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Transmission, symptoms and screening for chlamydia

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is an infection caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis. This STBB is the most frequent sexually transmitted infection and is often asymptomatic. The bacteria can therefore be transmitted to a sexual partner unknowingly. Chlamydia is most often diagnosed in young adults (15-24 years old) and women seem slightly more frequently infected than men. Chlamydia can affect the cervix, urethra, rectum, throat and eyes. An individual can be infected more than once in his life.

How is chlamydia transmitted?

Chlamydia can be transmitted through unprotected sex (vaginal, oral or anal) with an infected person with or without penetration, orgasm or ejaculation. It can also be passed by sharing sexual toys. Chlamydia can be transmitted from a mother to her baby during delivery.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

Most infected people do not show symptoms. Other people, however, develop symptoms 2 to 6 weeks after contact with the bacterium.

In women, symptoms can include:

  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • A change or increase in vaginal discharge (especially between periods)
  • Pain or bleeding at the time of penetration
  • Fever
  • More frequent need to urinate

In men, they may include:

  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Itching in the area of the rectum
  • Testicular pain or swelling
  • A clear or milky discharge from the penis

How is chlamydia treated?

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. Treatment must be initiated without delay to avoid passing the bacteria to a sexual partner and to stop the development of complications (infertility, chronic pelvic or testicular pain, ectopic pregnancy, chronic prostate infection).

  • It is also very important to abstain from any sexual activity until all disease symptoms are completely gone and at least 7 days after a single dose treatment. It is also important to invite sexual partners to visit a health professional for testing and counselling.

How to get tested?

Any individual having unprotected sex practices is at risk of being infected by chlamydia and should consult a health specialist for counselling and screening. The infection is diagnosed most of the time by identifying the bacteria on urine samples. Vaginal, cervix, urethral and anal swabs can also be analysed. Many different identification techniques are available but the most widely used is by looking for the bacterial DNA after amplification (PCR).

Did you know?
The number of reported cases of chlamydia is steadily increasing, particularly among young people aged 15 to 24, especially men.

Need more information?
For more information, do not hesitate to contact Biron’s customer service at 1 833 590-2712.

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