Chlamydia (sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Women: A Complete Guide

Chlamydia (sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Women: Complete Guide

Chlamydia (sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Women: A Complete Guide


Ichhori has created a guide that explains the basics of chlamydia to help women protect themselves against this common type of sexually transmitted disease (STD).
STDs are infections that are passed from one person to the next through sexual contact. Chlamydia is one of the more than 20 types of STDs that exist today.
Whether you suspect you have it or want to educate yourself, this guide will help you find all the answers you need.


What is a chlamydia infection?

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world. Many people have it; it is estimated that one in every twenty sexually active young women aged 14 to 24 has chlamydia.
Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, which affects both men and women. Because chlamydia often has no symptoms, you can unknowingly pass it on to your sexual partner.
Even if you don't have any visible symptoms in the early stages, you should be cautious. Chlamydia can cause infertility or a risky pregnancy if not treated promptly.


How common is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world. Each year, over 1.5 million infections are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States alone.
Chlamydia infection is the most common STD in Europe. It is the cause of acute morbidity as well as long-term reproductive health issues, particularly in young people. The number of people affected in Europe is constantly growing, with more than 250,000 new cases reported each year.


What does a chlamydia infection look like?

Although there are only a few visible signs of chlamydia in females, they include:

  • Cervical inflammation and bleeding: The infection can cause cervicitis, which causes inflammation at the cervix and causes the outer portion of the cervix to appear red. This would only be visible if you were examined by a health care provider.
  • Discharge: One of the symptoms of chlamydia is a change in vaginal discharge. There will be more discharge than usual, and it may be yellowish or even bloodstained, with an odour.
  • Swelling during a pelvic exam: Your doctor may discover tenderness within the pelvis during your pelvic exam, particularly when touching the cervix. Swelling of the tubes and ovaries may also be detected.

What does chlamydia do to your body?

Although chlamydia does not usually cause symptoms, it can be serious if not treated promptly.


The bacteria has the potential to spread to your fallopian tubes and uterus. If this occurs, it may result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which causes abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if PID does not cause abdominal or pelvic pain, it can harm your reproductive system in the long run. PID can result in infertility, long-term pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy.

 What causes chlamydia?

The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis is the primary cause of chlamydia infection. The bacterium affects both men and women of all ages, but it is most common in young women. The chlamydia bacterium can live in the cervix, urethra, throat, and rectum.


Chlamydia trachomatis has the potential to infect the reproductive tract. Chlamydia is easy to treat once you know you have it. However, if the infection is not treated, it can lead to more serious health problems.

 How do you catch chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be contracted by:

  • Oral sex without protection and sex without a condom You don't even need to be pierced to get it because the bacteria can be transmitted simply by touching genitals together.
  • Chlamydia infections can also occur as a result of anal sex.
  • Toys for sex sharing
  • Infected mothers who are infected with the virus may pass it on to their newborn baby during birth. As a result, all expecting mothers should have their OB-GYN check them for chlamydia.
  • If infected sperm or vaginal fluid gets into your eyes, you can get a chlamydia infection.
  • Chlamydia cannot be transmitted through kissing, hugging, or sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats, or cutlery.

 Chlamydia symptoms in females

Females with Chlamydia symptoms are uncommon. Approximately 7 out of 10 women have no symptoms. The infection may be asymptomatic, which means people are unaware they have it.
If signs and symptoms appear, they usually appear one to three weeks after exposure, but they can appear much later. The symptoms are frequently mild and transient, making them easy to dismiss.

The following are some of the possible signs and symptoms of chlamydia:

  • lower abdominal discomfort
  • Urinary discomfort
  • Pain during intercourse due to vaginal discharge
  • bleeding after sex and between periods

The infection can spread to the fallopian tubes in some cases, resulting in PID. Among the symptoms of PID are:

  • severe pelvic pain 
  • fever
  • nausea
  • unusual vaginal bleeding between periods

Chlamydia test for women

A variety of chlamydia tests can be used by your doctor to diagnose the infection. Your doctor will almost certainly question you about your symptoms and why you believe you have the infection. When this occurs, it is critical to be as truthful as possible.
Your doctor will most likely use a swab to collect a sample from the cervix and send it to a lab for analysis. If there's a chance the bacteria is in your throat or anus, these areas may also be swabbed. Other tests include a chlamydia urine test to detect the bacteria's presence.
Despite the fact that many doctors do it, a chlamydia test is not always performed at the same time as a Pap test.
As a result, it's critical for women, particularly sexually active women aged 25 and under, to ask their health care provider if they're getting tested for chlamydia once a year.
If you believe you may have been exposed to an STD, you must request a screening.

