What Is Chlamydia?

Save

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that affects the genitals and urinary tract. It spreads very easily through sexual contact and is a very common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. It occurs most frequently in teenagers and young adults. Although Chlamydia is easily detected and can be cured with antibiotics, it continues to cause many cases of infertility in women who are unaware they have contracted the disease until years later.

Effects

  • Not everyone who contracts chlamydia experiences noticeable symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they are often quite mild and may be attributed to a common urinary tract infection rather than a sexually transmitted disease. Symptoms of chlamydia can include pain when urinating, discharge from the penis or vagina, testicular pain and pain in the lower abdomen.

Identification

  • Chlamydia can be diagnosed by taking a swab from the cervix in women or the urethra in men. This test can be a little uncomfortable but is not usually painful. Because symptoms are often mild, when they occur at all, these tests are often performed routinely, especially on people who are not in an exclusive, long-term relationship. A urine test to detect the presence of chlamydia is also available, although the results are not as accurate.

Warning

  • Chlamydia, when untreated, can lead to several serious complications. The most common of these is infertility in women. Chlamydial infection can spread to the fallopian tubes, where it causes scarring and prevents future pregnancies. Chlamydia can also be spread to the eyes, in which case it can eventually cause blindness. Babies born to mothers who have chlamydia can become infected when they are born; infection in newborns usually affects the eyes or lungs, where it can lead to blindness or pneumonia, respectively.

Prevention/Solution

  • Consistent use of condoms is very effective in preventing chlamydia, but the disease can still be contracted if a condom breaks or leaks. Treatment for chlamydia consists of a short course of antibiotics, generally for no more than 10 days. Antibiotics that are effective against chlamydia include doxycycline, erthromycin and azithromycin. Any recent sexual partners of the affected person should be treated as well, regardless of whether they have symptoms of chlamydia.

Time Frame

  • Chlamydia infection may last indefinitely if it is not treated. It is usually cured within one to two weeks after antibiotics are started. During this time period, the infection can be transmitted, so sexual activity should be avoided. Although the infection itself is easily cured, antibiotic treatment will not reverse damage to the reproductive organs that has already occurred.

  • Photo Credit Creative Commons image by David Sim
Promoted By Zergnet

Resources

You May Also Like

  • Chlamydia Symptoms in Men

    Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by a bacteria called Chlyamidia trachomatis. Chlamydia is the most common STI...

  • What Are the Treatments for Chlamydia?

    According to the Mayo Clinic, chlamydia is a bacterial infection that affects an estimated 4 million people every year and is one...

  • Symptoms of Chlamydia of the Throat

    Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that affects more than 3 million people a year in the United States. Normally affecting both...

  • Early Symptoms of Chlamydia

    A chlamydia infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease among sexually active people. Most people with a chlamydia infection do not...

  • What Are the Side Effects of Chlamydia?

    Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia is often found in people with no obvious symptoms and is...

  • Chlamydia Eye Infection Symptoms

    Chlamydia eye infection, or chlamydial conjunctivitis, is caused by the chlamydia trachomatis parasite. It enters the cells at the site of the...

  • Azithromycin & Sinus Infections

    Azithromycin is the generic name for a type of prescription antibiotic medication. Doctors commonly use azithromycin for the treatment of bacterial infections...

  • How to Recognize the Symptoms of Chlamydia in Women

    Most women routinely get tested for chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during their annual gynecological exams. This is a good...

  • Single Dose Azithromycin Treatment for Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that affects the reproductive organs. The disease is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis and may...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!