Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia. The disease can cause to urinary, rectal, vaginal, cervical and eye lesions. Lesions of throat are less common in cases of chlamydia than in cases of gonorrhea.
The most common ways of transmission are through unprotected sexual intercourse, such as vaginal and anal penetrations. The chance of getting infected through one time unprotected intercourse is 50%. There is also a risk of transmission of chlamydia through oral sex, but it is less likely.
The chance of infection through casual contacts is quite less as well. This is due to the fact that chlamydia dies shortly outside the human body. In order to be infected a significant amount of chlamydia is required to penetrate in human body, which cannot be done during casual contacts. Thus, you can’t catch Chlamydia from contact with toilet seats, public bath tubs, swimming pools, sharing plates or cutlery, towels, etc.
The chlamydia incubation period is around one to three weeks.
Chlamydia symptoms are different for men and women.
Chlamydia symptoms in men include:
- discharge from the tip of the penis (usually small amounts of clear discharge)
- painful urination
Chlamydia symptoms in women include:
- vaginal discharge
- pain when urinating
- bleeding between periods
- pain in the lower part of the belly
It’s worth nothing, that chlamydia often causes no symptoms (both for men and women), which becomes a reason for late diagnoses and treatment, which also increase the risk of complications.
Complications of chlamydia
In men complications sometimes include inflamination of the prostate. In women, most often chlamydia complications express with inflammation of the uterus, which is one of the reasons for infertility.
Reiter’s syndrome is also considered to be one of complications of chlamydia, which expresses with inflammation of the urinary tract /urethritis/ (cervical inflammations in women), inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) and joints.
It’s worth mentioning that the risk of complications increase when being infected with chlamydia for the second time.
From all the above mentioned information it is to be concluded how important the prevention of STIs. The detection of STIs in a proper time and effective treatment is of great importance, as vestiges of some old and chronic STIs could be the reason for sexual dysfunction, infertility or sterility. Without diagnosis and treatment of chlamydia on time, it is impossible to recover and have a sustainable result of (married) couple’s sexual functioning.
It is extremely important to warn your partners about your infections and STIs, as well as to ask about his/her sexual health, even in cases when nothing is bothering the partner.