- Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that you can successfully treat with antibiotic medicine.
- Chlamydia is a silent operator - most people who have chlamydia do not show any symptoms.
- You can contract chlamydia through sex.
Well, you will get it if you come in direct sexual contact with someone who has the infection .You can still get it even if there is no release of sexual fluids. Chlamydia is so easily transmittable that an infected mother can give it to the child during childbirth!
Now, do not get paranoid out of fear. Chlamydia will not just casually attach itself to you and will not spread through just casual contact like sharing drinks, food, kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing and through toilet seats.
Chlamydia is generally spread through sexual contact. The best way to prevent chlamydia is to get tested regularly and use condoms (male or female) if you have sex.
Chlamydia does not usually show up with physical symptoms, so most people who have it do not know that they have it, neither would you know for sure if you have it! However, there is a list below that you might want to see, so that if any of them manifests in your body, then you would know that you must get tested immediately:
- Hot and painful sensation when urinating
- Pain during sex
- Pain in the lower part of your stomach.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge (may be yellowish and have a strong smell)
- Bleeding between periods
- Pus or a watery/milky discharge from the penis
- Swollen or tender testicles
- Pain, discharge and/or bleeding around the vagina
Chlamydia is usually easy to get rid of. Your healthcare provider will get you antibiotics to treat the infection. Your doctor will help you figure out which treatment is best for you.
If you are treated for chlamydia, it is really important for your sexual partners to get treated also. Otherwise, you can keep passing the infection back and forth or to other people.
If you are getting treated for chlamydia:
- Take all of your medicine the way your healthcare provider tells you to, even if the symptoms go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics.
- Your partner(s) should also get treated for chlamydia so you do not re-infect each other or anyone else.
- Do not have sex for 7 days. If you only have 1 dose of medication, wait for 7 days after you take it before having sex. If you are taking medicine for 7 days, do not have sex until you have finished all of your pills.
- Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure your infection is gone.
- Do not share your medicine with anyone. Your healthcare provider may give you a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner. Make sure you both take all of the medicine you get.
Chlamydia can become a big deal if it is not caught and treated early. Chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can cause pain, infertility or ectopic pregnancy. If you are a man, a chlamydia infection can spread to your epididymis (a tube that carries sperm from your testicles), and can cause chronic joint pain. In rare cases, it can make you infertile. Having chlamydia may increase your chances of getting or spreading HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Ladies: If you have chlamydia during your pregnancy and do not treat it, you can pass it to your baby when you are giving birth. Chlamydia can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and it also increases the risk of delivering your baby too early.
Chlamydia testing can be as simple as urinating in a cup. Sometimes the test is done by a healthcare provider gently touching your genitals with a cotton swab, to take cell samples from your urethra, vagina and cervix. The samples are tested for chlamydia bacteria. Your healthcare provider may also be able to see chlamydia symptoms, like discharge on your cervix during an exam.
The idea of getting tested may seem scary, but try not to freak out. Sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing is a regular part of being a responsible person and taking care of your health. The good news is chlamydia is totally curable with medication — so the sooner you know you have it, the faster you can get rid of it. Get tested today!