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Chlamydia : Causes, symptoms and treatments

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Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused due to the bacteria Chlamydia Trachomatis.

Causes

Chlamydia is caused due to unprotected sexual intercourse and sharing of sex toys. Penetration is not necessary, simply touching the genitals is sufficient for the transmission of the bacteria. If the mother carries the disease, it could be passed on to the newborn. In rare cases, the bacteria also affect the eyes, mainly owing to contact with the infected fluid from the vagina or penis.

Symptoms

It is not necessary for the symptoms to come out as soon as you contract the disease. Statistics show that 70% women and 50% men experience no symptoms throughout their lifetime despite having contracted the disease. However, in some cases, the symptoms may come out between one to three weeks of infection. With time, the infection could also spread to other parts of the body.

The most common symptoms experienced in women are

  • Inflammation in the cervix coupled with increased vaginal discharge
  • Pain and discomfort during urination
  • Pain and bleeding during and after the sex
  • Chronic pain in the lower abdomen
  • Bleeding in between periods and heavier bleeding during the periods

The common symptoms in men include

  • Thick cloudy discharge from the penis
  • Pain during urination
  • Pain in the shaft and testicles

The symptoms could also vary from person to person. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor on the earliest signs of any symptom.

Consequences

Amongst the women, an untreated infection can ultimately spread to the uterus and Fallopian tubes, causing a more serious complication known as pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. PID can permanently damage the reproductive system. Other consequences include pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. The more often the instances of infection, higher are the chance of complication in the reproductive health.

The conditions are usually not very severe in case of males. Although they do not experience any health conditions, an infected epididymis could lead to pain, fever and sometimes even infertility.

Apart from these, both men and women have higher chances of developing reactive arthritis upon being infected by Chlamydia Trachomatis. As the name suggests, reactive arthritis develops as a response to an infection in the body. Being negligent about a chlamydia infection can also increase the chances of contracting HIV AIDS.

Treatment

Unlike other sexually transmitted diseases, the better part about Chlamydia is that they are very easy to treat. Having been caused due to bacteria, they can be treated through the use of antibiotics. Azithromycin and doxycycline are two common antibiotics used for the treatment. The former is taken in a single large dose. However, the dose could also be spread out to over five days. Doxycycline, on the other hand, requires to be consumed in two doses daily for a week.

The doctors may also prescribe other antibiotics. Irrespective of the prescription it is necessary that you stick to the recommended dose so as to fully clear up the infection. A complete healing can take up to two weeks. It is best to abstain from sex when you are under medication.

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