Chlamydia is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can affect far more than just your sexual health. It is a commonly contracted STD. In the U.S. alone, an average of one out of ten young adults, mostly women, is likely to test positive for the infection.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection passed on from one person to another through unprotected sexual intercourse. The bacteria that causes the infection is called Chlamydia trachomatis. The infection can affect both men and women. Women are more likely to get infected in the cervix, rectum, or throat. Men get infected in the urethra, rectum, or throat.
Unprotected sex is the primary method through which the infection can spread. Practicing unsafe sex methods, including oral sex, can increase the risk of an affected individual passing the infection to another. In many countries, chlamydia is the number one STD diagnosed among sexually active patients.
Using a condom while having sex can significantly reduce the chances of contracting chlamydia, while other forms of birth control or protection that don’t act as a barrier method are usually ineffective.
Babies can also catch the infection if the mother has an infection during pregnancy and childbirth.
Chlamydia is a treatable infection and should not cause long-term negative effects. However, untreated chlamydia or having multiple chlamydia infections over a period of time could cause complications like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and ectopic pregnancy.
Generally, chlamydia symptoms are quite noticeable. However, it may happen that an individual doesn’t realize they are experiencing symptoms of the infection, and then have a greater chance of passing it on to someone else without their knowledge.
In most cases, chlamydia infection symptoms vary according to biological gender. For women, chlamydia may cause:
On the other hand, men may experience:
If and when the infection stays in the body for long, it can spread and worsen. The infected person might experience lower abdominal pain, nausea, or fever.
The earlier an infection is detected, the easier it is to treat. As a proactive measure, men and women under 25 years of age should be tested at least once a year if they are sexually active, have multiple partners, or have recently gotten a new partner. Left untreated, chlamydia can cause discomfort and health risks that can affect other aspects of your well-being.
Chlamydia is typically treated with antibiotics. Around 95% of patients who take their medication correctly are cured of the infection. If you test positive for chlamydia, a doctor may prescribe either azithromycin or doxycycline. To prevent spreading the infection to your sexual partner, you should wait seven days after a single dose antibiotic or to the end of a seven-day course of antibiotics before having sexual intercourse again.
Before deciding on a treatment method, it’s important to discuss dosage and possible side effects with your doctor.
If you have been diagnosed with chlamydia and would like more information, CallonDoc can help. We offer quick, private, and affordable doctor’s consultations via online forms, phone calls, or video chats. CallonDoc also offers at-home test kits and lab testing to easily confirm your diagnosis. To learn more about how to treat chlamydia, visit CallonDoc today and set up an online appointment.