Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STI) that can cause various health problems and that affects both men and women. It is caused by bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis and is the most commonly reported bacterial STD in the United States. It can be asymptomatic for some people, making it difficult to know if you have been infected. Left untreated, it can have serious consequences on the reproductive system of a woman and can even lead to infertility.
However, there are signs and symptoms which may indicate chlamydia infection in women.
Signs of chlamydia infection in women
The infection often has no noticeable symptoms and many women are unaware they are infected until they experience a complication due to chlamydia.
Common signs of chlamydia include: pain or burning during urination, abnormal discharge from the vagina, abdominal pain, and bleeding between periods.
Other less common Signs of chlamydia in women may include: pain with sex, fever, itching around the vagina or rectum, and lower back pain. If any of these symptoms are present it should prompt an individual to seek medical attention for testing and treatment.
If left untreated, chlamydia can ascend into the uterus or fallopian tubes causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can lead to severe pelvic pain, irregular periods and, in some cases, infertility.
Chlamydia can also be passed from a mother to her newborn during delivery and is the leading cause of preventable blindness in infants. Women who are pregnant should get tested for chlamydia early on so that any infection can be monitored closely and treated if needed.
Chlamydia testing involves either a urine test or a swab of the cervix. A doctor may recommend additional tests for women depending on their risk factors and symptoms. If chlamydia is confirmed, it can be treated with antibiotics. It is important to take all the prescribed medication even if the symptoms go away, as there may still be some bacteria present in the body. Even after treatment, women should get tested to make sure that all of the bacteria has been eliminated from their body and that they are free from infection.
As always, it is recommended that individuals practice safe sex methods such as using condoms to help reduce their risk of STIs. It is also important to get tested regularly if you are sexually active and use protection when engaging in sexual activity to reduce your risk of STIs like chlamydia. It is essential to consult with your healthcare provider if any of the signs or symptoms listed above occur, as they can lead to more serious complications if left untreated. Knowing the signs and symptoms of chlamydia can help individuals identify infection early and seek treatment quickly.
By being aware and proactive about your health, you can protect yourself from the complications of chlamydia. If you think you may have chlamydia, contact your healthcare provider for testing and treatment. Early detection and treatment are important to stop the spread of this infection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual screening for sexually active women under 25 years old as well as older women who have risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners. By getting tested regularly, individuals can better protect their health and those around them by preventing the spread of STIs including chlamydia.