Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection which is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is also known to cause human eye and genital infections. It is a very common sexually transmitted infection with about a million in the US affected by it.
While it is necessary to identify the symptoms of Chlamydia in women, men can also be affected. Chlamydia may be transmitted during anal, oral or vaginal sex and may pass on from the mother to the child during vaginal birth. It has been observed that ½ to ¾ of women with womb Chlamydia or cervicitis do not display symptoms and are not aware of the fact that they are infected.
At times, the condition may spread to the upper genital areas of women, leading to pelvic inflammatory disease. If left untreated, Chlamydia may lead to severe reproductive and associated health risks with long and short term consequences.
The asymptomatic infections of Chlamydia cannot be identified by the doctor. Others develop PID or pelvic inflammatory disease which refers to uterine infection and associated consequences in the ovaries and fallopian tubes. PID may lead to scarring in the reproductive organs and this may give rise to major complications including:
- Problems in getting pregnant
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Tubal or ectopic pregnancy
- Other pregnancy related complications
Chlamydia is also called the Silent Epidemic as 75% of women may not experience any symptoms at all. The symptoms of Chlamydia in women may linger for months and even years before discovery. Some of these may include dyspareunia or painful sexual intercourse, abdominal pain, vaginal discharge or bleeding, pain during urination or urge of urinating frequently or urinary urgency and fever. The best way to identify Chlamydia and sexually transmitted diseases in women is to undergo routine tests in the annual gynecological examinations.
How to Locate Symptoms of Chlamydia in Women
- One of the most common symptoms of Chlamydia is a fever. If the fever sets in within a week or two of intercourse, especially when you were with a partner you did not know well, you need to get tested for Chlamydia.
- Check out for unusual discharges from the vagina. If the discharge is turbid, foul smelling or watery, it may be a sign of Chlamydia. Moreover, a significant increase in the volume of the discharge should be suspicious.
- You should recognize any instance of inappropriate bleeding. If there is vaginal bleeding outside the usual menstrual period and you do not ovulate, you can be said to experience a highly common symptom of Chlamydia.
- The symptoms of PID or pelvic inflammatory disease should be identified. The condition may develop in case the symptoms of Chlamydia in women are left untreated. Some of these can comprise pain in the abdomen, aches during sexual intercourse and aches in the lower back.
- Some of the other symptoms of Chlamydia include miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and conception problems that have been left untreated for a considerable stretch of time.
- Remember that only 25% women show any identifiable initial symptoms of Chlamydia. Hence, if you think that you run the risk, it is best to seek treatment at the earliest.
- Fatal problems can result in moms suffering from Chlamydia. These include babies born with infections in their eyes and respiratory tracts, conjunctivitis or pink eye, infant pneumonia, and premature delivery.
- Chlamydia may make you susceptible to HIV infection.
- As the cervix of teenage girls and young women is not totally matured, it makes them prone to infection. Once they are sexually active, these women run a high risk of developing the infection.
- The infection of the cervical region may spread to the rectum.
- 40% of women with untreated Chlamydia may experience pelvic inflammatory disease which may lead to permanent damaging of the fallopian tubes, uterus and adjacent regions and this may lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy and acute pelvic pain.
The symptoms of Chlamydia in women may be prevented by following practices of safe sex and abstinence. The condition may easily be treated with antibiotics with a testing done on the urine or a cervical specimen. Women may use a dental dam while men can use a latex condom during sex to prevent Chlamydia. You may even follow monogamy.