Alternative NamesSTD, sexually transmitted disease
What is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacterial disease of the genital tracts. The signs and symptoms of Chlamydia do not appear straight away or sometimes at all. That is why many people do not even know that they are contaminated. This infection is quite widespread in the USA; approximately 4 million of people each year get to know that they have been contaminated with Chlamydia. Commonly the American teenagers are the major part of these people; however the infection can occur in every age group both by men and women. If you are told that you have Chlamydia, don’t panic. This infection is quite easy to treat. But in case of undue treatment Chlamydia can cause other severe health disorders.
Signs and symptoms
If Chlamydia declares itself the following signs and symptoms may appear:
- Vaginal discharge (by women);
- Testicular pain (by men);
- Pain during sexual intercourse (by women);
- Discharge from the penis (by men);
- Abdominal pain;
- Pain during urination;
Untreated Chlamydia can lead to following possible complications:
- Various infections that are transmitted sexually. People with Chlamydia risk to suffer from other infections that are transmitted sexually (e.g. hepatitis, gonorrhea, syphilis etc.);
- Epididymitis. Chlamydia can easily lead to the epididymis (a convoluted tube situated near each testicle) inflammation, which can end up with swelling, fever or scrotal pain.
- Infertility. Chlamydia can also be a reason of infertility because of the cicatrisation in the fallopian tubes that was cause by this infection;
- HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus). Those women that were infected by Chlamydia have more chances to acquire HIV that the healthy ones;
- PID (Pelvic inflammatory disease). Commonly PID doesn’t show any signs or symptoms but meantime it may be damaging the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix or ovaries. Moreover Chlamydia leads to pelvic pain.
- Infections in newborns. If you are pregnant, Chlamydia can transmit to the fetus and in future it can lead to blindness or pneumonia by the baby.
- Eye infections. If you touch your eye with hands with infectious secretions on them, it can lead to an infection of an eye (e.g. conjunctivitis).
The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis causes the Chlamydia infection. There are two ways of transmitting the infection:
- While giving birth from mother to the baby. Chlamydia can transmit to the fetus and in future it can lead to blindness or pneumonia by the baby.
- During sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral contact).
The best way to protect yourself from Chlamydia is sexual continence. If you don’t want to abstain, you have to:
- Decrease the number of your sexual partners.
- Each time use a condom. Both male and female condoms will protect you from Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections.
- Women should avoid douching. While douching the number of good bacteria decreases that can lead to infection development.
- Visit your doctor regularly and test yourself on sexually transmitted infections.
Commonly Chlamydia is cured with antibiotics (e.g. one dose of Doxycycline or Azithromycin during one week).