Chlamydia, caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, is a sexually transmitted disease that strikes both men and women. Its most common symptoms include genital disorders and eye diseases.
The five major symptoms are:
- Genital disorders. Women typically suffer cervical discharges, inflammation, and erythema. Women may also experience atypical bleeding from the vagina, abdominal pain, pain during intercourse, pain during urination, and unusual urgency of urine. For men, symptoms include a watery discharge, generally white or cloudy in appearance, from the penis. Inflammation of the urethra is also observed in 50% of cases. Other symptoms in men include burning sensation during urination, inflamed testicles, and fever.
- Eye disease that can lead to conjunctivitis or trachoma.
- Perinatal infections. Infants born to infected mothers are commonly infected with chlamydia as well, leading to serious consequences such as premature birth and spontaneous abortion as well as pneumonia.
- Rheumatological conditions. Chlamydia infections can lead to reactive arthritis known as Reiter's syndrome and urethritis. Reactive arthritis can affect both men and women, though it's more common in men.
- Lymphogranuloma venereum. This is an infection of the lymph nodes and the lymphatic system, resulting in ulcers in the genital area and enlarged lymph nodes in the groin region.
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