Expert Insights: How Chlamydia Impacts Men – Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment Options

Despite its high prevalence, most men with chlamydia don’t experience symptoms until the infection has progressed.

How Does Chlamydia Affect Men? Expert Shares Symptoms, Risk Factors, And Treatment
How Does Chlamydia Affect Men? Expert Shares Symptoms, Risk Factors, And Treatment

“It’s alarming how chlamydia ranks among the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) globally, yet many individuals remain oblivious to its presence until significant complications arise. According to data from the World Health Organization in 2020, there were a total of 128.5 million new chlamydia infections worldwide among individuals aged 15 to 49, affecting 4% of women and 2.5% of men.

Similar to other STIs, chlamydia can manifest different symptoms in men and women. Despite its widespread prevalence, Dr. Aniket Mule, Consultant in Internal Medicine at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, informed the Healthonlyforyou team that the majority of men with chlamydia do not experience any symptoms until it’s too late.”

Symptoms of Chlamydia in Men: What to Look Out For

Symptoms of Chlamydia in Men: What to Look Out For

“Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted bacterial infection affecting both men and women, manifests differently in each gender,” noted Dr. Mule.

She emphasized that compared to women, who may experience symptoms such as abnormal vaginal discharge, pain during urination, or lower abdominal pain, men often display fewer visible signs. In fact, many infected men show no symptoms at all. To raise awareness about this serious disease, she listed the symptoms of chlamydia in men:

– Pain during urination
– Watery discharge from the tip of the penis
– Pain and swelling in the testicles
– Burning or itching in the urethra

Risk Factors for Chlamydia

Dr. Mule highlighted several factors that can heighten the risk of contracting chlamydia:

– Being sexually active, particularly with multiple partners.
– Young adults and teenagers are at a higher risk due to less awareness of safe sex practices.
– Inconsistent or incorrect use of condoms during sexual intercourse.
– Prior chlamydia infection doesn’t provide immunity; reinfection is possible.
– Having sexual partners who engage in high-risk behaviors can also elevate your risk.

It’s crucial to emphasize that Dr. Mule stressed, “This bacteria can affect other areas of the body beyond the reproductive system. One commonly affected area is the rectum. Transmission of chlamydia through anal sex or contact with infected fluids followed by touching the anus can result in symptoms such as rectal pain, discharge, and bleeding. Additionally, chlamydia can spread to the throat via oral sex with an infected partner, leading to symptoms resembling a common cold or flu, including a sore throat and difficulty swallowing. It’s important to note that untreated chlamydial infections outside the genital area can have serious consequences if left untreated.”

Treatment Options for Chlamydia in Men

Treatment Options for Chlamydia in Men

Dr. Mule emphasized the importance of regular STI testing for chlamydia due to its asymptomatic nature, particularly if engaging in unprotected sexual activity. “It’s surprising to learn that if left untreated, chlamydia can lead to inflammation in the tubes carrying sperm from the testicles, as well as chronic pelvic pain, impacting fertility,” she added. Furthermore, chlamydia can heighten the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV.

However, there’s reassuring news as various effective diagnostic methods, such as urine samples or swabs of the affected area, can accurately diagnose chlamydia. Moreover, chlamydia is easily treatable with antibiotics if caught early. Typically, a single dose or short course of antibiotics can clear the infection. It’s crucial to complete the prescribed treatment even if symptoms subside.

Preventing Chlamydia Infections: A Proactive Approach is Key

“Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure” when it comes to chlamydia infections. Even with timely diagnosis and treatment, your immune system may still suffer significantly from the infection. Hence, it’s crucial to adopt preventive measures such as practicing safe sex, undergoing regular STI testing, maintaining open communication with sexual partners about their STI history, and avoiding risky behaviors with multiple sexual partners.

Nevertheless, it’s important to remain vigilant about the symptoms and treatment options for chlamydia, as microscopic organisms like the bacteria causing chlamydia can penetrate even the strongest defense mechanisms. If you do contract chlamydia, it’s imperative to inform your sexual partners so they can get tested as well