Chamydia is a sexually transmitted infection. Although there are no noticeable symptoms for many people, it can have harmful effects on health.
Despite all the attention they have received, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remain a topical issue. Chlamydia is among the most common STIs. The infection, which is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, is sexually transmitted in the following ways:
- through contact of the genital organs
- through contact of the mouth with the penis, vulva, vagina or anus
- during penetration of the penis in the vagina or anus
- through contact of the genital organs with contaminated sex toys
An infected mother can transmit the disease to her baby during childbirth. The baby may have conjunctivitis or pneumonia.
Many infected individuals have no symptoms at all and may, unfortunately, transmit the disease without their knowledge. However, the infection may manifest itself by the following symptoms, which appear two to three weeks after contamination:
- abnormal vaginal discharge
- vaginal bleeding after intercourse and between periods
- abnormal discharge from the penis or anus
- tingling or burning sensation during urination
- pain in the testicles or around the anus
If the infection goes untreated, it can lead to the following complications:
- pain in the lower abdomen or testicles
- pregnancy in the fallopian tubes
- chronic prostate infection
Screening and treatment
If you have had unprotected sexual intercourse or if you experience symptoms, being screened for an STI is strongly recommended. Screening of Chlamydia is done by analyzing a urine sample or secretions taken from the vagina, cervix, urethra or anus.
The use of antibiotics enables infected individuals to recover completely from the infection. To avoid complications, it is essential to obtain prompt medical treatment. Medication is free of charge for infected individuals and their sexual partners. Upon presenting a prescription and a valid healthcare card, you can obtain it from your pharmacist. It is crucial to advise all of your sexual partners, so they can be treated. Remember that your pharmacist is always there to help you if you have any questions about the treatment.
Efficacy of treatment is not immediate. The infected person remains contagious and must avoid unprotected sexual intercourse for some time to prevent spreading the infection:
- until the end of his/her treatment, if it lasts several days
- seven days after his/her treatment, if it is a single dose
- until symptoms disappear
The use of a condom is the best way to protect against STIs. No one is immune to this type of silent disease, regardless of a sexual partner's hygiene, social background, or the absence of symptoms or whether you have known him/her for a long time. A condom is easy to use and inexpensive, and is an integral part of healthy sexual practices. Don't hesitate to demand it from your partner!
Remember that your pharmacist is always there to help you and to answer your questions concerning any health issues!