What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is an infection that affects a large number of people throughout the world, being the result of an infection with the bacterium that is scientifically known as Chlamydia trachomatis. Being highly contagious, it is one of the STDs with the highest rate of occurrence both in men and in women, numerous cases being reported every year.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
But how can one know if he is infected with Chlamydia? If you are a man who has had unprotected sexual encounters and who seems to notice a suspicious discharge in the genital area or is bothered by painful urination, then you may be infected. Some men who suffer of Chlamydia may even get fevers; even though a fever can suggest an extremely vast number of problems, if it is associated with these genital symptoms, it is in many cases an indicator of the presence of the bacterium within the organism.
In women, however, the situation is more complicated. The majority of infected women do not present any symptoms whatsoever. There are some cases in which the infection manifests itself, causing symptoms quite similar to those of men, such as a fever. But even if a fever does occur in infected women, it is still hard to link it to Chlamydia, because it may not be accompanied by any other symptoms and can be mistaken for a simple cold. However, such cases are rare and usually no indications of the disease can be noticed in women.
How is Chlamydia Transmitted?
Chlamydia is transmitted through any kind of unprotected sexual encounter and even though it is more common among young women, it can affect anybody. In order to avoid an infection, it is very important to use proper protection during each sexual contact, especially if you do not have a stable partner that you’ve known for a long time and who you trust to be completely free of any sexually transmitted infections.
Testing and Diagnosis of Chlamydia
If you know that you have not used protection during your recent sexual encounters and fear that you may have contracted this disease, then it is absolutely necessary for you to see a doctor as soon as possible. If no treatment is followed shortly after the infection has occurred, the infection can spread to the inner reproductive organs and cause serious problems, sometimes even leading to infertility in both men and women. Therefore, it is extremely important to contact a specialist at the slightest suspicion of Chlamydia.
Your doctor will perform a series of tests meant to either infirm or confirm the diagnosis of Chlamydia. Technologies in medical laboratories have developed considerably in the last years, and now the diagnosis can be made with extreme precision on the part of the doctor and with minimal discomfort on the part of the patient. The diagnosis is usually based upon swabs collected from the genital area. If you do not feel comfortable with the doctor collecting the swabs, you can do it yourself, but you have to keep in mind the fact that everything has to be done in a completely clean and sterilized environment so that you do not compromise the samples. In some cases, your doctor may provide you with a small recipient and ask you to return with a urine sample in order to make the diagnosis.
Cures and Treatments for Chlamydia
If your suspicion of Chlamydia has been confirmed, you will be prescribed a treatment. The infection can be easily cured with oral medication. Azithromycin is known to be an extremely rapid and efficient antibiotic in the treatment of Chlamydia. It is, however, important that both you and the partner from whom you have contacted the disease should be treated.
Remember that Chlamydia, like any other STD, can be prevented in the first place and the infection can be avoided through responsible sexual behavior.