What are the effects of chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a common type of sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis . Many people who contract the bacteria do not experience any physical symptoms for several weeks after becoming infected. When symptoms do appear, they range from mild pain to unusual discharge from the reproductive organs. Long-term effects of chlamydia can include severe inflammation of the reproductive system, among others. Chlamydia can be prevented by not having sex or by using a condom. When the condition is caught early, it can be effectively treated with antibiotics to prevent any permanent health problems.

The most common effects of chlamydia are burning with urination and chronic abdominal pain. An individual may also experience a milky white or yellow discharge from the penis or vagina. Women may notice irregular spotting between periods and pain during intercourse. A man's testicles may feel tender to the touch and swell slightly. It is important to realize that these symptoms are not present in all people with chlamydia; Most people are asymptomatic for weeks or even months after being infected with the STD.

If chlamydia goes undetected and untreated, the infection can spread throughout the reproductive system. Potential effects of chlamydia in men include chronic testicular pain and swelling, a condition known as epididymitis . The prostate gland can also become infected, causing lower back pain, chills, and fever. The discharge may become thicker and have a strong odor.

Women generally face a wider range of chlamydia effects than men. In its later stages, the infection can reach the cervix and fallopian tubes, where it can cause tissue irritation, pain, and scarring. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a rare but life-threatening complication in which the entire reproductive system becomes severely inflamed. PID can cause irreversible scarring and organ damage that can lead to infertility and chronic pain.

The effects of chlamydia can spread to an unborn baby if a pregnant woman carries the bacteria. PID and other complications can lead to an ectopic pregnancy, in which a fertilized egg cannot travel down an inflamed fallopian tube to the uterus. As the embryo begins to grow and develop, the mother may experience debilitating pain and bleeding. In almost all cases, the embryo must be surgically removed to prevent the death of the mother.

Medical treatment is necessary to stop the spread of the bacteria and prevent the lasting effects of chlamydia. Specialists can check for the presence of bacteria by taking a swab of mucous from the penis or cervix with a cotton swab. After making a diagnosis, a doctor will prescribe a series of oral antibiotics. Medication usually eradicates chlamydia and completely relieves symptoms within a week or two. Since the condition is often asymptomatic, doctors generally recommend that sexually active people use birth control and get screened for diseases regularly to avoid complications.

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