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Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease. and is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis.
Different strains of chlamydia cause genital, eye, lymph node, and respiratory infections.
Sexually active individuals and individuals with multiple partners are at highest risk for chlamydia infections.
The symptoms include:
Burning on urination
Vaginal discharge or bleeding
Note: Only approximately 30% of women will have symptoms due to chlamydia. Therefore, screening sexually active women for chlamydia is necessary to diagnose and treat the condition in women who do not have symptoms.
Diagnosing a chlamydia infection in a woman involves taking a sample of cervical secretions and sending it to a lab for an endocervical culture.
Chlamydia can be treated with a variety of antibiotics, including azithromycin, tetracyclines, quinolones, and erythromycin. Erythromycin and amoxicillin are safe in pregnant women.
Both sexual partners must be treated to prevent passing the infection back and forth between them, even though both may not have symptoms.
Since gonorrhea often occurs along with chlamydia, treatment for gonorrhea is often given at the same time.
Antibiotic treatment is usually successful. Reinfection may occur if you do not take your medicine as directed, or if your sexual partners is not treated.
Chlamydia infections in women may lead to inflammation of the cervix.
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.
A monogamous sexual relationship with an uninfected partner is one way to avoid this infection. The proper use of condoms during intercourse usually prevents infection. As of 2001, annual screening for chlamydia of all sexually active women aged 20-25 is recommended, as is screening of older women with risk factors (such as a new sexual partner or multiple partners) in order to treat those cases that may not have any symptoms.
Dr Anrich Burger
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