chlamydia

summary about chlamydia

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease ( STD ) that can lead to serious complications such as sterility. The species Chlamydia trachomatis mainly affects the genitals, which is why in US English we speak mainly of Chlamydia trachomatis and not just Chlamydia to qualify this STD1 . In this article, we will useChlamydia or chlamydiaas a synonym forChlamydia trachomatis.

Transmission is through contact with secretions, ejaculations or wounds of infected people. Vertical transmission, from mother to child, can also occur. Objects, such as bathroom accents, do not transmit the disease.

Symptoms are inconstant and may never appear. Men and women may have different manifestations, but the most common are: pain when urinating, increased secretions and wounds.

Untreated infections in women can lead to tubal pregnancy, infertility and chronic pelvic pain. In men, chlamydia can cause urethritis, acute epididymitis (acute inflammation of the epididymis), infertility, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), reactive arthritis and urethral stricture (narrowing of the urethra).

The tests most used in the diagnosis of this disease are the collection of secretions for women and the urine test for men.

The treatment is done through antibiotic therapy, the most used antibiotics are: doxacycline and axithromycin. It is very important to follow the doctor’s instructions correctly to avoid the emergence of bacterial resistance.

This disease is very easy to prevent, use a condom and do not have sex with many partners and unknown partners.

Definition

Chlamydia is a bacteria responsible for several infections:

1. eyeballs (trachoma)

2. nas mucuosas (urethritis)

3. ganglionic (benign lymphoreticulosis)

4. genitals

5. in the lungs (pneumonia)

In the context of genital chlamydial infections, we speak of a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Chlamydial infections are serious, as they are the most frequent cause of blindness in the world and the leading cause of female sterility.

Two species of chlamydia are pathogenic to humans:

1. Chlamydia trachomatis (Chlamydia trachomatis, responsible for genital and eye infections).

2. Chlamydia pneumoniae (Chlamydia pneumoniae, responsible for pneumopathies and bronchitis).

There is also a third species of chlamydia (Chlamydia psittaci), found in animals and likely to occasionally cause respiratory infections in humans.

Epidemiology

– According to the WHO, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia each year.

– In 2016, the number of new STD cases reached record levels in the United States, with more than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to an annual report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). for Disease Control and Preventionor CDC) published at the end of September 2017. New cases of chlamydia in 2016 totaled 1.6 million, gonorrhea 470,000 and syphilis 28,000. This is the highest number of STDs ever, according to this report. About half of chlamydia cases were diagnosed in young women. A significant number of new cases of gonorrhea have occurred in men who have sex with men. Most cases of syphilis have been found in homosexual and bisexual men. The report also mentions more than 600 cases of syphilis in newborns (congenital syphilis), with more than 40 deaths. Between 2015 and 2016, the increase in the number of syphilis cases increased by 18% every time according to the CDC.

Causes

Chlamydia trachomatis
Chlamydia ( Chlamydia trachomatis ) is sexually transmitted. Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The Chlamydia trachomatis
bacteria is often spread during vaginal, oral and anal sex.

Other bacteria: 
There are different species of chlamydia bacteria, 3 can be pathogenic in humans: Chlamydia trachomatis , Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia psittaci . Chlamydia trachomatis particularly affects the genitals and eyes. The other two mainly cause pneumonia.

Incubation period:        
The incubation period for the bacteria is about a week, which is the time between contamination (infection) and the appearance of the first symptoms. Chlamydial infections are sometimes asymptomatic (read more below under Symptoms ), so it’s possible to infect your partner without knowing it.

Groups of risk

Factors that increase the risk of contracting chlamydia ( Chlamydia trachomatis ) include:
– Being sexually active before the age of 25
– Having multiple sexual partners
– Not systematically using condoms
– A history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs)

Symptoms

Chlamydia manifests itself differently in men and women. If symptoms are present, it is possible to observe:

Chlamydial infection in men:
– Urinary burning, including urethritis
– Cloudy, more or less purulent discharge from the penis ( discharge from the penis )
– Itching
– Pain and inflammation of the testicles

Chlamydial infection in women:
– Vaginal discharge  Slight
pain when urinating
– Fever
– Pain in the abdomen and pelvis
– Bleeding after menstruation and after sex
– Pain during intercourse
– Irritations, itching in the area genital

Symptoms elsewhere:
Chlamydia ( Chlamydia trachomatis ) can also infect the rectum and lead to rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding. It is also possible for conjunctivitis to develop , especially from contact with infected body fluids.

These symptoms can appear together, individually or, as seen before, not at all. The inconsistency of symptoms makes diagnosis difficult, delays treatment and causes complications. Read below for more information about Chlamydia Complications

Men often signal 
In 80% of cases, the warning sign for chlamydia comes from men, at least in Brazil, according to an article published on the Brazilian reference website UOL.com.br in February 2021, which cites a urologist. Indeed, a few days or weeks after transmission, the man may notice a burning sensation and clear discharge from the penis. Since this situation bothers him, perhaps more than a woman who is used to having vaginal discharge for other reasons, he goes to the doctor.

Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests for chlamydia are as follows:

In both men and women , the bacteria can be detected in the first stream of urine. A urine sample is tested in the laboratory for the presence of this infection.

In women , the doctor may take a sample of cervical secretions to perform a chlamydial culture or antigen test. This can be done during a routine Pap test. Some women prefer to take a vaginal sample themselves.

In men , the doctor inserts a thin cotton swab into the end of the penis to obtain a sample from the urethra. In some cases, the doctor will take a sample from your anus.

Notes: 
– If the bacteria causing chlamydia is detected, it is usually also necessary to look for other common STDs (STIs) such as gonorrhea .
– Another resource is serology, used to help diagnose complicated forms of chlamydial infections, such as upper genital infections or neonatal pneumonia.
– Of all the diagnostic tests for bacteria, it seems that the most reliable is real-time PCR (eg, Abbott brand).
– If you have been treated for a first chlamydial infection, you should be tested again after three months.

Complications

Complications of chlamydia, mainly from the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis , are:

In women:
– Sterility. Chlamydial infections – even those without showing any signs or symptoms – can cause scarring and blockage of the fallopian tubes, which can make women infertile.
– Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes that causes pelvic pain and fever. Severe infections may require hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics. PID can damage the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus, including the cervix.
– Ectopic pregnancy. This happens when a fertilized egg implants and develops outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. The pregnancy must be removed to avoid life-threatening complications such as tube rupture. Chlamydial infection increases this risk.
Vertical transmission (newborns):
Chlamydial infection can pass from the birth canal to the baby during delivery, causing pneumonia or a serious eye infection.

In men:
– Inflammation of the urethra.
– Epididymitis. It’s an infection in the testicles. This infection can cause fever, scrotal pain, and swelling.
 Prostatitis. Prostatitis can cause pain during or after sex, fever and chills, painful urination, and lower back pain.

In both sexes:
– Reactive arthritis (in English: Reactive arthritis ). People with chlamydia ( Chlamydia trachomatis ) are at increased risk of developing reactive arthritis, also known as Reiter’s syndrome. This condition usually affects the joints, eyes, and urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
– blindness

Treatments

Chlamydial infection is treated with specific antibiotics for this type of bacteria.

Uncomplicated infection: Antibiotics
that give good results in this type of infection are: – Tetracyclines – Macrolides (usually azithromycin , 1000 mg tablet as a single dose) – Latest generation fluoroquinolones (eg ciprofloxacin) In an uncomplicated genital infection by Chlamydia trachomatis , the recommended treatment is usually a single dose of azithromycin . Sometimes other antibiotics are used, over several days (5 to 10 days). Remarks: – In most cases, the infection resolves within one to two weeks after starting antibiotic treatment
2 .
– Having chlamydia or having been treated for it in the past does not prevent you from getting it again.

Complicated or severe infections:
In cases of severe infections, patients must be hospitalized to receive intravenous antibiotics.

Treatment of the partner:
It is essential to treat the partner, even if he or she has no symptoms, to:
– prevent infection in that person
– prevent reinfection (vicious circle)
– prevent future spread of bacteria

Lack of vaccine:
Currently, at the time of writing this article, in February 2021, there is no vaccine to prevent chlamydia.

Good advice (tips)

If the treatment of chlamydial infection is done with antibiotic therapy, it is necessary to ensure that the medicine is taken correctly:

– respect the indicated dosage (correct times of taking: before/during/after meals, drinking well, interaction with other medications).

– it is essential to finish the pack if the doctor recommends it and not interrupt it in the middle of the treatment, even if the symptoms have disappeared.

– treat your partner

– carefully follow the advice given by the specialist who recommended the medicine.

– avoid unprotected sex until you are sure you are cured.

These tips helped you get a good recovery. If the antibiotics are not taken correctly, the bacteria may not die with the treatment and, in addition, resistance to the drug may develop, which means that this antibiotic will no longer work and you will have to take another one.

Avoiding sex with your partner who is also likely to be infected, even if you are both on treatment, prevents re-infection.

Prevention

As chlamydia is a bacteria that causes STDs, preventing this infection is essentially done by fighting venereal diseases.

– sex education

– use condoms during sex

– avoid having sex with many partners

– have regular gynecological exams

– also treat your partner

– do not have sex if your partner has abnormal secretions, burning when urinating or skin rashes or genital ulcers

– systematic control in sexual relations with numerous partners, even in the absence of symptoms (due to the possible asymptomatic character of the disease).

– in women, avoid vaginal showers. Douching decreases the number of good bacteria in the vagina, which can increase the risk of infection.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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