One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, Chlamydia can damage a woman’s reproductive organs before she even realizes there’s a problem. It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and quite often has mild or “absent” symptoms.
Chlamydia is transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.
If you are sexually active than your chances of being infected with chlamydia are increased. Your risk of infection is even higher the more sex partners you have. Sexually active teenage girls and young women appear to be more susceptible to infection possibly due to the cervix (opening to the uterus) not being fully matured.
Known as the “silent” disease, chlamydia often presents with no symptoms. Three quarters of infected women and half of infected men will have no symptoms. The infection is frequently not diagnosed or treated until complications develop. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks of exposure.
Symptoms might include abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. When the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes, some women still have no signs or symptoms; others have lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse, and bleeding between menstrual periods. If the infection spreads past the cervix into the upper reproductive system, permanent and irreversible damage can occur, including infertility.
Men might experience discharge from the penis and a burning sensation when urinating. Men might also have burning and itching around the opening of the penis or pain and swelling in the testicles, or both.
Antibiotics are the method of choice used to treat and cure chlamydia. A single dose of azithromycin or a week of doxycycline are the most commonly used treatments. All sex partners must also be treated.
- Use a condom correctly and consistently even if you are using another type of birth control. Birth control pills, the shot, the patch, etc., will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.
- Limit the number of sex partners, practice sexual abstinence, or limit the number to just one uninfected partner. Do not go back and forth between partners.
- Go for a screening test at least once a year.
- Avoid sexual contact if you think you may be infected. Any genital signs or symptoms such as discharge or burning during urination or an unusual sore or rash should be a signal to stop having sex. See your doctor as soon as possible.
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Birth Control Buzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, types of birth control(prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase pharmaceuticals on-line. For more information, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.