Chlamydia is one of the most common bacteria-based sexually transmitted infections in the country, with almost 1,600,000 cases reported in 2016 alone. It can be transmitted through contact with an infected person’s genitals or mouth and can be passed to a baby during childbirth. Any sexually active person can be infected, regardless of age, race, or pre-existing health. Condoms and frequent STD/STI checks are the best preventative measures. However, it is equally as important to pay very close attention to the signs and symptoms of chlamydia. Left untreated, it can lead to cervicitis, urethritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility.
Chlamydia symptoms and signs can be hard to detect. In most cases, this type of infection does not result in noticeable symptoms. If there are any warning signs, they are often so mild that those affected mistake them for something else and fail to seek appropriate treatment. Any symptoms that you do notice appear several weeks after the infection has already been in your system. This makes it even more important to seek treatment immediately. Some common chlamydia symptoms and signs seen in men and women include:
- Painful urination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Lower abdomen pain
Chlamydia Symptoms in Men
Despite this being a largely silent sexually transmitted infection, there are some chlamydia symptoms in men that you should keep an eye out for in addition to the ones discussed above. These include:
- Watery or milky genital discharge
- Pain or swelling in one or both testicles
- Swelling in the genital region or around the anus
- Pain or itching
These symptoms are typically at their strongest first thing in the morning. While mild painkillers can reduce the intensity, their effectiveness typically fades over time as the infection becomes stronger. Be sure you seek out treatment the moment you notice any of these signs. Even if it is not chlamydia, it could still be a serious infection that needs treatment.
Chlamydia Symptoms in Women
Chlamydia symptoms in women are very difficult to spot. It is important to pay close attention your body and to seek out treatment if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Yellowish, strong smelling or abnormal discharge
- Internal swelling
- Pain during sex
- Painful and more frequently urination
- Low-grade fever
- Pain in the lower stomach or back
- Bleeding between periods
Most of these symptoms could also be the result of nothing more than stress or dietary changes. However, it is extremely important to have them checked out as soon as you notice them to be sure you treat any potential serious illness immediately.
Chlamydia is largely asymptomatic in both men and women, making it very hard to catch before complications arise. If you notice any of the above symptoms in you or your partner, be sure to get tested as soon as possible. You can visit a sexual health clinic, your doctor, or free clinic to get this testing done. The long-term impact on your health from untreated chlamydia can be serious, making it crucial to visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible.