Chlamydia is a s3xually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a prokaryotic microorganism (Chlamydia trachomatis) that can be infected by both men and women. If left untreated, it can cause serious and irreversible damage to the female reproductive system and make it difficult to get pregnant again. There is a risk of having an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb) with chlamydia.
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Chlamydia is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral s3x, and you can get sick from someone who has it. Even if your partner doesn’t ejaculate, and even if you have had it before and have been treated, you can still get it if you have unprotected s3x with someone who has chlamydia. During childbirth, chlamydia can be passed on to the baby.
The only way to 100% avoid any STD is abstinence, however, if you have s3x, consider:
- Use latex condoms and oral condoms correctly every time you have s3x;
- Is in a monogamous relationship with a tested partner and has not shown a positive STD result.
Chlamydia is not spread through casual contact, so you cannot get chlamydia by kissing, hugging, sharing drinks or food, sneezing, sitting in the bathroom, or coughing.
Causes of Chlamydia
You should consider testing for chlamydia if:
- Your partner or you have symptoms of chlamydia;
- you have had unprotected s3x with your new partner;
- condom rupture during intercourse;
- you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant;
- you think you may have an STD;
- You or your partner have had unprotected s3x with another person.
Other risk factors include:
- non-white race;
- Age 15-24, especially under 19;
- Poor socioeconomic conditions, such as homelessness;
- Was a foster child (men only).
How common is chlamydia?
In 2017, more than 1.7 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the CDC, yet many cases go unreported, resulting in an estimated 3 million cases of chlamydia each year. Both men and women can be infected with chlamydia, but more cases have been reported in women. Women aged 15-24 have higher rates of infection. Co-infection with chlamydia and gonorrhea is usually normal, although patients with any STD are at increased risk of co-infection with another STD. Less than half of women and 20% of men with chlamydia have co-infection with gonorrhea. Likewise, patients with chlamydia have a higher frequency of Reiter syndrome (ie, urethritis, conjunctivitis, reactive arthritis) than the general population.
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There are more than 1,000,000 cases of s3xually transmitted infection (STI) every day worldwide. Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) infections of the reproductive tract are fairly common, with an estimated 127 million new cases in 2016. Surveys in Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and the Netherlands recorded similar incidence values. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) Initiative for Vaccine Research (IVR) estimates that there are more than 140 million cases of Chlamydia trachomatis contamination globally.
Many people with chlamydia have no symptoms. Most symptoms begin weeks after having s3x with an infected person. Even if you don’t show symptoms, it can still damage your reproductive organs.
Female Chlamydia Symptoms
Some of the most common chlamydia symptoms in women include:
- Painful intercourse (unpleasant intercourse);
- abnormal vaginal discharge;
- burning sensation when urinating;
- lower abdominal or pelvic pain;
- Inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis);
- Bleeding between periods (spotting).
In addition, throat infections can also occur if a woman performs oral sex on an infected person.
Symptoms in men include:
- Green or yellow discharge from penis;
- burning sensation when urinating;
- pain and swelling in one or both testicles (less common);
- Lower abdominal pain.
Newborns infected with chlamydia may have the following:
- Pneumonia-like symptoms, beginning 1-3 months, with cough and sometimes fever;
- Symptoms of conjunctivitis, including eye discharge, swelling, or both, appear in about 1-2 weeks.
Men and women can also get chlamydia in the rectum, with or without symptoms. Including rectal pain, discharge, and bleeding.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms (including other STD symptoms such as unusual sores, foul-smelling discharge, or spotting during menstruation) or if you suspect you may have chlamydia or any other STD.
Although STIs generally affect the genital area, STIs like chlamydia can spread to the throat through oral s3x, causing throat problems. Medically known as pharyngeal chlamydia infection. In addition, oral s3x with chlamydia in the throat may spread the bacteria to the genitals. It’s worth noting that mouth-to-mouth kissing does not cause chlamydia.
Pharyngeal chlamydia infection often causes no symptoms. Most people with throat infections think they may just have a sore throat from the common cold or the flu.
Some common symptoms of chlamydia of the throat include:
- sore throat;
- dental problems;
- oral pain;
- mouth ulcers are not getting better;
- Pain around the lips and mouth.
Chlamydia in the throat is usually not part of routine STI testing. If you think you may have a chlamydia infection, have any sores that don’t go away, or you have had oral s3x with a partner (positive throat chlamydia test), consider talking to your doctor about a throat chlamydia test. Your doctor will do a throat swab and send the sample to a lab for chlamydia testing. However, it is worth noting that the FDA has not yet approved a swab test for chlamydia pharynx. If you are suffering from chlamydia then contact us.
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