Chlamydia is a gram-negative bacterium responsible for most of the sexually transmitted infections in the U.S. In fact, according to the commercial health maintenance organization (HMO), Medicaid records and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), between 47% and 54% of sexually active women aged between 16-24 years were diagnosed with this infection in 2014, and the prevalence of this disease increases every year.
The high rate of this bacterial infection can be explained with its ease of transmission and the ability of the bacteria to go unnoticed because it’s usually asymptomatic. It is estimated that approximately 75% of infected women and 50% of infected men experience no symptoms at all, so they have unprotected sexual relations while infected and do not take the proper treatment.
Although Chlamydia is commonly spread among promiscuous individuals who have unprotected sexual relationships, it may be transmitted even from the habitual sexual partner.
When the person develops symptoms, they appear approximately three weeks after having unprotected sexual contact with the infected person and may include the following:
1. Painful periods and sex
You may have more pelvic pain than usual during menstrual bleeding, and it may even produce severe abdominal pain (menstrual colic). Also, dyspareunia (pain during sex) is a prevalent symptom. However, most women refer more discomfort than pain.
Itching or burning around the vagina is also very common.
2. Abnormal or unusual vaginal discharge
Although with Chlamydia, the vaginal discharge has no specific characteristics, you may notice an increase in the amount of discharge or a change in some of its characteristics. For example, a different odor, a thicker consistency, yellowish or milky white in color, or frothy.
More symptoms on next page…