Know all about Chlamydia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis). Once a person is infected, they can pass chlamydia to their partner through sexual intercourse. Infection can also occur when partners share sex toys that have been infected with the bacteria that causes chlamydia.
The bacteria that causes chlamydia is transmitted through vaginal fluids and semen, meaning people of both sexes who have sex can catch chlamydia and infect their partners. If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass it on to your newborn baby.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
Most people with chlamydia don't see any symptoms. Only about 10% of men and 5-30% of women experience symptoms.
It's also unclear how long it will take before symptoms appear, but it may take several weeks.
In women, symptoms of chlamydia can include:
- Secretions from the cervix
- Easy bleeding
- Frequent or painful urination
When chlamydia spreads to the uterus and fallopian tubes, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). It also may not cause any symptoms. However, it can affect fertility in women.
In men, symptoms can include pain, tenderness, and swelling of the testicles or urethra, the tube that carries urine.
Both men and women can experience symptoms in the rectum and anus. The virus can infect the area during anal sex or spread through the reproductive organs.
Main symptoms include:
- Rectal pain
- Discharge from the rectum or bleeding
- Contact with infected secretions can also cause chlamydial conjunctivitis (pink eye).
Laboratory tests have found chlamydia in the throats of people who have oral sex with someone who has the infection. However, this usually does not cause any symptoms.
Causes and Risk factors of Chlamydia
- Chlamydia is an STI caused by a certain strain of bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.
- It is transmitted through vaginal discharge or semen and can be transmitted through genital contact or oral, vaginal, or anal sex without barrier method like condom.
- Chlamydia is more common in women than men. In fact, the overall infection rate for women in the United States is estimated to be twice than that for men.
Some other risk factors for infection are:
- Consistent avoidance of barrier methods such as condoms for new sexual partners.
- Have a sexual partner who has sex with other people.
- With a history of chlamydia or other STIs.
Signs of Chlamydia
Chlamydia can affect body parts other than your reproductive organs, for example:
Anal:You may feel pain, discomfort, bleeding, or a mucus-like discharge from the anus.
Throat:You may have a sore throat
Eye:You may notice symptoms of conjunctivitis if C. trachomatis gets into your eye. Symptoms include redness, pain, and discharge.
Contact your doctor if you notice these symptoms.
What doesn't Cause Chlamydia?
Situations involving fluid exchange or intimacy do notalways causechlamydia. You can't get chlamydia from:
- Sharing food or drinks.
- Holding hands or hugging.
- Using the toilet after everyone else.
- Inhalation of droplets after coughing or sneezing.
Prevention methods for Chlamydia
To prevent chlamydia:
- Use condoms consistently and correctly.
- Limiting the number of sexual partners.
- Having a sexual relationship where both partners are monogamous.
- Routine check-up.
- Avoid sex until treatment is complete.
Can Chlamydia be cured?
Yes, Chlamydia is treatable and curable. However, some sexually transmitted bacterial infections are starting to become resistant to antibiotics, making chlamydia more difficult to treat. Keeping this in mind, the best way to combat chlamydia is to prevent the infection from spreading.
What can happen if Chlamydia is not treated?
Untreated chlamydia can be dangerous to your health. Make an appointment with your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of chlamydia, and get regular check-ups for STIs to avoid complications later in life. Untreated chlamydia can cause:
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)-
PID is a serious condition that requires hospitalization. This can happen when an untreated STI such as chlamydia damages your reproductive organs. PID can cause infertility and chronic pelvic pain. It can also lead to an ectopic pregnancy, which is life-threatening to the fetus and potentially fatal to the pregnant mother.
Complications during pregnancy-
Untreated infection can lead to premature birth. In addition, if you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection on to your new born baby. Babies born with chlamydia can develop pneumonia or conjunctivitis, which if left untreated can lead to blindness.
The infection can spread to the testicles causing symptoms such as pain, swelling, and tenderness in the testicles.
Chlamydia can damage your sperm and negatively affect your ability to get pregnant.
Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to treat chlamydia. Antibiotics like Azithromycin, Doxycycline and Ofloxacinare usually taken as pills.
Home remedies for Chlamydia
Garlic has antifungal properties which helps fight yeast growth, which can make it useful during antibiotic treatment for chlamydia.
Goldenseal or orangeroot-
Goldenseal/orangeroot is an effective home remedy. It can cure a number of conditions including upper respiratory tract infections and thrush. Goldenseal can cure STIs, including gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties which cures chlamydia.
Coneflower is an important ayurvedic herb andis a good home remedy to boost immunity and help fight bacterial and viral infections like chlamydia.
Olive tree extract-
Olive tree extract has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties which is considered an effective home remedy for chlamydia.
When to see a doctor in Chlamydia?
If a person has symptoms of chlamydia after evaluation and treatment, or thinks they have been re-exposed to chlamydia, they should see their doctor. Women are less likely to experience chlamydia symptoms than men, so getting tested regularly is very important for them.