Chlamydia treatment in women

1. Can you treat chlamydia?

Fortunately, chlamydia is a simple infection to treat. If you suspect you have it, you must do the following:

  • Consult your doctor right away if the infection is causing damage to your reproductive organs.
  • Pay attention to your doctor's advice and take all of your medication. You should finish your pills even if your symptoms go away.
  • Inform your sexual partner (s). They should be aware of the infection so that they can be tested and treated as well.
  • Avoid sexual activity until you and your partner(s) have been cured.

 2. How to treat chlamydia

Because chlamydia is a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.


In most cases, the infection will clear up in one to two weeks.


Regardless of the antibiotic, you and your sexual partners must strictly adhere to the dosage in order for the infection to be eradicated permanently.


Avoid having sex during your treatment. If you are exposed, you can contract the infection again, even if you previously had it. Getting your STD treated does not guarantee that the infection will not reoccur. As a result, you should exercise caution in the future. Get re-tested three months after treatment to make sure you don't catch it again.


It's also critical to understand that having chlamydia increases your chances of contracting or spreading HIV. If you suspect you have chlamydia or another sexually transmitted infection (STI), you should seek treatment right away from your doctor or a STI clinic.


To avoid contracting chlamydia or other STDs in the future, use a condom whenever you are sexually active. You should also avoid or use protection if you have oral sex. Use a condom with each new partner and have each new partner tested for chlamydia.


FAQ about chlamydia in women

1. When can I have unprotected sex after chlamydia treatment?

Even if your chlamydia infection has been treated, it is not advised to engage in risky sexual behaviour. Getting your STD treated does not guarantee that the infection will not reoccur. In fact, many people become infected with STDs more than once as a result of continuing to have unprotected sex with partners who have untreated STDs.


Inform your regular sexual partner about your infection so that they can receive treatment as well. Once you're certain you've both been treated, you must wait for the treatment to take effect before engaging in unprotected sex again.

2. Why wait seven days after chlamydia treatment?

If you're being treated for chlamydia, you should avoid oral, anal, or vaginal sex for seven days after the treatment is finished. Because chlamydia is a bacteria, your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics that take time to work.


If your partner is receiving treatment, you should wait seven days after they have finished taking all of their medication. You may contract the infection again if you do not wait for the treatment to be effective and have sex sooner.

3. How do you know when chlamydia is gone?

Improvement should occur immediately following treatment. Some of the changes you may notice are as follows:

• Within a week, the pain while urinating will subside.
• The discharge rate will return to normal.
• There will be no bleeding between periods, nor will there be any heavier periods.
• Pelvic pain will subside.
• The amount of pain experienced during sexual intercourse will decrease.


Get re-tested three months after treatment to make sure you don't catch it again. This is critical if you have sexual relations with a partner who has not been tested for Chlamydia.


4. Can you get chlamydia from drinking after someone?

It is a myth that you can get chlamydia from drinking after someone. In reality, there is no risk of infection from sharing food, water, or cutlery.


Chlamydia can only be contracted during the following times:

  • Vaginal, oral, or anal sex without protection.
  • Toys for sex sharing
  • Contact with an infected partner's genitals.

 5. Can you get chlamydia if you use a condom?

When used correctly, a condom reduces your chances of contracting chlamydia.


The proper use of a condom entails:

  • Putting on the condom before the penis comes into contact with the vagina, mouth, or anus.
  • Making certain that the condom unrolls in the correct direction before touching the tip of the penis. If you notice that the condom is not unrolling properly but has already touched the penis, throw it away and get a new one.
  • Rolling the condom all the way down to the base of the penis. Wear it the entire time you're having sex.

6. Can you get pregnant if you have chlamydia?

Fertility is heavily influenced by sexual health. Even after the infection has been treated, many STDs can cause scarring and inflammation, making it more difficult to conceive.


In the case of chlamydia, if left untreated, the infection can harm your reproductive health. The bacteria can cause PID, which can harm your reproductive system permanently. PID can cause inflammation, scarring, and obstruction of your reproductive organs. It can also cause ectopic pregnancy in some cases, which can be fatal if the pregnancy is not removed on time.


7. How to tell your partner you have chlamydia?

When your test results are positive, the first thing you should do is notify your partner. Your sexual partner should be informed of the infection so that they can be tested and treated as well. You risk reinfection if you don't tell them about your condition.
Here are some pointers on how to handle the conversation:

  • Educate yourself on the STD you've contracted so you can fully explain to your partner what you have, how to treat it, and how you intend to keep them safe.
  • Inform your current or most recent sexual partner of a positive STD test either in person or by phone. Sending them a message is not the most respectful way to communicate with them.
  • Maintain your cool when informing them of the news. Sit them down and inform them that you've been tested. Inform them that the results are favourable and go over the next steps.
  • Make certain that your partner does not become infected. Use condoms at all times, take antibiotics, and refrain from sexual activity while undergoing treatment.


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