Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is spread through unprotected sex. Chlamydia is mostly caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Transmission of these microorganisms can occur during anal, oral, vaginal, and genital contact. In addition, sex toys that have not been cleaned properly or covered with new condoms can means spreading Chlamydia.2

Young women predominate among those infected with Chlamydia. However, Chlamydia can infect men and women of all ages. According to research, 40 to 96 percent of people with Chlamydia have no symptoms. Even so, untreated Chlamydia can cause health problems later in life. Chlamydia can spread and cause long-term health problems if not treated properly.1

Symptoms of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is generally asymptomatic after 1-3 weeks. Often, the symptoms of chlamydia are ignored because they are thought to be fleeting and not severe. Symptoms of chlamydia in women and men can be different, but pain or tenderness when urinating is a common characteristic. 2

Chlamydia symptoms in men and women can be different. Here's how it works:

Symptoms of Chlamydia in women: 3

> Very smelly discharge.

> Urination with pain and burning sensation

> Pain during sexual intercourse, with possible vaginal bleeding during or after

> When the infection has spread, the patient will experience nausea, fever, and lower abdominal pain.

Symptoms in men:

> Clear or slightly cloudy discharge from the penis

> Pain when urinating

> Burning and itching at the tip of the penis

> Pain and swelling around the testicles

Chlamydia Risk Factors2

The following risk factors that cause a person to get chlamydia:

> Have had a sexually transmitted disease.

> Having more than one sexual partner / multiple partners.

> Have sex without using a condom.

> Be sexually active before the age of 18.

Diagnosis of Chlamydia4

> The doctor will ask about the patient's symptoms and sexual history, followed by a physical examination, especially the genital organs.

> The doctor will collect a sample from the urethra in men or from the cervix in women, may also examine urine sample to analyze for the presence of Chlamydia bacteria.

> In addition to the genital organs, throat or rectal swabs can be used to detect Chlamydia bacteria.

Treatment4

Treatment consists of taking a doctor-prescribed combination of antibiotics for a week or two. Antibiotics should be used even after chlamydia symptoms improve to prevent bacterial retention. Patients are also advised not to engage in any sexual activity during treatment to avoid re-infection and transmission of chlamydia to their partners.

Prevention3

Avoid changing partners during sex, use condoms appropriately, and have regular chlamydia checks to prevent infection. Chlamydia patients should wait for doctor's approval before engaging in sexual activity to prevent spreading the infection to their partners.

References:

1. Stacy A. Henigsman, DO. Everything You Need to Know About Chlamydia Infection. The Healthline Editorial. Last reviewed November 29, 2021. Available at:

https://www.healthline.com/health/std/chlamydia 

2. RSST Promkes Team - RSUP dr. Soeradji Tirtonegoro Klaten. Chlamydia. humas.yankes Ministry of Health. Last reviewed July 28, 2022. Available at:

https://yankes.kemkes.go.id/view_article/648/chlamydia

3. WebMD editorial staff. Chlamydia. WebMD. Last reviewed: October 2022. Available at:

https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/chlamydia#1 

4. Mayo Clinic Staff. Chlamydia trachomatis. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Last reviewed: February 11, 2022. Available at:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chlamydia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355355