Because Chlamydia is one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections, but the majority of the time does not show symptoms, it is important for teens to get checked regularly and take part in proper Chlamydia treatment and prevention. STD statistics indicate in the majority of cases of Chlamydia, about 50 percent of infected males and 75 percent of infected females, there are no outward signs or symptoms of the infection. However, even “silent” symptoms can cause internal damage to the body.
Although Chlamydia symptoms don’t usually occur, an infected person tends to develop any signs of the infection within the first five to 10 days after contracting Chlamydia. Traditional symptoms include:
- Stomach pain
- Low-grade fever
- Burning/painful and frequent urination
- Vaginal/anal swelling
- Swollen testicles
- Unusually colored or smelling discharge from the vagina or penis
- Bleeding or spotting in between periods
- Itching and bleeding on or around the anus
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Some of these symptoms, especially in males, may only appear in the morning
- Fortunately, Chlamydia is one of the easier sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to treat. Doctors may do this with antibiotics through a one-time dose or a series of antibiotic medications. Working with your doctor or physician is the best way to help you figure out what kind of STD treatment options are best for you.
- Do not continue to have sex with anyone until both you and your sexual partner(s) have been treated for the infection. Even if the partner or partners do not show any STD symptoms, it does not mean they are not infected.
- It is best to get STD testing again three or four months later after receiving treatment to make sure the infection is gone.
- Take the antibiotics properly. Make sure and take the entire length of medication even if the symptoms seem to get better or go away entirely. Stopping taking the medication early before it is gone can often times cause the infection to return or worsen.
- It is extremely important for women infected with Chlamydia to talk to their doctor about treatment options in order to prevent spreading the infection to their unborn baby.
- If left untreated in women, Chlamydia can cause infection in the uterus or fallopian tubes, which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This tends to happen in about 15 percent of cases of Chlamydia-infected women. This and other unnoticed symptoms can cause permanent damage potentially leading to infertility or severe pregnancy complications including ectopic pregnancy, which is usually fatal to the baby.
- Chlamydia can also be spread through an infected pregnant mother giving birth to her baby. The bacteria is passed during delivery as the baby passes through the infected birth canal. Through this infection, the baby can cause the infant to develop serious eye problems and pneumonia.
- Complications from unnoticed or invisible symptoms from Chlamydia in infected males is much more rare than in women. However, in these rare instances the infection can still spread to the infected male’s epididymis. This can cause pain and fever and in some cases sterility.
- It is important for sexually active teens to remember than as with the case of any STD or pregnancy, abstinence from sex or sexual contact of any kind is the only way to 100 percent prevent contracting Chlamydia or any other type of STD or STI.
- Using a latex condom or other protection is the next best way to prevent catching or spreading the infection, although this is not 100 percent effective.
- Regular STD and testing for Chlamydia is another good option for all sexually active teens and adults to take part in to make sure they are not infected with Chlamydia or any other type of STI. Even if you are not showing symptoms, getting tested is the only way to find out for sure if you are infected.
- Because there are different tests for different STD’s, make sure you ask your doctor which test is the best for you to take to make sure you don’t have Chlamydia.