Factsheet on Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease or STD, and its name comes from the Greek word for ‘cloak.’ It has more than earnt this name as it is not only one of the most common STDs in the world, but it is nearly invisible. Chlamydia is limited to humans only and is a common cause of eye and genital diseases. Healthy relationships are possible even if you have Chlamydia, you just need to seek treatment right away to prevent spreading it to your partner.
The disease is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia Trachomatis. It is chiefly transmitted from host to host by vaginal, oral and anal sex plus from mother to child through childbirth.
The vast majority of people do not show chlamydia symptoms. This is an infection of the urethra in men and the urethra and cervix in women. Some symptoms that may occur include pain when passing water, cloudy urine and abnormal discharges from the vagina or penis.
Diagnosing chlamydia requires a physical examination and a detailed sexual history discussion with your doctor or physician. Questions tend to cover past relationships, the use of contraceptives and so on. The physical examination will check for any signs of infection and will also involve the use of a swab. As the disease is often invisible, the swab is a vitally important way of finding out if the disease is present or not. If the disease is found, it is vitally important that the infected person contacts everyone that have been in sexual contact with in the past few months, so they can be tested and treated too.
Chlamydia treatment involves the application of antibiotics. This medicine must be taken every day at the right time and so long as the doctor requires it. During this period, the carrier should abstain from sexual contact. If their regular partner is also infected they should both take the medicine to prevent reinfection. The best preventative for chlamydia, is to abstain from sex with multiple partners and to use contraceptives. As the disease is invisible, it should be routinely checked for with a physician if a person is regularly indulging in unprotected sex with different people.
Chlamydia is not a curable disease. Considering that fact, the prognosis is good because Chlamydia rarely develops beyond blisters and sores. In some cases, Chlamydia can lead to Bell’s palsy, which is a paralysis of facial muscles. This paralysis is caused by an inflammation of the nerve and does not have to be permanent if treated quickly.
Sometimes Chlamydia is confused with gonorrhea. You can see the difference between the two by checking out the gonorrhea factsheet. Additional information about STDs can also be found on the herpes factsheet.