Chlamydia trachomatis is the name of the bacteria that causes the STD/STI Chlamydia. The cells that make up the mucous membranes which are not covered by the skin are the main spots infected by the bacteria. These will include:
- Rarely but possible, the throat
- The surfaces of the endometrium, urethra, cervix, and vagina
- The eyelid’s lining
- The fallopian tubes
- The rectum and anus
- Like other STDs/STIs, Chlamydia is transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person through sexual intercourse, particularly vaginal and anal sex. It rarely happens to be passed through oral sex, but it could be possible.
- Unprotected sex that does not use a latex condom during vaginal and anal sex. The vaginal fluids and semen of an infected person can pass on the infection as soon as it comes in contact with secretions from the mucous membranes.
- It has been stated that the infection rarely affects the throat even when oral sex has been done. It is because of the preference of the bacteria to infect the genital area compared to the throat. Yet, there are rare cases where the infection could be seen on the throat.
- The bacteria can also infect the anus even when anal sex was not done. The infection may spread from the genital area to the anus through wiping the anus with toilet paper that has come from the infected genital area.
- The infection can be carried to the eye and infect it through contact from hand-to-eye during sex.
- An infected mother can transmit the infection to her baby upon birth. Pneumonia, infections of the eyes, and other health conditions will be the end result of an inborn Chlamydia infection.
- If Chlamydia is present in children, it could be a probable sexual abuse sign.
It should be noted that putting so much importance on signs and symptoms is not putting an accurate picture of acquiring Chlamydia. For one thing, the symptoms are very similar to gonorrhea which has led to a lot of confusion. Another thing would be the asymptomatic nature of Chlamydia which makes the infected people unaware they have the infection.
It usually takes one to three weeks before symptoms are manifested. In the time between the asymptomatic and symptomatic phases, the person infected with Chlamydia is already infectious as soon as he or she was exposed to the infection.
The most common symptoms in both sexes and babies would include:
- Both sexes will experience inflamed urethra that will lead to painful urination, red or inflamed eyes when it is the area that has been infected or itchy or inflamed rectum with discharges or bleeding.
- If it is the mouth or throat that is infected, it could sometimes show no symptoms. If there are, it will show soreness and redness of the affected area.
- Pink eyes and pneumonia are the common health complications when a newborn is infected with Chlamydia upon birth.