Chlamydia Trachomatis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, How Does it Spread, Prevention

What is Chlamydia Trachomatis?

Chlamydia Trachomatis is one of the most common STD- sexually transmitted disease or infection which is completely curable. This sexual disease can infect both men and women and sometimes the disease manifest with no clear symptoms or sign. If left untreated, Chlamydia Trachomatis can affect male’s sperm quality, sexual activity and could make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. Chlamydia Trachomatis can cause serious damage to a man’s and woman’s reproductive system making it tough for women and sometimes impossible to conceive child. Men can experience low sperm quality and erectile dysfunction in some cases. In very rare cases, Chlamydia causes potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy which means pregnancy occurring outside the womb. Chlamydia usually manifest no outward symptoms in early stages but might cause serious health issues in later stages.

What is Chlamydia Trachomatis?

How Does Chlamydia Trachomatis Spread?

Chlamydia trachomatis is a sexually transmitted disease which spreads through unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex with a person infected with Chlamydia. If you had Chlamydia and were treated in past you can still get infected having unprotected sex with someone having Chlamydia infection. Penetration is not necessary to get infected by Chlamydia trachomatis as touching the genitals together is enough to transmit the bacteria. Newborn babies can also get Chlamydia trachomatis if their mothers are infected with the disease. According to many prenatal test results, 40% of the tests result in Chlamydia trachomatis infection. In very rare cases, both men and women can get infected by Chlamydia trachomatis in their eye due to genital or oral contact with the eyes. Usually women are more likely to get infected than men and highest rate of infection is seen in younger women.

Symptoms of Chlamydia Trachomatis

Chlamydia Trachomatis Symptoms in Men includes:

  • Pain, burning sensation or discomfort while urinating
  • White watery or cloudy discharge from the penis tip can be a symptom of Chlamydia Trachomatis
  • Tenderness, pain and inflammation in and around the testicles
  • Irritation and itchiness on the tip of the penis can also be a symptom of Chlamydia Trachomatis in men
  • Swollen skin around the anus.

Chlamydia Trachomatis Symptoms in Women Includes:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Burning sensation and discomfort while urinating
  • Vaginal discharge having odour
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Abdominal pain while periods
  • Pain while having sex
  • Itching and burning effect around vagina can be a symptoms of Chlamydia Trachomatis
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Swelling of the vaginal skin and around anus
  • Throat infection.

Common symptoms of Chlamydia trachomatis are low fever, abdominal pain, rectal pain, conjunctivitis, nausea and other eye infections. However, most women having Chlamydia infection show no signs and symptoms and it’s quite difficult to find out if one has Chlamydia infection unless one goes for medical test. Hence Chlamydia infection and disease is also known as the “silent infection”. The symptoms of Chlamydia are usually random and infrequent. Chlamydia Trachomatis symptoms can also occur in eyes, throat and rectum besides genitals. But the symptoms of Chlamydia in later stages can be too much dangerous such as causing permanent damage to reproductive tract, damage to eggs and sperm quality.

How is Chlamydia Trachomatis Diagnosed?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that all sexually active women of age 25 and younger get screened for Chlamydia test every year and the older women too with the risk factors who had copulation with multiple or new partners. Usually doctors who test for Chlamydia trachomatis ask about the symptoms and if one doesn’t have any, the doctor might ask the reasons impelling to think one has got the infection. And those cases need a non secretive talk about if one got exposed in any way.

The most effective and recommended diagnostic test performed for chlamydia is swabbing the vagina in women and urine test in men. If there’s any chance of infection in anus or throat, those areas are also swabbed for proper diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, there are some other different tests that doctors recommend to diagnose Chlamydia trachomatis infection such as taking urine samples for culturing and presence of infectious bacteria. However, Chlamydia is a curable disease if treated on time and properly. It is highly important to avoid having sex while the treatment and diagnosis process of Chlamydia as the symptoms could get worse and one might get infected by the bacteria if he/she is a healthy host.

What is the Treatment for Chlamydia Trachomatis?

