Chlamydia is an all-too common sexually transmitted infection that in the worst cases can lead to infertility. One of the problems with it is that Chlamydia symptoms in women aren’t always obvious, or apparent at all. It’s hard to protect from something that can pass unnoticed.
The infection is caused by a bacteria, Chlamydia trachomatis. This pathogen is passed by certain types of human contact. This is predominantly sexual contact, but it is possible to transmit it by touching parts of an infected persons body, including the eyes.
Chlamydia Symptoms in Women
Symptoms aren’t always obvious. They can be very subtle, and they can be completely asymptomatic. They can of course be completely obvious. In most cases, detection depends on the awareness of the individual and communication with partners.
As the Chlamydia symptoms in women can be very subtle, it can be difficult to detect in its own right. Often Chlamydia is detected while being screened for something entirely different.
The common Chlamydia symptoms in women are:
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Pain or a burning sensation when passing urine
- Bleeding between periods
- Pain during sex or bleeding after sex
- Abdominal pain sometimes with nausea
These symptoms can easily be mistaken for other infections, so it is imperative that anyone who displays any of these symptoms is checked immediately.
Testing for Chlamydia is very straightforward. In most cases it will be either a urine or swab that will be sent to a laboratory for testing. If Chlamydia trachomatis is found, a treatment can be provided relatively easily.
Treatment is usually in the form of antibiotics. This can be a single high-strength dose, or a course of tablets spread over 14 days. If the course is completed properly, the infection should be eradicated. A further test is often performed to ensure the efficacy of any treatment.
In rare cases, Chlamydia symptoms in women can persist after this treatment. Then a different drug may be prescribed. Some people are naturally resistant to antibiotics, although this is thankfully rare.
Ramifications of non-Treatment
If Chlamydia symptoms in women are not addressed, the infection can lead to longer term complications. The bacteria can spread to other parts of the body and cause other health problems.
Untreated Chlamydia symptoms in women can include:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Blocked fallopian tubes, resulting in infertility
- Long-term pelvic pain
- Early miscarriage or premature birth
None of these are things a woman wants to experience, which is why prompt identification and treatment is so important.
Prevention is always better than the cure, and the US government has spent vast amounts of money on education initiatives. It would seem that they have been largely ineffective, especially as infection rates are actually increasing.
With many minority social groups, even if Chlamydia symptoms in women are evident, there isn’t always the knowledge to seek treatment. Then of course there is the age-old issue of access to adequate healthcare.
Until awareness of the obvious Chlamydia symptoms in women spreads to all parts of society, infection rates will continue to increase.