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Chlamydia is an infection caused by bacterium Chlamydia Trachomatis, transmitted sexually and can infect both males and females.

Modes of transmission:

Chlamydia spreads through unprotected vaginal sex, oral or anal sex with an infected individual. Penetration is not essential for the spread of disease as the bacteria can travel even through touching or rubbing of the genitals or sharing sex toys.

The infected mother can also, pass on the disease to the baby during pregnancy.

The infection may spread to the eyes by using contaminated towels, direct contact with infected semen or vaginal discharge, poor hygiene.
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Q: What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?

The infection is generally, asymptomatic and thus, goes unnoticed easily. However, the following symptoms may appear after 1-3 weeks of exposure to the bacteria.

  1. Abnormal, foul-smelling, yellowish or greenish discharge from the vagina or penis
  2. Burning or pain on urination
  3. Painful sex
  4. Abdominal pain with fever
  5. Inter-menstrual bleeding
  6. Swollen vagina, anus or testes
  7. Bleeding during or after intercourse
  8. Itching or bleeding from anus
  9. Oral sex may transmit the bacteria to the throat leading to cough, soreness throat, fever.
  10. Eye infections may present as conjunctivitis or trachoma and can even lead to blindness.

Confirmation of the disease is done by taking a swab test from the vagina, throat, anus, penis or urethra. An additional urine test may also be performed.

Q What are the treatments of Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is the most common and also, the most easily treatable of all sexually transmitted diseases. A single course of antibiotics is usually sufficient to cure the infection.

Q What are the complications in Chlamydia?

The infection should not be taken lightly as untreated cases may develop serious complications such as:
  1. Pelvic inflammatory disease, a severe infection of the fallopian tubes and adjoining structures, may also occur in case the infection extends to the upper female tract. This may lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy or complications during pregnancy.
  2. In males, the infection may spread to epididymis causing epididymitis or sterility.
  3. Infants may develop pneumonia or eye problems, if born of infected mothers.
  4. Reactive arthritis, a combination of arthritis, conjunctivitis and urethritis, may also develop in some cases.

Prognosis :

If the prescribed antibiotic course has been completed, the disease is gone in about 7-10 days. Sex should be avoided during and one week after the treatment.

Prevention :

Being cured of the infection does not guarantee lifetime immunity as the disease can easily recur. Thus, the following precautions should be taken to avoid recurrence.
  • Using condom during sex is the surest form of protection from all STDs
  • Get yourself and your partner tested for Chlamydia and other infections before having sex
  • Avoid anal or oral sex
  • Stick to one sexual partner

"Follow precautions, enjoy freedom from infections, enjoy sex."