Chlamydia - Health Center


By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Chlamydia is one of the most commonly spread STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) all over the world. The infection for this disease is spread quite easily from one person to the other and often no symptoms can be seen until the later stage. Research shows that women show a higher probability of this disease at 75% and men are known to be 50% affected with this disease.

Chlamydia is known to cause serious as well as permanent damage to women’s reproductive system; making it difficult for them to be pregnant later on. There have been instances of women developing fatal ectopic pregnancy due to Chlamydia.

Chlamydia infections in women can lead to the development of serious diseases such as chronic pelvic pain, tubal infertility as well as Pelvic Inflammatory disease.

How Chlamydia Spreads?

Some of the major ways via which Chlamydia spreads from one person to the other are as follows:

1. Sexual contact with the ,penis, vagina, mouth or the anus of the infected partner.
2. Even if your sexual partner is a male, you can still get Chlamydia even if he does not ejaculate.
3. The disease can be spread prenatally from an untreated mother to her unborn baby during childbirth.

Who Are At Risk Of Getting Chlamydia?

Any person, who is active sexually, is at a risk of getting Chlamydia. Since it is a very commonly known Sexually Transmitted Disease, it is very common amongst young people. It has been known that every 1 in 15 people who are sexually active is diagnosed with the disease.

Sexually active people are at a higher risk of acquiring this disease as contracting the disease is more of a combination of behavioural, biological as well as cultural factors. Youngsters indulging in unprotected sex or moving from one monogamous relationship to the other are at a greater risk of contracting the disease as compared to their counterparts. Women suffering from cervical ectopic are at a great risk of transmission.

Men, indulging in a homosexual relationship are at a greater risk of contracting Chlamydia via oral and anal sex.

Symptoms Of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is known as ‘Silent infection’ because most of the people who get infected with the disease are not able to detect the symptoms of the same without going in for the physical examination. Research has proved that around 10% of the men as well as the 30% of women are the ones that are able to show the symptoms of the disease upon getting the physical examination done. The incubation period of the disease is not well defined. Due to the slow replication cycle of the disease, the incubation period for the disease may cause the symptoms to appear at a later stage. It maybe weeks after the initial exposure that the symptoms start appearing in an infected person.

The major symptoms of the disease are as follows:

1. Abnormal vaginal discharge
2. Burning sensation while urination
3. Painful periods
4. Fever accompanied with abdominal pain
5. Pain during sexual intercourse
6. Bleeding between subsequent periods
7. Itching sensation or burning in or around the vagina

For men, the symptoms may differ, they can be:

1. Clear or cloudy discharge from the tip of the penis
2. Painful and burning sensation while urination
3. Burning and itching sensation around the tip of penis
4. Pain and swelling in the testicles
5. Frequent Rectal pain

In case a person suffers from one or all symptoms as mentioned above, it is recommended that a person should get himself checked as soon as possible.

Complications Arising From Chlamydia

The initial symptoms of Chlamydia do not cause much harm. However, if they are left untreated and are ignored, then they can lead to serious health problems which can cause long as well as short term consequences amongst the sufferers.

For women, some of the basic complications arising from the disease is the spread of the Chlamydia from uterus towards the fallopian tubes causing the occurrence of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Also, there are occurrences of inflammation in the upper genital tracts as well as the surrounding tissues. Further damage to the same can cause chronic pelvic pain amongst women, leading towards the occurrence of fatal ectopic pregnancy.

There have been instances where patients suffering from Chlamydial PID have developed “Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome”. This often causes the inflammation of the liver as well as the surrounding peritoneum. This often causes right upper quadrant pain in patients.

In case of pregnant women, if Chlamydia is left untreated, it can cause ophthalmic neonatorum (Conjunctivitis) and pneumonia in the unborn baby.

Men and women have been known to develop arthritis as an outcome of the Chlamydial infection.

Diagnosis Of Chlamydia

A wide variety of diagnostic tests and tools are known for the diagnosis of Chlamydia. These tests also include some of the best known as such as nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), cell culture and many others. NAAT is one of the best known tests all over the world. It can be easily performed on the vaginal swabs or urine of the infected person.

Vaginal swabs are the best specimen which can be collected for the female patients for the screening of genital Chlamydia. In case of men, urine is the best specimen on which diagnostic tests can be performed.
NAAT’s have emerged to be the best diagnostic tests for Chlamydia as they have a better sensitivity as well as better rates for the detection of the virus C. Trachomatis.

Treatment For Chlamydia

Chlamydia can be easily treated with the help of antibiotics. People who are HIV positive and suffering from Chlamydia have the same treatment as the ones who are HIV Negative. It is often recommended that people suffering from Chlamydia should abstain from participating in any sexual activity for a period of a week after the prescription of antibiotics. This is going to help prevent the spreading of the infection from one partner to the other. Not only that, it is very important to complete the course of medicine in order to get the desirable results. The medication should also be not shared amongst each other.

Though medication is known to stop the spread of the disease, it does not help in the repair of any permanent damage caused by the disease.

The cases of repeated infection in case of Chlamydia are very common. In such a case, women whose partners have not been treated for the disease are highly prone for getting re infected with the disease. Having a high rate of re infections can increase the risk of a woman having reproductive problems as well as PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disorder) or ectopic pregnancy. Men and women who have been treated for

Chlamydia need to get themselves rechecked every three months after the initial treatment in order to keep the disease at bay. In case of infants, Chlamydia can be treated successfully with the help of antibiotics.

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