Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the world. It is estimated that around 1.1 million people in the US have it, and many of them don’t even know it. Chlamydia symptoms in men are often very mild, so the infection may not even be apparent. This is a challenge to overcome to say the least.
According to the National Disease and Therapeutic Index, over a million new cases are reported every year. That number is increasing year on year, up from half a million in 1998. The rate at which reported cases is increasing isn’t necessarily bad news. As there can be very mild Chlamydia symptoms in men, the increase can of course be attributed to better testing, education and detection.
However the statistics are realized, the infection rate is still something that must be tackled, and tackled quickly. While the infection isn’t as physically devastating as, say, HIV, it can have long term ramifications for fertility.
Chlamydia Symptoms in Men
Chlamydia symptoms in men can be so faint as to not be recognizable. The main indicators are usually one or all of the following:
- White, cloudy, watery discharge from the penis
- Burning sensation or pain when passing urine
- Pain and swelling in the testicles.
Fortunately, Chlamydia symptoms in men are more obvious than in women, so if a person becomes infected, and displays symptoms, they should be able to get treatment relatively quickly.
The transmission of sexually transmitted infections is obviously primarily through sexual contact. In the case of Chlamydia it is passed through vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who is infected.
As it’s possible to carry the infection without showing Chlamydia symptoms in men, preventing transmission can be very difficult. While studies suggest people do knowingly have unprotected sex while carrying the infection, most often the infection is passed without realizing it.
Testing and Treatment
Once Chlamydia symptoms in men become obvious it’s time for testing and treatment. There are a number of testing options for Chlamydia, including home test kits, or tests carried out by a physician. The primary test uses urine which will be sent to a laboratory to check for the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria.
If the bacteria is identified, a treatment plan can be devised to address the infection. Usually, a course of antibiotics will be enough to rid the system of the bacteria. If Chlamydia symptoms in men persist after a proper treatment, there are other drugs that can help.
Anyone that ignores Chlamydia symptoms in men do risk some serious complications. The infection, if left unchecked can have longer term health ramifications. Issues such as epididymitis, urethritis or reactive arthritis can emerge as a result of leaving Chlamydia unchecked.
Epididymitis can lead to infertility, but the painful inflammation of the testicles should be enough to prompt treatment. Urethritis is also painful, and results in a pus-like discharge. Left untreated, this can affect the ability to urinate properly. Reactive arthritis is a serious issue that causes joint and eye pains later in life.