STDs or sexually transmitted diseases are considered to be one of the hardest types of infections to prevent. In addition to this, some STDs are also very hard to treat and some don’t even have any cure despite today’s great innovation in medical science and technology. Nowadays, there are already a number of diseases that are classified under the STD category. However, one of the most common of these diseases is none other than Chlamydia. So what are the different facts and details about Chlamydia and what are the Chlamydia long-term effects?
What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is actually recognized as the number one sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Chlamydia is commonly caused by a bacterium known as Chlamydia trachomatis. This particular organism is capable of damaging the woman’s reproductive system. However, the symptoms of Chlamydia are usually mild or absent, which is not totally a good thing since serious and irreversible complications can already start to occur such as infertility, without showing any signs of identification. This makes it hard for many people to provide immediate interventions or actions in order to stop the condition from worsening. Aside from this, Chlamydia can also cause abnormalities in the male reproductive organ such as the production of unusual discharges from the penis.
The Transmission of Chlamydia
How can we get infected by Chlamydia? Chlamydia can actually be transmitted through vaginal, anal or even oral sexual activities. Just like most other STDs, this can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during normal spontaneous vaginal delivery or childbirth. Sexually active individuals are also prone to having Chlamydia. The greater the number of sexual partners, the higher the risk of having this kind of infection. Since Chlamydia is also transmitted through anal and oral sex, men having sexual activities with infected men can also develop or acquire this kind of disease.
Identify the Symptoms of Chlamydia
There are actually a number of symptoms that can happen once Chlamydia infects the body even though most cases or people infected with this disease are asymptomatic (shows no symptoms). Some of these possible symptoms include the vaginal or penile discharges and the presence of the burning sensation during urination. Women can also experience lower abdominal pain as well as pain during sexual intercourse. Some can also show irregular bleeding in between periods. As for men, they can show signs of testicular swelling and/or pain in the testicles.
Long-Term Effects of Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be very dangerous for the body; however, this can be a lot worse once the disease is taken for granted or left untreated. Untreated Chlamydia can cause long-term effects on the health of both men and women. This can progress to serious reproductive and other health problems along with both the short-term and long-term consequences. In women, untreated Chlamydia infection can spread to the uterus and the fallopian tubes that can cause pelvic inflammatory disease or commonly known as PID. This can happen to up to 40% of all women with untreated Chlamydia conditions. PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes as well as the uterus and the surrounding tissues. The extent of this damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility and the possibility of fatal ectopic pregnancy. Fortunately, some cases of PID can be treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery can also be handy in curing severe cases of this kind of disease. In addition, women who suffer from Chlamydia are also 5 times more likely to be infected with HIV or human immunodeficiency virus once they are exposed. The early symptoms of this type of STD may not reveal a huge impact in health; however, it can still cause serious or complicated damage in our body particularly in the reproductive system.
Pregnant women can also pass the infection to their babies. Untreated Chlamydia is also associated with the preterm births of babies. Preterm birth is when the baby is delivered before its expected date of delivery or before it becomes fully mature to adapt to the external environment outside the womb. Aside from this, long-term health consequences can also affect the infant. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy can cause infant eye infections as well as pneumonia. In fact, Chlamydia eye infections are considered to be one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in babies.
As for men, untreated Chlamydia can also be very problematic. This can also lead to the condition known as epididymitis wherein the tubes where the sperm matures in the testicles becomes infected and inflamed. Because of this condition, men can also experience atrophy as well as shrinking of the infected testicles. The occurrence of abscesses or pus-filled lesions can also develop in the scrotum. And just like in women, once Chlamydia is left untreated, this can also cause infertility in men as a long-term effect.
These are just a few of the important facts about the STD called Chlamydia. This may not be a serious as HIV or any other types of diseases in the body, but based on what we have read, we can never overlook or take this matter for granted.