Chlamydia is a very common infection, partly because it is often symptomless. You or your sexual partner could have chlamydia and not know about it. Although chlamydia in women often has no symptoms, sometimes it does come with warning signs.
One of the most common chlamydia symptoms in women is vaginal discharge, which indicates an infection of the uterine cervix. If you notice any unusual yellow or white discharge, you should do a sexual health test. Another common symptom of chlamydia is feeling a burning sensation when you urinate. If it hurts when you pee, the cause could be an undetected chlamydia infection.
If a chlamydia infection goes unnoticed, it can spread and cause complications. Most commonly, it spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes, resulting in pain or bleeding during sex. Further possible symptoms include unusual bleeding and spotting, nausea and fever as well as abdominal and lower back pain.
Chlamydia and Infertility
Chlamydia in women is the most common preventable cause of infertility. Due to the symptomless nature of chlamydia, it can go unnoticed for a long time. If the infection spreads beyond the cervix, it usually travels to the urinary tract and the fallopian tubes. A chlamydia infection of the fallopian tubes can result in scarring and the blockage of the fallopian tubes, which can cause permanent infertility. This condition also increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a dangerous condition, which occurs when a baby develops in the fallopian tubes instead of in the womb.
Chlamydia is associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, also known as PID. Chlamydia increases the risk of PID, as do other sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea. The symptoms of PID are very similar to the symptoms of chlamydia. They include abnormal bleeding, pain during intercourse, vaginal discharge, fever and lower back pain. In rare cases, patients with PID can develop an abscess in the fallopian tubes or ovaries.
Chlamydia can also cause cervicitis, an inflammation of the cervix or womb, which results in symptoms such as discharge, pain and an increased need to urinate. If cervicitis is left untreated, patients may develop cervical cysts and pelvic pain.
As an untreated chlamydia infection progresses, it can block the Bartholin’s glands, which lubricate the vagina during intercourse. Blockage is likely to result in inflammation and encourages the development of cysts and abscesses, which can be very painful.