In the present days humankind is facing many types of infections caused by our habits. Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases that infect both men and women. This is caused by Chlamydia Trachomatis bacteria and is easily spread through intimate contact during the sexual intercourse. This may go on spreading as it does not show symptoms easily and the infection may seem to lie dormant for up to weeks after it has been contacted. So, early diagnosis of Chlamydia is thus difficult and hence when the symptoms appear the affliction has already reached an advanced stage calling for urgent medical intervention.
There are many ways to diagnose Chlamydia in women and once it has been found to exist in your body, it has to be treated with anti-biotics. In severe cases, it may require hospitalization and intravenous administration of antibiotics. Once you are found to have Chlamydia then it is necessary to treat your sexual partner as he may also have this condition. This is an essential part of your treatment of Chlamydia as reinfection may occur when you have sexual intercourse with him after your treatment.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chlamydia In Women?
Though Chlamydia is very common among young adults, and more than 75% of the population have this infection during their active sex life, most of the times it goes undetected as it usually does not show any symptoms for weeks after it has been contracted. It is usual that the first symptoms of Chlamydia in women begin to show from one to three weeks after you had unprotected sex with a person who already has Chlamydia infection. It is also possible that the person who has this disease not showing any symptoms at all for many weeks till the infection has spread well in his body.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of having Chlamydia in women are:
- Unusual bleeding between periods.
- Heavier and longer menstrual discharge than normal.
- A marked change in color and consistency of the vaginal discharge.
- Severe burning pain during urination.
- Bleeding and pain after sexual intercourse.
- A nabbing pain in the lower abdomen.
When you have one or more of these symptoms, you have to see your doctor immediately as the infection may become severe and lead to other disorders. When Chlamydia in women is not treated promptly, it goes on to spread to the whole of the womb and may causes pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This condition is associated with causing of infertility, miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
How Can You Catch Chlamydia? (Causes)
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease and is caused by a bacterial infection passed on by the infected person to his or her sexual partner during an unprotected sexual intercourse. The exposure to sexual fluids like vaginal discharge, or semen that contains these bacteria from an infected person is the main reason to get infected.
Chlamydia Diagnosis and Testing in Women
You can surely say whether you have Chlamydia by undergoing test for this condition. When you have reason to believe that you have the infection, it is better to go for a test even if you have no apparent symptoms. This is more necessary if the person with whom you have had sex within the last three weeks has been diagnosed with Chlamydia.
The test is very simple and painless, and usually done with a urine sample to detect the presence of the Chlamydia bacteria. Another test called “Swab Test”, this is done by inserting a small cotton bud inside the vaginal chamber and it is swiped with the discharge and then the swab tested and analyzed in a laboratory.
When you have had oral or anal sex, the swab test may be done in your rectum or throat also to detect the presence of bacteria in these areas. If you have symptoms of the infection in your eyes, the swab must be collected from your eyelid.
Also there are many perfect types of Chlamydia testing kits that you can do at your home.
How to Treat Chlamydia in Women
Antibiotics are the effective means of treating the bacterial infection that has caused Chlamydia. You have more than 95% chance of getting cured if you take the given antibiotics as per the prescription of your doctor.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you have to inform your doctor and you may be given antibiotics that are safe for your condition like Azithromycin, Erythromycin Amoxicillin etc.
When you are under the treatment for Chlamydia, it is always safe not to have sex for at least one week after you have stopped taking antibiotics.
Chlamydia Discharge in Women
Though it is normal to have light vaginal discharge in healthy women as a part of the natural cleansing process of the vaginal cavity, the discharge becomes changed in color, odor, quantity and consistency when you have Chlamydia infection. The excessive vaginal discharge in women is caused due to the infection of the uterine cervix. It is one of the most common manifestations that are connected with Chlamydia in women. When you have Chlamydia infection, your vaginal discharge becomes thick, discolored and smelly.
Could You Catch Chlamydia from a Toilet Seat?
The simple answer to this question is “No”. The Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia Trachomatis bacteria and this cannot live outside the human body. So, it is not possible for the Chlamydia bacteria to be spread through the toilet seats.
However, you always have to be careful while using restrooms in public places and you have to clean them well before using them.
How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Symptoms?
Even after an infection, the symptoms of this may not be visible for varying periods from one week to three weeks. In some cases the symptoms may not be visible for even months and during this period the infection grows silently in your body. Due to this, Chlamydia is also called as a “silent infection”. So it is always good to get the testing done for this bacterium if you have reason to believe that you have the infection or your sexual partner had the infection and you indulged in unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex with him.
Chlamydia during pregnancy
When you are diagnosed with Chlamydia during your pregnancy, you need to take immediate treatment as untreated Chlamydia infection may pose greater risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth. While treating this infection, you must inform your doctor that you are pregnant so that he can give you the safest anti-biotic to end the infection. Usually your doctor will give you Azithromycin or Amoxicillin as they are found to be safe to be taken during pregnancy.
Chlamydia is found to increase the chance of ectopic pregnancies, and hence you have to be careful while planning to raise a family and take all necessary precautions for preventing Chlamydia both before getting pregnant and after getting pregnant.
Can Chlamydia Make You Infertile?
Various studies have shown that the Chlamydia infection is one of the prime causes of infertility in women. When the infection occurs in a woman, it first affects her cervix and if left untreated the infection spreads fast to the Fallopian tubes and then to the ovaries, interfering with their normal functioning. When the bacterium is allowed to stay in the Fallopian tubes, it causes extensive damage to the delicate hairs that are present in the tubes that help in the movement of eggs to the ovary. This damage creates scarring and blockage occurs at these sites causing permanent infertility. Thus, Chlamydia causes infertility in women, which normally cannot be reversed.
In some cases the Chlamydia infection causes ectopic pregnancies which pose a great danger to the life of the mother. In these cases this must be diagnosed as soon as possible and corrective treatments taken to prevent possible dangerous complications.
Could I Transmit Chlamydia to My Partner?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease, and hence it can go from one person to another if you do not practice safe sex with the use of proper condoms. When you have this infection, it is necessary that you inform your sexual partner and make him or her take suitable steps in protecting them during sex and you have to take immediate treatment to get rid of the infection. So, it is possible that you will pass on the infection to your partner and it is necessary to make him aware of the real situation and take preventive measures against the spread of the Chlamydia infection.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Chlamydia? (Prevention)
There are many ways to prevent the occurrence of Chlamydia by taking suitable precautions while indulging in sexual intercourse. The practice of safe sex is the best way of preventing the infection and it is far easier than to get rid of the infection after you got it. When you are in the process of developing a new relationship that is going to lead to sex, you must ensure that the person is not having any STIs, including Chlamydia. If you suspect that they are at a higher risk of having this or other types of STIs, then you have to go for testing and find out for sure that they do not have the infection.
- Always insist on the use of condoms during intercourse and never indulge in unprotected sex.
- Never indulge in sex if you have suspicion of Chlamydia infection or when you or your partner is under treatment for this infection.
- It is always safe to have one sexual partner at any time and if you have more than one or with the ones that have swinging and swapping tendencies you are likely to be exposed to greater risks of getting this infection.
Thus, Chlamydia is a serious form of infection that is likely to cause many complications and the Chlamydia infection in women can cause complete infertility. So, always practice safe sex to protect yourself and your partner from this dreaded infection. Treatment is simple and effective and hence do not waste any time to go to your doctor to get the infection treated for complete relief.