1. What is chlamydia infection?
Chlamydia infection, caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis, is a common sexually transmitted disease. It can infect both men and women of any age group but is more prevalent among young women. Men get chlamydia in the inside of the penis, rectum or throat. In women, the cervix, rectum or throat may be affected.
2. What are the signs and symptoms associated with chlamydia infection?
Symptoms are often not seen but may appear a few weeks after infection. Symptoms in women include vaginal discharge, burning while urinating, bleeding between periods and after sex, lower abdominal pain and pain during sex. Men may have discharge from the penis, lower abdominal pain, testicular pain and burning with urination. Rectal infection may cause rectal discharge, bleeding or pain.
3. How does chlamydia spread?
People commonly get chlamydia from unprotected vaginal or anal sex and, at times, through oral sex with an infected partner. Chlamydia infection in the eye can occur if you get infected genital fluids in your eye. Chlamydia can also spread from an infected mother to her baby during delivery.
4. How is chlamydia infection diagnosed?
Diagnosis of chlamydia is relatively simple. It includes a physical exam to check for symptoms such as discharge. A swab of the discharge taken from the cervix in women or urethra in men helps diagnose chlamydia. A urine test can also detect the infection. In some cases, swabs may be taken from the anus or throat as well.
5. Who are at a high risk of getting infected with chlamydia?
Chlamydia can affect anyone who has unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. However, the risk is higher among young adults who become sexually active before 25, have new or multiple sex partners, use condoms inconsistently or have a prior history of sexually transmitted infections.