Definition: What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The pathogenic bacterium responsible for the infection is Chlamydia trachomatis.
Chlamydia is the most common STI among young people (16-24 years old). It affects women more than men.
Because chlamydia is often asymptomatic, it is often under-diagnosed. That said, even if it is easy to treat, it can lead to serious complications if it is not detected early.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
In most cases, people with chlamydia have no symptoms. This is the case for approximately 75% of women, and 50% of men. If it occurs, the infection can be very restrictive.
Chlamydia in men - the first signs of chlamydia are located in the urethra:
- abnormal whitish or yellowish discharge
- pain in the scrotum
Chlamydia in women - the first signs of chlamydia appear in the cervix:
- unusual vaginal discharge
- bleeding between periods and after sex
- pain during sexual intercourse
- pain during urination
- abdominal or lower back pain
If left untreated, chlamydia can have serious complications. In women, the infection can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. In men, it can cause inflammation of the prostate (prostatis) or epididymis. Chlamydia can also increase the risk of HIV transmission.
Causes of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection. It spreads during sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral). To prevent the disease, it is important to take protective measures, such as using contraception. In some cases, it can be passed from mother to child during delivery.
Treatment for Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a silent disease. As such, do not wait until symptoms appear before getting a medical consultation. Regular examinations can quickly identify the infection, allowing a doctor to treat it as quickly and effectively as possible.
Because chlamydia is of bacterial origin, its treatment is antibiotics-based. The choice of antibiotic is made by the doctor, and depends on the patient and the severity of the infection. What's more, it is recommended to forego sexual intercourse until one week after the end of treatment.
In some cases, the infection can persist following the end of treatment. Therefore, new screening tests are performed several months later to ensure complete recovery.