Both chlamydia and gonorrhea are common bacterial infections. In many cases, these diseases result in little to no symptoms. However, in other cases, symptoms include:
Common symptoms of gonorrhea in men include:
- Pain during urination
- Off-color discharge from the penis
- Testicular pain
Common symptoms in women include:
- Pain during urination
- Bleeding between menstrual periods or after sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis
- White or yellowish vaginal discharge
In addition to infecting the genitals, gonorrhea can infect the rectum, the eyes, and the throat. The most common symptoms of these infections include pain and discharge from the affected area. Pregnant women can pass a gonorrhea infection to their babies during childbirth. This can lead to serious medical conditions such as blindness and sores on the body.
While early symptoms of gonorrhea are generally mild - sometimes even unnoticeable - if the infection is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. These include:
- Increased risk of HIV/ AIDS
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Heart and brain damage
- Joint infection
Common symptoms of chlamydia include:
- Clear or white discharge from the vagina or penis
- Burning pain during urination
- Testicular pain in men
- Itching or burning sensations around the vagina in women
- Bleeding between menstrual periods and after intercourse in women
In addition to the sex organs, chlamydia can infect the rectum which may cause rectal bleeding, pain, and discharge. Bodily fluids carrying the bacteria can also infect the eye, causing conjunctivitis (pink eye).
Symptoms of chlamydia may be so mild that you don’t even notice them. If left untreated, however, chlamydia can lead to serious complications such as:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): PID is an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes. This can be extremely painful and may damage the reproductive organs.
- Infertility and sterility: A chlamydia infection can damage reproductive organs in both men and women. If left untreated, chlamydia can damage and scar these areas so badly that the infected person is unable to conceive children.
- Newborn infection: The chlamydia bacteria can be passed to a child during delivery, resulting in illness and infection of the child. In some cases, infection to a newborn can be life-threatening.
- Premature birth or ectopic pregnancy: A chlamydia infection increases the risk of giving birth too early, which can be dangerous for the newborn child. Additionally, chlamydia increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy, a condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus. The egg must be removed to avoid life-threatening complications.