Chlamydia trachomatis infection is totally curable and can reoccur too. Proper treatment and right medication can help you to treat and cure Chlamydia infection. For treating Chlamydia trachomatis, doctors usually recommend for oral antibiotics for both men and women according to the reports of ASHA. The medications that are commonly prescribed to treat and cure the sexual infection condition are-

  • Doxycycline
  • Azithromycin (Zithromax)
  • Erythromycin
  • Ofloxacin.

Usually the treatment and medications are recommended for a week but in serious cases it might last for 15 to 30 days depending upon the seriousness of the Chlamydia trachomatis infection. Doctors also ask the patients to get their partners diagnosed and treated if there’s any possible chance of future infection to stop the disease to spread further. The treatment for Chlamydia Trachomatis usually finishes in a week or two and it is very important to complete the medication even if one feels better or get rids of the infection and the symptoms related to it. The medication course completion is very essential to stop the reoccurrence of the infection.

In some cases, women with severe Chlamydia trachomatis infection are hospitalized and require intravenous antibiotics that are the medicines given through patient’s vein. After three months of the completion of medication, the patients should get them re-tested or re-diagnosed to be sure about the infection is cured. This is recommended if any patient is unsure about their partner’s treatment. Doctors recommend not to have sex while getting treated and until one’s partner gets treated too. But re-diagnosis is a must for being assured. It is also wise not to have sex with multiple partners after getting treated because you might get infected again even if you got cured by proper medication.

Health Risks of Untreated Chlamydia Trachomatis

It’s very essential to consult your doctor once you feel or think that you have contracted Chlamydia trachomatis in order to clear up the infection with no harmful long lasting problems and health issues. If you take a long time or leave the infection untreated there might be many serious health issues leading to several health risks. Even if you don’t have any clear symptoms, but you think you had any unprotected sex with one or multiple partners you need to get yourself diagnosed for proper treatment.

Health Risks for Women with Untreated Chlamydia Trachomatis –

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infection damaging uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and cervix
  • Blotches on fallopian tubes causing infertility
  • Contamination of bacteria in the new born baby causing pneumonia and eye infections
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Premature birth or early miscarriage
  • Inability of getting pregnant
  • Pelvic pain for a prolonged period
  • Inflammation of the cervix with yellow vaginal discharge
  • Cystitis.

Health Risks for Men with Untreated Chlamydia Trachomatis –

  • Nongonococcal urethritis, infection in urethra
  • Epididymitis, infection of epididymis the tube that carries sperm away from the testicles.
  • Infertility and sterility
  • Prostatitis, the inflammation in prostate gland
  • Proctitis, inflammation of rectum muscles.

Common health risks of untreated Chlamydia trachomatis are lower back pain, pain in anus or rectum, kidney infections and issues, fever, painful intercourse, lower back pain and chronic pelvic pain. Delay in the treatment and diagnosis of Chlamydia Trachomatis infection can cause serious health troubles leading to permanent infertility and sexual disorders in both men and women. In many cases, when Chlamydia infection is left untreated, the infection spreads within the pelvic organs causing serious issues and permanent failure of such organs. However, the symptoms of later stages of Chlamydia infection are similar to the complications caused due to untreated condition as people tend to ignore the condition as they don’t get clear signs and symptoms.

Preventive Steps for Chlamydia Trachomatis

Chlamydia trachomatis infection occurs due to unprotected sex be it anal, vaginal or oral. The primary cause is getting contaminated with the infectious bacteria of Chlamydia patient or victim. If one healthy host gets infected by the Chlamydia patient the only way is touching or coming in contact with the genitals in any way.

Hence to avoid the infection and transmission of bacteria from infected host to healthy host there are some preventive measures and steps to follow to stay away from Chlamydia trachomatis and they are:

  • Using latex condoms while having sex each and every time
  • Avoiding to have sex with multiple partners
  • Do not go back and forth between sexual partners
  • Better have sex with one partner who has been tested and has negative STI and STD test results
  • Practicing sexual abstinence with one uninfected partner
  • Avoid having sex with anyone once you think you’re infected or get any symptom
  • If your STI and STD test results are positive, notify all your sexual partners to get diagnosed for stopping further infections
  • Get yourself tested if have active sex life with multiple partners.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2018

Recent Posts

Related Posts