What's chlamydia? I have a friend who was told they might have chlamydia even when her lab tests were negative. I have another friend who had no symptoms at all, but was
told she had chlamydia, and she hasn't had sex for a year! I don't get it.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease. The number of new cases is steadily on the rise. The symptoms of chlamydia infection can vary in females from little or no symptoms at all to abnormal vaginal discharge, severe pelvic and abdominal pain. In males, the symptoms are more localized consisting mainly of penile discharge, pain with voiding, and occasionally, painful enlargement of the testicle.
If left untreated in the female, chlamydia can cause scarring of the uterus, tubes, and ovaries, which can cause tubal pregnancies and sterility. If left untreated in the male, scar tissue can form inside the urethra creating strictures and obstruction, and rarely, scarring of the testicle structures and infertility.
It is possible that your one friend has chlamydia even though the lab test is negative. This is because the chlamydia organism doesn't always show up on the test, even though it may be present. It has a lot to do with the type of test and the way the specimen is collected.
Your friend who hasn't had sex in a year could have chlamydia. Chlamydia can lie dormant in the body for extended periods of time, with little or no symptoms.
This is especially true in the female.
It's very important that both the patient and partner see a physician and get treated with antibiotics as indicated. Treatment is given if there's a clinical suspicion on history and physical exam, or if there is a positive chlamydia test. Sometimes more than one antibiotic course is necessary to eradicate the infection, or it may crop up again.