What is Chlamydia?
What is Chlamydia? Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease transmitted through unprotected sex. This disease can infect men and women of all ages. However, most cases of chlamydia are experienced by sexually active young women. This disease can cause more serious health problems if not handled thoroughly.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
Most people with chlamydia do not feel any symptoms early in contracting the disease. But after 1 to 3 weeks, usually new symptoms will appear. Although it has emerged, the symptoms of chlamydia are often overlooked because they are usually not severe and soon pass. The symptoms experienced by men differ from women. The only symptom that can be experienced by both is pain when urinating.Half of the chlamydial men do not feel the symptoms of the disease, and the rest experience it again. Symptoms may include pain in the testicles, burning or itching sensations during urination, and discharge of thick white or dilute fluid from the tip of the penis. The infection still occurs and can be transmitted even though the symptoms experienced are gone.
Whereas in women, the percentage who did not experience symptoms was about 70 percent, and the remaining 30 percent had symptoms. Symptoms that appear can be bleeding when or after completion of sex and discharge of unusual fluid from the vagina. In addition, there is also a more severe menstruation than usual, bleeding between menstrual periods, and pain in the lower abdomen.
Chlamydia not only infects the genitals, it can also infect the eyes and cause conjunctivitis if the infected vaginal fluid or sperm are exposed to the eye. Infected eyes will feel sore, swollen, irritated, and discharge. The anus can also be infected and cause bleeding, fluid discharge, as well as pain and discomfort.
Immediately see a doctor if you or your partner experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Causes of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. These bacteria are transmitted by the patient through sexual contact without using a condom. Transmission of chlamydia may be through oral, anal, vaginal, and mutual sex. In addition, chlamydia can also be transmitted through sex aids that are not coated with condoms or are not washed thoroughly after use.
Having sex with multiple people or multiple partners may increase the risk of chlamydia.
Some other factors that may increase a person’s risk of chlamydia include:
- Ever had sexually transmitted diseases.
- Have more than one sexual partner / multiple partners.
- Having sex without using a condom.
- Actively sexually before the age of 18 years.
Chlamydia is not transmitted through the following:
- Toilet holder
- Using the same cutlery as the patient
- Sharing towels with sufferers
- Swim in the same pool
- Shower in the same bathroom
Chlamydia mothers may transmit the infection to the baby they are born and cause the eyes to become swollen and secrete fluid or so-called conjunctivitis. Therefore, when planning a pregnancy or early pregnancy, make sure you are not having this infection and if positive, treat as quickly as possible.
Diagnosis of Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be diagnosed in an easy and painless way, using a cotton bud swab or through a urine sample test.
Thin swabs are inserted into the tip of the penis to obtain a sample from the urine or urethral drain. As for female patients, the swabs are used on the inside of the lower vagina or cervix.
Swabs can be used to collect fluid samples from the eyelids if your eyes are inflamed due to chlamydia infection. In addition, swabs can also be used to take samples from the throat or anus if the patient has oral or anal sex.
The test should be performed again after three months to make sure the chlamydia infection is completely gone. Chlamydia can not be detected by blood or pap smear tests.
Chlamydia can be overcome by using a combination of antibiotic drugs. Chlamydia treatment is recommended for those who:
- The test results were positive for chlamydia
- Having sex with chlamydia patients within the last 2 months, even if the person has no symptoms.
- Newborns with positive mothers suffering from chlamydia during pregnancy and childbirth.
The following are some of the antibiotics that doctors usually prescribe to treat chlamydia:
Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have allergies to antibiotics, or are using a contraceptive. Antibiotic drugs that are safe for consumption by pregnant women are amoxicillin, azithromycin, and erythromycin.
Patients are advised not to have sexual intercourse during the treatment period which usually lasts 1-2 weeks or until the infection has completely disappeared. To prevent transmission again, your partner should also take medication despite not experiencing chlamydia symptoms.
Antibiotic drugs have some side effects, but are usually mild. Side effects that may occur after taking this drug are diarrhea, decreased appetite, nausea, abdominal bloating, vomiting, abdominal pain and fungal infections of the vagina.
Complications of Chlamydia
Chlamydia can spread and cause long-term health problems if not treated properly. The following are some of the chlamydia complications that can occur in male patients.
- Epididymitis, the inflammation and swelling of the epididymis that is part of the male and channel reproductive system to drain sperm from the testicles. This disease can cause pain. If not treated immediately, the liquid or even pus will come out. And if it is severe, infertility can occur.
- Reactive arthritis, which is inflammation of the joints that most experienced by men than women. Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (eg ibuprofen) can be used to treat symptoms of this condition. Usually symptoms will improve in approximately six months, but may return again.
- Urethritis, ie inflammation of the urinary tract or urethra. This condition is usually characterized by symptoms such as frequent or incapacitated urination, pain or tenderness during urination, foreskin or the tip of the penis is irritated and painful, and the tip of the penis removes viscous white fluid.
While in women, some of the complications that can occur due to chlamydia are:
- Cervicitis, ie inflammation of the cervix or cervix. Symptoms of this condition can include pain in the lower abdomen, pain during intercourse, bleeding during or after intercourse, and bleeding between menstrual periods.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, ie infection of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. If left untreated, this condition may increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy or fetal growth outside the womb and miscarriage. 90 percent of cases of PID are caused by chlamydia and gonorrhea complications that are not treated well. Pelvic inflammation can be treated with antibiotics.
- Complications of pregnancy. Pregnant women suffering from chlamydia may infect the fetus without treatment. When this happens, the baby in the womb may have an eye and lung infection. Chlamydia may also increase the risk of premature or low birth weight babies.
- Bartholinitis or swelling of the Bartholin glands (glands that produce lubricating fluids when women have sex). Bartholin gland cysts can form if the gland is blocked and infected. In addition, this condition can also cause abscess or accumulation of pus that feels pain or tenderness when touched, red, and cause a fever.
- Salpingitis, which is inflammation of the fallopian tubes that cause ovarian cells from the ovaries, is difficult to reach the uterus and makes the patient more difficult to conceive. The risk of having an ectopic pregnancy or pregnancy outside the uterus will increase, although the fallopian tube is only partially blocked.
Prevention of Chlamydia
There are several ways we can do to prevent transmission of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia (including gonorrhea or genital herpes), by using condoms during intercourse and not sharing the use of sex aids. Condom use is not 100 percent eliminating the risk of infection, but at least this way is quite effective in reducing the risks.
In addition, transmission of chlamydia can also be prevented by limiting the number of sexual partners or loyal to one partner alone. If you are active in sexual intercourse with more than one person, then you are advised to do regular checks because chlamydia does not cause symptoms in some people.
Women are also advised not to overuse the vagina, as it can reduce the number of good bacteria in it. A small number of good bacteria will increase the risk of infection in the vagina.