Though chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world, the symptoms for chlamydia are important to look out for. However, there is some problem about detecting them and this is because the symptoms may be absent or mild, and could be rather easy to overlook.
Chlamydia is an infection that can be passed on during vaginal, anal or oral sex and is the major infection’s cause of genital and eye disease (a common cause of blindness is chlamydia conjunctivitis or trachoma). The infection can also pass from the mother to the child during childbirth and for this as well as other reasons, the symptoms for chlamydia are important to watch out for.
The symptoms of chlamydia in women
Between half and one third of women who have this infection may show no symptoms and so is known as the “Silent Epidemic”.
Among these asymptomatic cases of chlamydia, about half go on to develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which could affect the ovaries, uterus or the fallopian tubes.
When chlamydia symptoms do present, they may include unusual vaginal bleeding such as excess bleeding during menses or mid-cycle bleeding. There could be unusual or excessive vaginal discharge.
Some woman may experience burning or pain when passing urine; and in some cases there could also be the urge to urinate more frequently. In some cases, when the infection spreads, there could be abdominal and lower back pain, painful sex, bleeding after sex etc. There could also be general symptoms such as fever, nausea and so on.
Men can also show symptoms for chlamydia if the infection is present in the urethra. This could cause could be penile discharge, and as in the case of female chlamydia could cause burning and pain while passing urine. Less frequently men could have swelling and/or pain of the testicles.
Having receptive anal sex could the sort of chlamydia infection that could cause pain in the rectum and could also cause anal bleeding and discharge. Having oral sex with an infected partner can spread the infection to the throat as well.
Why symptoms for chlamydia are important to watch out for
As mentioned above, chlamydia goes on to develop into PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) in half the cases that don’t show symptoms and are left untreated. This could have short term as well as long term consequences to fertility and so on.
PID can cause permanent damage and scarring to the fallopian tubes and/or the uterus and surrounding tissue with obvious consequence to a woman’s fertility. A woman may have problems getting pregnant as a result and may also be more at risk of having complications such as ectopic pregnancy, and other pregnancy related complications. So if the symptoms of chlamydia are not obvious, it is important to watch out for any signs of PID.
Another reason to look out for the symptoms for chlamydia is the fact that it can also cause reactive arthritis or reiter’s syndrome which is characterized by urethritis, conjunctivitis and arthritis particularly in young men.