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Diseases & Conditions

Chlamydia

ChlamydiaCausesMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTreatmentTypes

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia infection results from the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and is a common sexually transmitted infection. It is found to cause human genital and eye diseases. The Bureau of Health states that over 2.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with Chlamydia in this decade.

Causes of Chlamydia

The causes of this disease can be traced to the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It is not transmitted by direct contact or through air. The modes of infection of Chlamydia include oral, vaginal and anal sex with an infected person or even having genital contact with an infected person. Further, it can be transmitted also through the birth canal which results in the transmission of the disease from the mother to the child. Changing sexual partners often can result in spreading of this disease.

Medication for Chlamydia

There are different medication regimes for Chlamydia. It is essentially treated with antibiotics. Oflaxacin and Levofloxacin are the best but they are expensive. The most commonly used drug is Erythromycin though it has been found to be a bit less effective. A single dose treatment is the most effective treatment regime if you have difficulty remembering to take the pill, but a course for 7 days works out to be cheaper. Azithromycin and Asdoxycycline are also effective medicines for Chlamydia, branded under Zithromax, Atridox and Bio-Tab.

Prevention of Chlamydia

The simplest prevention method is to have protected sex which reduces the risk of infection though it cannot be said with guarantee that there would be no infection. The common misconception that oral sex does not infect a person has to be shelled out. Regular screening processes have to be followed to ensure that the person is not affected. Douching or using water to clean the vagina reduces the number of good bacteria in the vagina which may expose the body to Chlamydia. Though it may not be always possible, it is better to get a scan or a medical health report of new sexual partners to ensure that there is no risk of infection between the two. Further, it is important to spread the general awareness of this disease, the causative agents and the repercussions to ensure that Chlamydia is curbed in the initial stage.

Risk Factors of Chlamydia

It has been revealed that young sexually active people in their late teens and early twenties are the most affected by this disease. Chlamydia results from unprotected sex and therefore takes form as infection in all sexual activities. The disease could have a number of complications in men and women like affecting the quality of fertile sperm in women and producing infertility in women. It could result in disorders like Cervicitis, Salpingitis and Bartholinitis in women, and Urethritis, Epididymitis and Reiter syndrome in men.

Symptoms of Chlamydia

The disease can be characterized by different symptoms in men and women, but it is fairly difficult to diagnose even though the symptoms are unique to Chlamydia. According to reports, it has been found that there have been more than 50 to 60% of women in the US who have had untreated Chlamydia while 25% of men did not know that they were victims.

In women, the symptoms are as follows:

  • Normal or excessive bleeding during sexual relations
  • Bleeding between menstrual cycles
  • Lower abdominal pain during urination
  • Excessive white discharge from the vagina

In men, the symptoms are in the genital area again:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Pain in the abdominal area and testicles during urination
  • Inflammation and tenderness of testicles.

Treatment for Chlamydia

The basic treatment for this disease comes in the form of medication. When a person is being treated for Chlamydia, it is important to treat the sexual partner of the patient so that there is no relapse of the disease. It is better to abstain from sex during the course of the treatment, even if it is protected.

Types of Chlamydia

There are different types of Chlamydia of which the most common forms are Chlamydia Trachomatis, a common form of conjunctivitis. Trachoma is an offshoot of Chlamydia Trachomatis. Chlamydia Psittica is a relatively rare form of this disease and is commonly known as parrot fever. Lymphogranuloma Venereum is another offshoot of the Chlamydia Trachomatis and affects the lymphatic tissue. Chlamydia Pneumoniae is a disease that affects the upper respiratory tract.