Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacterium Chlamydia Trachomatis. This STI is increasing at an alarming rate among young Irish men and women. It is known as a “silent” disease because about 75% of infected women have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure. I
f untreated, Chlamydia infection can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Symptoms include an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. If pelvic infection follows the patient may experience lower abdominal pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse or bleeding between periods.
Chlamydia infection is diagnosed either by taking a swab from the cervix or by urine sample. It is easily treated and cured with antibiotics. All sexual partners should be tested and treated. The patient and her partner should then abstain from sexual contact until they have both tested negative for infection three to four weeks after completing their treatment.