
- Pain during ejaculation
- Pain or burning during urination
- Painful scrotal swelling (epididymis is enlarged)
- Tender, swollen groin area on affected side
- Testicle pain that worsens during a bowel movement
Chlamydia testing at CAPS Pregnancy + Medical Clinics is simple, quick, and private to ensure your comfort and peace of mind. It is done via a urine test, which consists of taking a sample of first stream urine. If you are experiencing symptoms of Chlamydia on the mouth or anus, we can refer you to a low-cost clinic. Fortunately, after it is detected through a standard STD test, there is treatment for Chlamydia with a simple, one-time dose of prescription antibiotics.
It is important to know about Chlamydia and the symptoms of Chlamydia. CAPS offers education on the causes, symptoms, and treatment for Chlamydia. If you think you might have Chlamydia, you should get tested.
CDC Chlamydia information: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm
To get STI / STD testing help, contact us at any of the San Diego area clinic locations, call us at 619-337-8080, or schedule an appointment.
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