Chlamydia is a common transmitted disease (STD). It caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman’s reproductive organs. Name “chlamydia” is derived from the Greek word “chlamys,” which was a kind of cloak worn by men in ancient Greece. Even though symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent, serious complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility, can occur “silently” before a woman ever recognizes a problem.
Chlamydophila psittaci infection is spread by bird droppings and aerosols and causes psittacosis. These infections are not discussed in this article. Symptoms usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after you are infected. Those who do have symptoms may have an abnormal discharge (mucus or pus) from the experience pain while urinating.
Causes of Chlamydial Infections
In many cases, chlamydia causes only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. So an infection can last for weeks or months before it is discovered.
In females, chlamydia symptoms can include:
lower abdominal pain
Women who have chlamydia may experience lower abdominal pain or pain during intercourse, bleeding during intercourse and bleeding between menstrual periods. Men may experience burning and itching around the opening of the penis and/or pain and swelling in the testicles. Symptoms of chlamydia may appear within one to three weeks after being infected.
There are several different reliable tests for chlamydia. Newer tests, called NAATs (short for nucleic acid amplification tests), are very accurate and easy to take. It may be helpful to speak to your health care provider about what testing options are available (urine or swab tests, for example).
People infected with chlamydia are often also infected with gonorrhea. Therefore, patients with chlamydia are often treated for gonorrhea at the same time, since the cost of treatment is generally less than the cost of testing.
Treatment of Chlamydia
There are several very safe, effective and inexpensive treatments for chlamydia. Antibiotics may include doxycycline, azithromycin, ofloxacin, or erythromycin. Antibiotics to eradicate both chlamydia and gonorrhea are usually given to high-risk populations since both types of bacteria commonly coexist.
Having multiple infections additions a adult female’s jeopardy of serious reproductive wellness complications, including infertility. Retesting should be viewed for women, especially teenagers, three to four months after treatment. Latex male rubbers, when employed consistently and correctly, can trim back the jeopardy of transmission of chlamydia.
If a patient is allergic to any antibiotics, or if there is any possibility that they may be pregnant, it is important that the doctor is informed as this may affect which antibiotics are prescribed. Treatment must not be interrupted once a course of antibiotics has been started; otherwise it may be necessary to start again from the beginning.
An untreated chlamydia infection may spread to the uterus or the fallopian tubes, causing salpingitis or pelvic inflammatory disease. These conditions can lead to infertility and increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
If a women is infected with chlamydia while pregnant, the infection can cause premature labor and delivery. In addition, the infant may develop chlamydia-related conjunctivitis (eye infection) and pneumonia.