Chlamydia is a disease caused by a bacterial infection. It can be transmitted by oral, vaginal, or anal sex with someone who is already infected. For some people there are no symptoms, but if you do have symptoms they’ll generally show up anywhere from one to three weeks after you’ve been exposed.
Read on to learn more about the symptoms you might experience with chlamydia infection. They can vary from person to person but there are some general symptoms that are fairly common.
One important thing to remember is that symptoms for women and men can be quite different. This is because of differences in female and male anatomy.
Symptoms for Women
Chlamydia can be a silent STD for women. In fact 3 out of 4 women have no symptoms. When that happens, the infection can be causing damage to the female reproductive system and the woman might not realize it until she experiences problems with fertility or pregnancy.
For those women who do experience symptoms, there are some that show up more often than others. For example, a woman may notice an abnormal vaginal discharge than could have an unpleasant odor.
Women also sometimes experience pain during urination. The rectal area of the body can also experience pain, bleeding, or an unusual discharge. And finally, it’s possible to have an inflamed eye or eyes as a result of chlamydia.
Still there are other symptoms that occur even more rarely. For example, unusual bleeding between periods can occur. A woman may also experience pain in the lower back or abdomen. She may also have pain during sex. Nausea, a sore throat, and vomiting can be symptoms of chlamydia as well.
Symptoms for Men
As in women, chlamydia can be a silent infection in men. At least half of all men experience no symptoms at all. However, in the other half of men there are some symptoms.
Any type of abnormal discharge from the penis could indicate a sexually transmitted infection of chlamydia, among several possible diseases. Pain during urination is also a common symptom.
Men who are infected with chlamydia may also experience rectal pain, bleeding, or an unusual rectal discharge. Inflamed eyes can also be indicators of chlamydia. It is possible but less common to experience testicular pain and swelling.
Men with chlamydia may also experience a sore throat or itching and burning on the tip of the penis at or around the opening of the urethra.
Screening and Treatment
The good news is that with treatment, chlamydia can be cured in both women and men using antibiotics. But if you don’t get screening, you won’t know that you need the medication.
If you’re engaging in unprotected sex with someone who has been diagnosed with chlamydia it’s important to get screened. And if you’re engaging in unprotected sex regularly with anyone other than a monogamous partner, it’s a good idea to get tested at least once a year for chlamydia even if you don’t know you’ve been exposed.