What Should You Know About Chlamydia?
By Lizzie De La Cruz
Sex. Lots of us are spending time thinking about it, doing it, or chasing it. With all that physical contact going on, it’s only natural that germs like chlamydia have evolved to come along for the ride and cause us problems. With 4 million chlamydia infections in 2018 alone, it’s one of the most common STIs in the US. Luckily, chlamydia is easily treated with chlamydia medications.
Compared to other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), chlamydia is relatively mild to deal with. Chlamydia is very common, and chlamydia medications typically consist of a short round of antibiotics.
What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a disease that is transmitted through oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse, and it can be spread even without ejaculation. Unlike many common diseases that are caused by viruses, however, chlamydia is caused by a bacterial infection, and it must be treated with antibiotic chlamydia medications, which cause the symptoms to clear up relatively quickly.
Chlamydia can affect everyone, and it can cause serious reproductive concerns in people with internal reproductive organs if left untreated. This is especially problematic since chlamydia can also be asymptomatic, meaning either or both partners may have it without knowing it. Even if you have cleared up a prior bout of the infection with chlamydia medications, you are still susceptible to contracting it in the future, so it’s important to be screened regularly if you have unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners.
Some of Chlamydia’s Harmful Effects
No STI is without its harmful symptoms, and though most people can take chlamydia medications and get over a bout without much harm, chlamydia can cause worse problems than the acute symptoms if it goes untreated.
Chlamydia medications can be used to treat symptoms anyone. Symptoms of chlamydia infection for men include penile discharge, burning urination, and pain and swelling of the testicles in rare cases. Symptoms of chlamydia in women include vaginal discharge and a burning sensation when urinating.
Chlamydia medications are especially important for people with vaginas, who have a heightened risk of developing health problems due to chlamydia. Chlamydia can spread to the rest of the reproductive tract over time, causing abdominal pain, inability to get pregnant, painful ectopic pregnancies, or passage of the infection to their fetus. This is why it’s extra important to be tested regularly so you know when you have an infection and to be treated as soon as possible.
Testing and Treatment for Chlamydia
Anyone who suspects that they are infected with chlamydia should see a doctor as soon as they can. The doctor will administer a simple test using a urine sample or a cotton swab sample from the vagina. These are tested in a lab, and if the result is positive, your doctor will place you on a course of one of a few possible chlamydia medications.
Chlamydia medications can be prescribed as a single dose with a seven-day abstinence, or as a seven-day course of daily treatment. If chlamydia medications are taken as they are prescribed, they can cure a bout of chlamydia, but a patient should be re-tested three months from treatment. Your doctor may also offer treatment to your partner to ensure they are also chlamydia-free and that you do not become re-infected.
The only way to 100% protect yourself from chlamydia is to abstain from sex altogether (and we mean completely — no oral, anal, and vaginal sex). However, latex condoms are highly effective at preventing transmission and practicing monogamy with a tested, trusted partner will greatly reduce your risk. Even though chlamydia medications are easy to take, preventative measures will still ensure you won’t infect someone else.
Prescriptions for Chlamydia Medications Online
In case you don’t have access to a family doctor, or if you are feeling a little too shy to talk to someone about an STI, confidential online services are available through wisp. Wisp is an app that can connect you with doctors without the hassle of a waiting room. Primary care doctors who can prescribe chlamydia medications are available 24/7.