What is Chlamydia?
A bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis causes the infection. This bacteria primarily affects the mucus membranes of the body, which are usually the urethra, cervix, rectum, throat, and even the eyes.
Most people with chlamydia experience symptoms one to three weeks after infection, depending on where the infection starts.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Discharge coming from the penis or vagina
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Swelling in the testicles for men
- Bleeding in between periods for women
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye
- Pain and bleeding in the rectum
In men, chlamydia can cause inflammation in the epididymis, or the tube in the testicle that carries sperm. This leads to a condition called epididymitis, which can cause infertility.
In women, one of the more serious complications of chlamydia is pelvic inflammatory disease. This is a condition that happens if the infection affects the uterus and the fallopian tubes.
Aside from pelvic pain, this can also cause infertility, as well as increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a type of pregnancy where the embryo implants itself outside of the uterus.
Despite these complications, chlamydia is a treatable disease. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria and stop the infection. However, reinfection can occur, so it is important for patients to take safety precautions to avoid getting infected in the future.