What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) amongst sexually active young people. It is a type of bacterial infection that is commonly spread through vagina, anal, and oral intercourse. It may also spread from an infected pregnant mother to the baby during childbirth. For women, untreated chlamydia may lead to serious consequences such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and even infertility. An infected baby may also present with eye and lung infections.
What are the symptoms of chlamydia?
Symptoms of chlamydia for women include:
Foul-smelling, bloody, or purulent vaginal discharge
Pelvic or abdominal pain
Symptoms of chlamydia for men may include:
abnormal penile discharge
Pain and swelling in the testicles
Patients may also experience flu-like symptoms. If chlamydia is transmitted through anal sex, both men and women may experience pain when passing motion, or notice discharge and bleeding from the anus.
If you experience any of the above symptoms or if you are unsure, it is best to consult a doctor. He/she/they will be able to take some samples for testing and recommend the right treatment for you.
Is chlamydia curable? How is chlamydia treated?
The good news is that chlamydia can be cured. Treatment for chlamydia requires a course of antibiotics. During this period, please refrain from having sexual intercourse until you have completed treatment.
Should I test for chlamydia even if I do not have any symptoms?
Yes, as chlamydia is extremely common amongst young people, it is recommended to screen regularly for chlamydia if you are sexually active. Most countries recommend an annual screening for sexually active women, however guidelines may vary so please consult a doctor if you are unsure. While there are no recommendations for routine testing for men, annual screening is still recommended for men who have sex with men (MSM) due to the high prevalence of chlamydia.
For more information, check out: https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm