Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 04:34 am
Long term effects of chlamydia in men and women is due to poorly or untreated chlamydia infection.
Chlamydia is mostly a sexually transmitted infection and its caused by a bacteria. It can affect the mouth, vagina, urethra in both men and women. More than 50 – 70 percent of males and 30 – 50 percent of females may be asymptomatic to the infection. However, they could have long term effects of chlamydia if left untreated or poorly treated.
It is recommended that both males and females, especially pregnant women, get tested for chlamydia. If you are below 25 years, the World Health Organisation and Center For Disease Control recommends chlamydia testing at least once a year.
Worldwide, chlamydia infection affects about 2.7 percent of men and more than 4 percent of women.
How can you get chlamydia?
Chlamydia is sexually transmitted and caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis. If you practice unsafe sexual intercourse, you have a high chance to catch chlamydia.
You can get chlamydia by
- Having unprotected vaginal sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
- Sharing toys with an infected person during intercourse
- Oral intercourse
- Anal unprotected sexual exposure
- Contact with infected fluid during intercourse
- Hand to eye transmission with red eyes in people with chlamydia
- Vary rarely, from contaminated towels
What are the symptoms of chlamydia in men
High body temperature
High body temperature or fever is a sign of chlamydia. Other sexually transmitted disease, especially gonorrhea infection, may mimic symptoms of chlamydia.
You should inform your doctor to rule out other causes of fever.
Watery cloudy penile discharge
If you have cloudy or watery fluid from your urethra, it could be chlamydia.
Are you finding it difficult to urinate? Do you have pain while urinating? Chlamydia causes urethritis, which is inflammation of the urethra. This can cause severe pain and discomfort while voiding.
If you have a swollen testes after weeks of unprotected intercourse, then it could be chlamydia infection spreading down to the epididymis.
What are the symptoms of chlamydia in women?
Low abdomen pain
Low abdomen pain with abnormal discharge can be due to chlamydia infection. You should let your doctor know if you’re having abdominal pain after intercourse some weeks or months ago.
Fever may or may not be present if you have chlamydia
Abnormal vaginal discharge
Is your discharge greenish or yellowish in color? Are you bleeding after intercourse or on contact with your vagina or cervix? Chlamydia infections can cause purulent discharge with contact bleeding. You should get tested to confirm if you have the infection.
Painful urination and bleeding after intercourse
If you have pains while having intercourse, post coital bleeding and pain while urinating, it could be a sexually transmitted infection.
Long term effects of chlamydia in men
Are you finding difficult to make your partner conceive? Any abnormal whitish or cloudy discharge with testicular pain?
If you have untreated chlamydia infection for a long time, it could affect your sperm. Chlamydia can cause sperm to become less motile with abnormal forms. Early testing and treatment is important to prevent infertility.
Though not always common, chlamydia can cause inflammation of the prostate gland with symptoms like
- Pain while passing urine
- Pain during intercourse
Other side effects of chlamydia in men are
Long term effects of chlamydia in women
In women, untreated chlamydia infection may cause any of the following
Pelvic inflammatory disease(PID)
Pelvic inflammation disease can occur from untreated chlamydia infections. It is due to upward spread of chlamydia infection thereby affecting the Fallopian tubes, uterus and abdomen.
Other causes of PID are Gonorrhea, Bacteria vaginosis and Trichomonas infection.
Symptoms of PID include
- Severe low abdomen pain
- Abdominal abscess due to severe infection
- Fallopian tube scaring with fertility problems
- High body temperature
- Abnormal green vaginal discharge
- Difficulty getting pregnant
What to do?
You should inform your doctor ASAP if you have any of these PID symptoms.
PID may affect the Fallopian tubes in women causing scaring or disruption of ciliary cells. This scarring of the Fallopian tube may result to obstruction. If sperm cannot pass through the Fallopian tube, then its very unlikely you can get pregnant.
If you’ve had intercourse without protection and you’re having difficulty conceiving, you should inform your doctor. Though sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia can be treated and cured, damage cause by long term infection may not be reversed.
You should inform your doctor ASAP.
Due to scaring of the Fallopian tubes and destruction of cilliary cells, caused by long term chlamydia infection, it can prevent fertilized ovum from being transported back to the uterus for implantation.
For pregnancy to occur, sperm fertilizes egg released by the ovary. This usually occurs in the Fallopian tube, which is a part of the uterus.
After fertilization, this egg is pushed back to the uterus for implantation due to the ciliary cell movement within the lumen of the tube.
During untreated chlamydia infection, these ciliary cells are destroyed resulting to implantation outside the uterus. This is called ectopic pregnancy.
Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are
- Signs of pregnancy like fatigue, nausea, breast swelling and pain
- Low abdomen pain that is very severe
- Dizziness and fainting
What to do?
Inform your doctor ASAP
Read More: Ectopic pregnancy causes and prevention
Are you having recurrent miscarriages? It could also be due to untreated chlamydia infection.
Miscarriage is the sudden cessation of pregnancy with or without vaginal bleeding.
If you are planning of getting pregnant or in early pregnancy, you should get tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections.
Premature low birth weight babies
Chlamydia infection may cause pregnant women to have premature babies.
Increased chance of contacting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
How can chlamydia complications be prevented
- Get tested early if pregnant to rule out infections
- Ensure regular yearly testing for STDs
- Avoid unprotected intercourse
- Get your partners tested very early and treated too
- Reduce sexual partners
- Use condoms consistently or totally abstain from intercourse
- Confirm cure of chlamydia by retesting 5 weeks after treatment
Now its your turn. Let us know if you have any long term problems from untreated chlamydia infection.