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Chlamydia is a leading cause of infertility in women. Here’s what causes it

Updated on:28 July 2021, 15:47pm IST
Chlamydia is the most common STD and often shows no symptoms. Here's what causes it
Aayushi Gupta
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causes of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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One of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI) is chlamydia, which is caused by a bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is common in both men and women. And do you know why the infection spreads so easily? Because people who have chlamydia often don’t show outward symptoms. In fact, chlamydia trachomatis affects millions each year without symptoms. 

When it does, the consequences in women can be particularly severe, resulting in chronic pelvic pain and infertility. However, effective treatment is available. 

Here’s how you get chlamydia:

Chlamydia is a SUPER common bacterial infection that infects both men and women, and most often spreads through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex. But penetration doesn’t have to occur to contract it. It can pass from an infected person to another through genital contact. 

Also, read: Understanding chlamydia, a silent sexually-transmitted disease with no symptoms

In fact, newborn babies can acquire chlamydia from their mothers during birth. The infection is carried in the semen (cum), pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. And can infect the vagina, penis, cervix, anus, urethra, eyes, and throat. Treatment for chlamydia is available, but if left untreated. It may lead to major health problems in the future, including permanent damage to the reproductive system.

causes of Chlamydia
Even oral sex can give you STIs such as Chlamydia. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

For very rare cases, you can get chlamydia by touching your eye if you have infected fluid on your hand. But you need to understand that chlamydia isn’t spread through casual contact, so you can’t get chlamydia from sharing foods or drinks, kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on the toilet. 

Can you get chlamydia more than once?

Yes. If you’ve had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can get re-infected if you have unprotected sex with someone who has it. 

Also, read: Is your vagina really healthy? 5 signs that say you are absolutely OK down there

These are the symptoms of chlamydia 

Most of the people with chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms and don’t know they retain it. But women who are showing symptoms of chlamydia infection may notice:

  • Vaginal pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Painful intercourse
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Burning sensation when you pee
  • Inflammation of the cervix
causes of Chlamydia
Vaginal discharge is one of the leading symptoms of Chlamydia. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Preventions to take:
  • Use protection: Both male and female partners should wear condoms correctly, every time they have sex. 
  • Wash sex toys: Chlamydia can be passed on by sharing sex toys. So, always wash them after use to reduce your risk of getting chlamydia and other STDs. 
  • Limit your number of sex partners: Limiting the number of sexual partners can reduce the risk of contracting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Avoid douching: Douching decreases the number of good bacteria in the vagina, which can increase the risk of infection.
  • Get regular screening: If you’re sexually active and have multiple sex partners, then talk to a doctor about your screening for chlamydia and other STIs. 

Always consult the doctor, if you notice any of the above symptoms. 

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.