Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated , chlamydia can increase the risk of infertility , especially in women.
Chlamydia can be experienced by men or women. In men, this disease can attack the urinary tract ( urethritis ). Whereas in women, chlamydia can occur in the pelvic organs.
Chlamydia often causes no symptoms. Therefore, many people do not realize that they have been infected with this disease.
Causes of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis , which is spread through the fluids in the genital organs . A person can contract this disease when having sex with sufferers, especially if they do not use a condom.
In addition to vaginal intercourse, chlamydia can also be transmitted through oral or anal sex, causing chlamydia in the throat or rectum.
Judging from the mode of transmission, chlamydia occurs more easily in people who have the following risk factors:
- Have had a sexually transmitted disease
- Frequently changing sexual partners
Chlamydia usually causes no symptoms. However, people with chlamydia can still transmit this disease to others. When symptoms appear, they usually occur 1-3 weeks after the patient is infected.
Because the infected organs are different, the symptoms of chlamydia in men and women can also be different. The following is an explanation:
Symptoms of chlamydia in women:
- Very smelly discharge
- Burning sensation when urinating
- It hurts during intercourse and you may experience vaginal bleeding afterward
When the infection has spread, the patient will feel nausea, fever, or pain in the lower abdomen.
Symptoms of chlamydia in men:
- Discharge from the penis
- The wound on the penis feels itchy or burning
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Pain or swelling in one or both testicles
In both men and women, chlamydia that infects the rectum will cause pain which can be accompanied by discharge or blood from the rectum.
When to see a doctor
Someone who is at risk of suffering from chlamydia, for example someone who likes to have multiple sexual partners and does not use condoms, needs to be screened for chlamydia disease. Screening is done annually to detect chlamydia or other sexually transmitted diseases .
The partner of a person with chlamydia also needs to be examined. When exposed to chlamydia, both the patient and his partner must be treated immediately so as not to transmit this disease to others.
Pregnant women also need to undergo screening to prevent transmission of chlamydia to their babies. Screening is carried out during the first pregnancy check-up and in the third trimester.
If the examination results show positive for chlamydia, pregnant women need to be treated and controlled by an obstetrician within 3 weeks and 3 months after treatment.
Three months after treatment, all chlamydia sufferers need to be retested. This is necessary because someone who has chlamydia is more at risk of being infected again.
The doctor will ask the patient's symptoms and history of sexual intercourse, followed by a physical examination, especially on the genital organs.
To detect chlamydia, the doctor will take urine samples and fluid samples from the patient's genital organs. Genital fluid samples were taken by rubbing a cotton bud on the genital organs.
Apart from the genital organs, swabs ( swabs ) can also be carried out in the throat or rectum, to detect Chlamydia bacteria .
Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics , such as azithromycin or doxycycline . Patients need to take antibiotics for 7 days, or just take a single dose of antibiotics as directed by the doctor. It is important to remember, patients should not have sexual intercourse until 7 days after the treatment is finished.
Pregnant women who suffer from chlamydia need to be treated immediately with antibiotics so that they do not transmit this disease to the fetus and can give birth normally. Treatment of chlamydia in pregnant women is only started after the diagnosis is confirmed through laboratory tests.
If pregnant women are still at risk for chlamydia, they will be re-examined in the third trimester of pregnancy. If the results come back positive, the pregnant woman will be treated again.
If the pregnant woman is still suffering from chlamydia near the time of delivery, the doctor will recommend a caesarean section . The goal is to reduce the risk of transmitting chlamydia to babies born.
Chlamydia can cause different complications in men and women. Meanwhile, in pregnant women, chlamydia can cause complications in the baby to be born.
The following are complications that can occur due to chlamydia:
Complications in women
In women, untreated chlamydial infection can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes (fallopian tubes), causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Pelvic inflammation can cause permanent damage to the female reproductive system. This condition can make sufferers experience infertility , prolonged pain in the pelvic area, and pregnancy outside the uterus ( ectopic pregnancy ).
Women who have had chlamydia infection more than once will be more at risk of experiencing severe complications in the reproductive organs.
Complications in men
While in men, chlamydia usually does not cause complications. Even so, chlamydia bacteria can infect the sperm ducts (epididymis) causing pain in the testicles and lower abdomen, as well as fever and infertility.
Complications in pregnant women and fetus
The fetus is more at risk of being born prematurely , because chlamydia increases the risk of pregnant women experiencing premature rupture of membranes . Babies born to chlamydia sufferers tend to have low body weight, and are at risk of pneumonia and trachoma , which are eye infections that can cause blindness .
In both men and women, chlamydia infection can also cause reactive arthritis , due to the body's reaction to the infection. Chlamydia that is not treated immediately will increase the patient's risk of contracting gonorrhea or HIV / AIDS.
Prevention of chlamydia can be done by not having multiple sexual partners, using condoms properly when having sex, and regularly undergoing chlamydia screening.
People with chlamydia need to avoid sexual intercourse until permitted by a doctor, to avoid transmitting the disease to their partners.
People who are at risk of being infected with chlamydia need to routinely undergo chlamydia screening so that this disease can be detected and treated early so that the risk of transmitting it to others will also be lower.
People who are at risk of becoming infected with chlamydia are:
Pregnant women Pregnant
women should undergo chlamydia screening at the beginning of pregnancy and in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Commercial sex workers and people who
have multiple partners People who have multiple sexual partners or frequently change partners should undergo a chlamydia screening at least once a year.
Male sex (MSM) and bisexual men
MSM and bisexual groups need to be screened for chlamydia at least once a year. However, if you have multiple sexual partners, MSM and bisexual need to undergo chlamydia screening more regularly, ie every 3 or 6 months.