Chlamydia Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

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Chlamydia Causes and Symptoms

In the UK, as many as one in ten women under the age of 25 are though to be affected by chlamydia, making it one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of STD. In Sexually Transmitted Infections – The Essential Guide, Heaton-Harris explains that chlamydia is caused by a bacterium known as “chlamydia trachomatis” and is a silent disease, with as many as 75% of sufferers having no symptoms. Symptoms of chlamydia in women include the following:

  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • burning when urinating
  • lower abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • raised temperature or fever
  • pain during sex
  • bleeding between periods

While symptoms of chlamydia in men may include:

  • abnormal discharge
  • burning when urinating
  • burning at opening of penis
  • itching at opening of penis

In Optingl Health, Dine acknowledges that chlamydia symptoms may not show up until between two and four weeks after becoming infected, making it easy to see why the STD is so easily spread. Painless ulceration is estimated to affect approximately 25% of those affected, while men may suffer from scrotal pain and a whitish discharge.

Chlamydia Prevention and Treatment

Chlamydia is typically diagnosed by a doctor or nurse taking a swab sample of ulcers or discharge, which is then sent to the laboratory for examination. The best way to prevent suffering from chlamydia and a whole range of nasty STDs is by ensuring new partners are tested before having sex and always wearing a condom. Annual chlamydia screening may be available through the family doctor or local sexual health or STD clinic.

Jones identifies that standard treatment for chlamydia involves a one to thee week course of doxycycline or erythromicin. Sexual partners must also be contacted as they may require treatment, despite having no symptoms. However, as recognized by Heaton-Harris, if chlamydia is left untreated, the following health complications may occur:

  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • increased risk of contracting HIV
  • risk of infertility
  • infected uterus
  • inclusion conjunctivitis in newborns
  • arthritis
  • skin lesions

Chlamydia is a very common form of sexually transmitted disease (STD) which often has no symptoms, making it easily spreadable. Chlamydia prevention requires always wearing a condom and may be treated with medication, such as doxycycline or erythromycin.