In 2012, in Canada, the cervical cancer screening guideline change has been by many associated with Chlamydia. The bacterium responsible for the sexually transmitted infection is Chlamydia trachomatis and for weeks infected people have no idea they are carrying the infection.
Symptoms for men and for women:
For women the most common symptoms are burning during urination and vaginal discharge. For men, the most common symptoms include burning during urination, pain and swelling of testicles, as well as discharge from the penis.
Chlamydia screening is usually conducted together with cervical cancer screening. After Canadian health officials recommended less frequent screening and older age of screening initiation for cervical cancer, Chlamydia screening levels have also dropped.
The Pap test, the test used for cervical cancer detection, has seen a drastic decline, especially for women in the age group of 15 to 19 years old. This decline also triggered a decline in Chlamydia testing for age group from 15 to 29 in women.
Why is this happening?
Since cervical cancer screening guidelines is not recommended anymore for that age gap, then Chlamydia testing has been reducing as a consequence. Because of this reduction, the health reports, of course, indicated a reduction in reported Chlamydia infection for women of ages between 15 and 19 (17 %) and of ages 20 to 24 years old (14%). For males there were no changes in reports.
For men, Chlamydia testing has increased in age groups of 20 to 24 and 25 to 29, as another consequence of the new guidelines.
The conclusion of the reports is that sexually transmitted screenings should not be associated with cervical cancer screening, and they should be performed separately, so as to better asses each patient. The Chlamydia screening need to be promoted more and become a routine testing.