The Danger of Chlamydia Symptoms - Could you have Chlamydia? Sometimes it's easy to know if you might have a disease, but in the case of Chlamydia, it can be tough to tell without getting screened. More than a million men and women are diagnosed with this STD every year in the US. Since the disease is so common, the CDC recommends that sexually active women with new partners get tested for it every year. Men can get Chlamydia too, though, and even though the disease carries less risk for them, they do risk passing it on to their female partners.
Anyone who has any kind of intimate genital contact with another person can get Chlamydia since Chlamydia can pass through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Chlamydia can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, urethra, mouth, throat, or rectum. Chlamydia is known as the "silent" STD because it often has no symptoms at all. Many of its carriers don't even know they have the disease and pass it on unwittingly to others since they haven't been screened before or after taking on a new sexual partner.
If you do have symptoms of Chlamydia you are most likely to experience a burning sensation when you urinate or discharge from your vagina or penis. While these are the most common symptoms of Chlamydia, they are not the only ones. Some men will experience swelling and pain in the testicles, though this is an uncommon symptom. Some women will experience abdominal or lower back pain, fever, nausea, painful intercourse, or bleeding in between menstrual periods. Pain, discharge or bleeding in the rectum may also indicate Chlamydia, even if you haven't had anal sex, since Chlamydia may spread.
If Chlamydia goes untreated, women face serious complications. A pregnant woman can pass Chlamydia onto her baby (symptoms in the baby commonly include pinkeye or pneumonia). It's also possible for a woman to become infertile through the complication of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID occurs in 1 out of every 10-15 women who have untreated Chlamydia. Just because you don't have symptoms doesn't mean that your Chlamydia won't cause PID. With PID you're also at risk for chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are fatal to fetuses and can be fatal to mothers.
The good news is that Chlamydia is easy to diagnose using a simple lab test.
Usually, a urine test is enough to find Chlamydia, though sometimes a sample needs to be collected from a patient's penis or cervix. Furthermore, Chlamydia is easy to treat and cure permanently. It can be scary wondering if you might have an STD, but if you suspect you might have Chlamydia, you should be able to get rid of it with a quick round of antibiotics should the test come up positive. Chlamydia is common, but it doesn't need to be. By curing Chlamydia quickly you can avert the development of unpleasant symptoms and dangerous complications. There is no reason to live with Chlamydia or to risk passing it on to your sexual partner(s).