Chlamydia or chlamydia trachomatis is one of the most common sexually transmitted pathogens that exist in humans. Now, the main problem with this type of infection is that it is usually asymptomatic. In fact, there are many people who do not yet know that they suffer from it. Something like that implies a more than high risk because they can transmit it to their sexual partners.
The vast majority of the population has heard this term. However, as it almost always happens in terms of sexual information, we are left with basic ideas without deepening in the real transcendence of each condition. For starters, chlamydia is not a pathogen anymore. In many cases, it may cause infertility or the woman may suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease.
In men the impact is also evident: sterility, serious infections in the genitals, etc. It is not a disease without relevance, sexually transmitted infections are always delicate, sometimes even resistant to treatments, alter our lives and in many cases can have consequences.
Thus, according to data revealed by a study published in The Lancet by Dr. Nicola Lowh, almost 10 million chlamydia positives occur each year in Europe alone. Those under 25 years of age are most affected by this infection. Making use of the condom will prevent a large number of infections; However, as doctors point out, it is not always 100% effective.
Children of mothers infected with chlamydia trachomatis may develop conjunctivitis. Moreover, in 20% of cases of babies are at risk of suffering from neonatal pneumonia.
What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) is an intracellular bacterium that only affects humans. It should be noted that there are 15 serotypes, with which, each of them can produce a type of disease depending on the strain. Also, this bacterium has two types of biovars or basic variants:
- The venereal lymphogranuloma (LGV) characterized by causing systemic diseases (and the most common).
- The biovar trachoma, on the other hand, can produce from arthritis, pneumonia, neonatal conjunctivitis, etc.
On the other hand, it should be noted that chlamydia affects men and women equally. However, this bacteria is lodged in the neck of the uterus, rectum or throat in women, and in the case of men in the urethra, rectum and throat.
How is it contracted?
The main route of transmission of chlamydia is sexual, and basically through unprotected relationships. The infection of this pathogen is carried out through the genital secretions, as well as through the mucous membranes of the oropharynx and also of the anus. Therefore, in these cases the condom as such does not help us to avoid 100% this type of STD. Oral sex is another way that we must take into account.
- Also, the mother infected with chlamydia can also transmit the disease to her baby when it passes through the birth canal.
- Chlamydia is not contracted by simple physical contact such as a caress, a hug, a kiss, sharing the same glass, touching the same objects, using the same bathroom, etc.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
We pointed out at the beginning that one of the main problems of this type of sexually transmitted disease is that it does not always have symptoms. Now, it is common to present small clues, characteristics that we can sometimes associate with other problems and that can give us some first clues.
Symptomatology in women
It is known that about 70% of women have only symptoms. However, we must meet the following characteristics:
- Pain when urinating.
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Abnormal vaginal discharge, with an intense smell.
- Symptomatology associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (pain in the abdomen, in the area of the hip and pelvis…)
- Inflammation of the liver
Symptoms in men
In the case of the male population, it is common that about 30% hardly show symptoms. The rest will suffer the following clinical picture:
- Burning when urinating
- Secretions of the penis and anus.
- Pain in rectum and testicular sensitivity.
How is chlamydia diagnosed?
When a person has carried out a risky sexual relationship (unprotected and with an occasional partner) it is recommended that the STD tests be performed. On the other hand, we can not ignore our periodic reviews either.
However, in the case that we present this symptomatology and the specialist suspects the presence of chlamydia, a sample is taken from the mucosa of the uterine cervix, from the urethra in the case of man, the oropharynx, the anus, etc. , with a swab. Later it is analyzed.
The results are always reliable and it will be our specialist who values the treatment to follow.
Treatment for chlamydia
In general, the treatment for chlamydia is simple: antibiotics. We can take a single dose of the recommended drug or follow it for a week. Also, specialists recommend treating all sexual partners of the last 60 days, whether they have symptoms or not.
What preventive measures should we follow?
To this day we still do not have vaccines or another type of drug that allows us to be protected from contracting chlamydia. It is our responsibility to maintain and carry out a healthy sexuality that protects us from STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Therefore, we must always consider the following prevention measures:
- Use the condom correctly.
- Remember that we can also get chlamydia through oral sex.
- We must take care of our sex toys, since they are also a source of obvious transmission.