Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Although it can be easily treated, it often remains symptomless which is why it has been termed as the ‘silent infection’.
What are common chlamydia symptoms in men?
It is estimated that around half of all men who get chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms. If there are symptoms, the following are most common:
- White, cloudy or watery discharge from the penis;
- Noticeable discomfort or pain during urination;
- Pain in the testicles;
The symptoms listed above occur only if chlamydia has been caught through unprotected vaginal or anal sex.
Chlamydia can also infect the throat and rectum. These are acquired through sexual activities like oral or anal sex with an infected person.
usually appear between one and three weeks after catching it. Some men experience symptoms much later than the common time period, and again, around half of men who have caught chlamydia don’t experience any symptoms.
Chlamydia and epididymitis
Epididymitis is an infection of the tube through which your sperm flows out of the testicles. When chlamydia is not treated for a long time, it can spread to this tube and cause an infection. In the long run, this can cause scarring and block the tube, which can lead to male infertility.
Epididymitis can cause the following symptoms:
- pain in the pelvic area
- fever and chills
- pain, pressure or tenderness in the testicles
- enlarged lymph nodes
- a painful or swollen scrotum
The infection is treated with antibiotics. If you develop epididymitis, your doctor is likely to check whether chlamydia could be the underlying cause.
Common misconceptions about chlamydia in men
Myth: Male chlamydia always causes symptoms.
Truth: Chlamydia is often symptomless - this goes for men and women.
Myth: Chlamydia can only make women infertile.
Truth: Chlamydia can also have a negative impact on male fertility, as it can lower the sperm count and damage the quality of the sperm.
Myth: Chlamydia is not very common in men.
Truth: Chlamydia is a very common STI with over 200000 new diagnoses per year (in the UK alone). It is particularly common between the ages of 15 - 24.