Chlamydia: The Silent Infection

Chlamydia: The Silent Infection

CHLAMYDIA IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES.

4 MILLION DOCUMENTED CASES EACH YEAR IN THE U.S.

What is Chlamydia?

A Bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis

Signs/Symptoms of Chlamydia:

  • 80-90% of people will have no signs or symptoms
  • Unusual or increase in Vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain that is not resolving
  • Pain during sex
  • Burning or discomfort during urination

How is it transmitted?

  • Sexual contact/intercourse
  • Exchange of body fluids (semen and sperm)
  • YOU CANNOT GET CHLAMYDIA FROM A TOILET SEAT OR SHARING TOWELS
  • It is possible to spread Chlamydia among female partners thru touching and also sharing of toys

How is it diagnosed?

  • Can be diagnosed thru a cervical swab
  • Also thru a urine sample
  • The turn around time for Chlamydia test results is very quick, usually within 1-2 days

Treatment:

Fortunately, Chlamydia is a treatable infection. The recommended and preferred treatment by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is Zithromax.

  • Zithromax is dispensed as 4 tablets (250 mg each) to be taken all at one time (total of 1000 mg).
  • If you are allergic to Zithromax then you will most likely be given a prescription for Doxycycline. This is dispensed as 500 mg twice daily for 7 days.
  • It is very important that you abstain from sex for 7 days after taking treatment.
  • Your partner(s) should also be treated and abstain for 7 days after treatment.

Complications of Chlamydia:

Undiagnosed, untreated, prolonged or repeated Chlamydia infections can have long-term health complications.

It can lead to a serious condition known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID.

PID can lead to scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can have long term consequences on fertility. It can also increase the chances of have an ectopic pregnancy (condition where a fertilized embryo or pregnancy implants or starts developing in the tube rather than the uterus).

How to limit Chlamydia infection/exposure:

  • Use condoms 100% of the time.
  • Make sure yourself and your partners are screened for Chlamydia and other STIs before engaging in sex.
  • Be screened for STIs on a regular basis (at your annual GYN visit or more often if you have had a change in sexual partner).
  • Do NOT have sex with someone who has any unusual discharge, complains of burning with urination, or has any unusual rash or sore.

Take home message:

Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted infection affecting numerous people each year in the United States. It is typically a silent infection where most people that are infected have no signs or symptoms. Because of this it can have very serious long term health complications.

Fortunately, it is a treatable infection and steps can be taken to limit one’s potential for infection.

Most importantly, BE SCREENED REGULARLY and MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING CONDOMS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF INFECTION.

Never be hesitant to speak with your health care provider on how to keep yourself safe and protected from sexually transmitted infections!

All information was resourced from:

Yours in Health,

Leslie

Health is not valued until sickness comes. ~Thomas Fuller