There are many different types of STD. However, all of them are common due to their area of affectation and as well as the mode of transmission of their causative agents, which is through sexual activities. One of the most common STDs nowadays is none other than Chlamydia. But what is Chlamydia and how common is Chlamydia?
Defining Chlamydia and its Commonness
Chlamydia is described as a sexually transmitted disease or infection that is primarily caused by a bacterium known as the Chlamydia trachomatis. According to statistics, Chlamydia is recognized as the most common STD or STI both in the UK and the United States. This type of infection can affect both genders; nevertheless, it is the women who are considered to be at greater risk. In the year 2009, more than 200,000 people were treated for Chlamydia in the Genitourinary Medicine clinics or GUM. Of this number, approximately 130,000 are women and the rest are men. However, many more cases of Chlamydia were treated by private doctors. What makes Chlamydia a common STD is that most people affected by this type of infection are asymptomatic. This means that they don’t develop any symptoms or indications that they already have the disease. Because of this, many infected people continue to have sexual activities with other people without them knowing that they already have the bacterium in their system.
In other statistics, approximately 10 to 20 % of young adults in the UK are said to have Chlamydia. Fortunately, Chlamydia is considered to be curable; however, the only problem in this condition is that it remains to be very difficult to detect. Once Chlamydia is untreated, it can cause serious complications to the body. A large number of women who have untreated Chlamydia were able to experience pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. This is a condition wherein the internal genital organs of the woman are permanently damaged. This can lead to sterility or infertility and it can also produce chronic and severe pain.
Despite the difficulty in noticing the signs and symptoms of Chlamydia, it is still important for us to learn how to classify the symptoms the infection could bring. Nevertheless, once Chlamydia is suspected after having sexual contact with an infected person, it is necessary to immediately undergo tests in order to check the condition as soon as possible. Early detection can definitely lower the chances of experiencing complications and other serious problems. Women who suffer from Chlamydia usually exhibit symptoms such as cystitis, the appearance of unusual vaginal discharge and the presence of lower abdominal pain. These are considered to be the “non-specific” type of symptoms and can also be caused by other relative infections or diseases. However, there is also a specific Chlamydia test that can be used in order to detect Chlamydia accurately. This can be requested from our doctor or physician, once we suspect Chlamydia.
In men, Chlamydia is also capable of producing unusual discharges from the penis. Sometimes, this can also cause mild irritation specifically at the tip of the penis. Nevertheless, this is expected to reside after only two to three days. Men should wait whether or not the symptoms will disappear. If it does, men are still considered infected and can still harbor the infection. Because of this, it is indeed important for us to get tested once we are in doubt of our health condition. Undetected and untreated symptoms can result to the inflammation and the swelling of the testicles. What is even worse is that in recent years, Chlamydia is found out to be capable of affecting the eyes as well. Usually, eyes infected with Chlamydia can exhibit symptoms that are similar to conjunctivitis. Once the condition is treated with treatment meant for conjunctivitis without any success, then we can already suspect Chlamydia, which is why it is necessary for us to avail a Chlamydia test as soon as possible.
Proper Treatment for Chlamydia
Early stage of Chlamydia can be easily treated with antibiotics. In the UK, two of the most common antibiotics used in treating Chlamydia include azithromycin or Zithromax and doxycyline or Vibramycin. It is also important for us to make sure that our partners are also treated properly. This prevents us from getting re-infected by the disease or infection. Aside from current partners, it is also helpful to influence ex-partners to undergo treatment. This way, the spread of the Chlamydia trachomatis can be significantly reduced. In order to prevent future infections with the disease, it is important for us to wear contraceptives such as condoms for new sexual partners. However, if condoms are not desired, then checkups for any STDs are recommended before engaging to any sexual acts or practices.
These are some of the vital points with regards to the STD known as Chlamydia. This infection may be very hard to detect, but with the right knowledge and education, we can still prevent Chlamydia from spreading from person to another.