Today we are going to talk about the signs and symptoms of Chlamydia in Men and Women.
Chlamydia is one of the most common bacterial Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) worldwide. It is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. According to the United States Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial STI in the US, with approximately 2.86 million infections reported every year.
The reason why Chlamydia is so common is because most individuals with Chlamydia do not have any symptoms. In fact, less than 50% of both men and women with Chlamydia develop symptoms. Asymptomatic individuals may be unaware that they are infected and continue to spread it to their sexual partners.
If symptoms do develop, they may occur anytime from days to weeks after the initial infection.
Symptoms of Chlamydia in men
- Dysuria, or painful urination
- Urinary frequency and urgency
- Discomfort along the urethra, or urinary tract
- Penile discharge
- Pain or swelling of the testicles due to a less common but serious infection known as epididymo-orchitis
- Pain or discomfort in the pelvis due to prostatitis, which is inflammation of the prostate gland
Symptoms of Chlamydia in women
- Abnormal vaginal discharge which may be different in colour, odour, quantity and consistency
- Bleeding after sexual intercouse
- Abnormal spotting or bleeding in between menstrual periods
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Chronic pelvic or abdominal pain and/or fever due to a complication known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, whereby the infection spreads upwards to affect the uterus and fallopian tubes.
There are other complications of Chlamydia that can affect both men and women.
Firstly, conjunctivitis, which is an infection of the eye lining, can occur after contact with infected fluids. Symptoms include eye discharge, irritation, redness and lid swelling.
Next, proctitis, which is inflammation of the rectum due to anal sex, usually does not cause symptoms. If symptoms do occur, individuals may experience rectal discomfort, discharge or pain
Lastly, oral chlamydia, which results from providing oral sex, again usually does not cause symptoms. If symptoms do occur, individuals may experience sore throat, painless sores in the mouth, tonsillar swelling and painful swallowing.
Chlamydia can be tested using urine or swabs from the throat, rectum, cervix and urethra. Rapid testing is available at our clinics. Treatment involves a course of oral antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria.
Next read: Common STD Incubation Periods
If you would like to find out more about Chlamydia Testing and Treatment, come down to any of our clinics for a consultation.
Rapid Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea PCR Screening (Next Day Results) is available in all our clinics in Singapore.