Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States, with over 1.4-million cases reported each year. The CDC recommends annual screening for the disease in all sexually active individuals under the age of 25-years old.
The bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, is responsible for the infection. Chlamydia resides in the semen of men and vaginal secretions of women and spreads through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, anus, or mouth. This disease is dangerous for pregnant women, and they may pass it onto their unborn child and experience complications with the pregnancy.
Typically, symptoms of chlamydia begin to show up two to three weeks after the initial infection. Doctors treat chlamydia infection with antibiotics, and the infection usually clears up reasonably quickly.
Here are eight symptoms of chlamydia. If you notice any of them, arrange an STI screen with your physician for diagnosis of infection and treatment of the disease.
1. No Symptoms
Chlamydia is a “sleeper STI,” meaning that in 75 to 90-percent of all cases, the infection presents no symptoms to the infected individual. Most people with chlamydia feel normal, and they might carry the disease for years, infecting multiple partners before detection. This stealth characteristic makes chlamydia challenging to spot without professional medical assistance.
Chlamydia is highly infectious, spreading through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, anus, or mouth. The lack of symptoms in infected individuals does not mean that you are resistant to the disease, or it doesn’t affect you like others. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause complications with your sexual health.
Complications include infertility and PID, (pelvic inflammatory disease.) A lack of screening in sexually active individuals means that you have a high risk of contracting the infection if you have unprotected sex, especially if you are under 26-years of age. If you have had unprotected sex, arrange an STI screen with your doctor.