Chlamydia is a common condition that is found in both sexually active men and women. This is a sexually transmitted disease which occurs due to vaginal, oral and anal sex. It is caused due to the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis that spread only through unprotected sex.
Chlamydia should be treated as early as possible to avoid severe health complications. If left untreated, it can cause a condition in men called nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). In this condition, it can cause inflammation in the prostate glands, urethra, epididymis or rectum, infertility and narrowing of the urethra or stricture. So, when one notices certain signs and symptoms of Chlamydia, he should immediately approach a doctor for proper treatment. Let us discuss the Chlamydia symptoms men experience:
Symptoms of Male Chlamydia:
In around 70 percent of the cases, there will be no signs of this condition seen initially in men. The symptoms will only appear after 1 to 3 weeks of exposure. When it appears, one must watch out for the following symptoms:
- Abnormal discharge from the penis usually yellowish, beige, milky, or clear
- Pain while urinating
- Urge to urinate more
- Itching or burning around the head of the penis
- Pain or swelling in the testicles
- Pain in the rectum; discharge or bleeding can also be seen
- Inflammation in the eyes
- Sore throat
Complications associated with male Chlamydia
- Inflammation of the testicles: In men, chlamydia can spread to the testicles and epididymis (tubes that carry sperm from the testicles), causing them to become painful and swollen. This is known as epidymitis or epididymo-orchitis. If it's not treated, there's a possibility it could affect your fertility.
- Reactive arthritis: Chlamydia is the most common cause of sexually acquired reactive arthritis (SARA). This is where your joints, eyes or urethra (the tube that passes urine out of the body) become inflamed, usually within the first few weeks after having chlamydia. It can affect women who have had chlamydia but is more common in men. There's currently no cure for SARA, but most people get better in a few months. In the meantime, treatment with NSAIDS such as ibuprofen can help relieve the symptoms
If any of these symptoms occur and if you get diagnosed with Chlamydia, then it is better to refrain from sex and inform all the sex partners to get a test for the same. With the proper course of treatment getting rid of Chlamydia is possible. To prevent Chlamydia, one should practice safe sex, avoid multiple sex partners and take periodic screening for STDs.
It is important to remember that if any symptoms are noticed, you need to meet a service provider for treatment in order to prevent complication. Since chlamydia infection is most commonly asymptomatic, it is necessary that you are screened if you're sexually active and under 25 years old, you should get tested for chlamydia every year or every time you have a new partner.
Anyone who is sexually active can catch chlamydia. You're most at risk if you have a new sexual partner or don't use a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom, when having sex.
You can help to prevent the spread of chlamydia by:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex
- using a condom to cover the penis during oral sex
- using a dam (a piece of thin, soft plastic or latex) to cover the female genitals during oral sex
- not sharing sex toys
If you do share sex toys, wash them or cover them with a new condom between each person who uses them.
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