Chlamydia happens to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world. With a whopping 2.3 million Americans infected, primarily men and women under the age of 25, Chlamydia can affect the genitals (penis or vagina), the cervix, urethra, anus, throat, or the eyes in its human hosts.
Chlamydia is most known as a sexually transmitted bacterial infection, spread by human to human sexual contact, including penetration, oral sex, petting, or contact with an infected person’s genitals, mouth, or anus. However, Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria can also be passed from mother to baby, or via contact with an infected person’s hand to eye contact.
Unfortunately, Chlamydia doesn’t always show obvious signs. However, you may experience the following symptoms within 5 to 10 days after you become infected…
The scariest thing about Chlamydia is that it often shows no symptoms—with 3 out of 4 women unaware they have the infection; and 50-percent of men showing no signs of Chlamydia infection.
Both men and women may feel some pain, often explained as a burning or fiery sensation, or an urgent, pressure-filled feeling prior to urinating.
Because women are more prone to catching Chlamydia due to the structure of the vagina, they may notice a thick, yellowish discharge with a strong, foul smell. Men may also experience a type of discharge— a milky pus coming from the penis.
It is quite common for both males and females to experience swelling in the genital area. For instance, men may experience inflamed or tender testicles; while women may feel swelling inside the vagina or in the anal region.
Pain during sex is quite common for women infected with Chlamydia. They might even endure vaginal bleeding post-intercourse.
One common sign of Chlamydia from anal sex for both women and men is anal itching, that can be so severe it can cause discharge and bleeding.
Akin to other bacterial infections, Chlamydia can cause abdominal pain, a loss of appetite, nausea, and explosive diarrhea.
Chlamydia is not purely a sexually transmitted infection. For instance, it can enter the body through the eyes—either from mother to baby during delivery or contamination via eye contact with contaminated hands. Infection of the eyes will cause redness, itching, and milky eye discharge.
Particularly in patients where Chlamydia contaminates the throat (from oral sex), the virus will often cause a raw, sore throat as well as painful eating and swallowing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 15-percent of blindness incidents globally are due to Chlamydia infection.