There are probably not a lot of people in this day and age who have not heard about sexually transmitted diseases and how to avoid them. Chlamydia is one of the most common of sexually transmitted diseases that are reported in the United States. Chlamydia is considered a bacteria but acts more like a virus in that it needs a host to reproduce. The disease cannot survive on its own and needs a human to feed off of. In essence we as humans are supplying the bacteria for Chlamydia to continue on and enable it to be passed to others.
Chlamydia can be passed through the sex act itself or through oral copulation. It is important to note that an infected mother can also pass it on to the baby during childbirth. Many of the problems with the Chlamydia bacteria are that some people will not experience any signs or symptoms of the disease and will not know they even have it.
Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacterium that causes Chlamydia, in women if the bacterium goes undiscovered it can cause infertility and damage reproductive organs. Men may also experience a discharge from the tip of the penis. There are a few symptoms that may occur in some people anywhere from one to three weeks after infection. Women may have a discharge from the vagina or a burning when urinating. The disease can spread from a woman’s cervix to her fallopian tubes and may still cause no symptoms, but can cause abdominal cramping, nausea, pain during intercourse and bleeding between periods.
Men to can experience symptoms related to the Chlamydia bacterium. As mentioned earlier men can have a discharge from the tip of the penis, they can experience a burning sensation when urinating and can also have pain along with burning and itching around the tip of the penis. An uncommon but possible symptom for man may be painful swelling of the testicles.
Women are most likely to feel the long term effects of the Chlamydia bacterium in that it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) if left untreated. The bacteria can also spread to the fallopian tubes as mentioned earlier and these can cause a woman to suffer permanent damage to the upper genital tract and may cause chronic pelvic pain and fatal ectopic pregnancies.
It is recommended that all women under the age of 25 be screened yearly for the Chlamydia bacterium. Screening for the bacteria is relatively simple and involves a urine sample or a sample from the tip of the penis or the cervix. Chlamydia is easily treated with either one treatment of azithromycin or a week long treatment of doxycycline.