Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, there were more reported cases of chlamydia to the Center for Disease Control last year than any other bacterial sexually transmitted disease. There were over one million cases reported to the CDC in 2006 alone. Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. The CDC has predicted that there may be over two million people infected with Chlamydia this year.
Chlamydia as stated above is a sexually transmitted disease. This means that it is passed from one partner to another during sexual intercourse. It can be transferred during vaginal, oral or anal intercourse. Women who have Chlamydia can pass the disease on to their child during labor and childbirth if the child is delivered vaginally.
There are some risk factors that can make people more prone to contracting chlamydia. People who have multiple partners are more at risk of getting Chlamydia. Teenage girls and young women who have not matured yet are more prone to developing this disease. Male partners can also pass the bacteria from one to another during anal and oral sex. Women can also become infected again with the bacteria if their sexual partners are not treated successfully at the same time that they are for this disease.
This disease can be hard to completely eradicate due to several factors. Chlamydia can have little or no symptom in a lot of the time. Therefore Chlamydia has the reputation of being a silent disease. Over 75% of women and over 50% of men who have the disease will be asymptomatic or have no symptoms of this disease. Women can also become reinfected with the bacteria if their sexual partners are not treated successfully at the same time that they are for this disease. This leads to higher numbers of people becoming infected with this disease as time goes on. If people do have symptoms they tend to occur between 10-21 days after they have been exposed to the bacteria.
Chlamydia has two different stages of the disease. The symptoms if present will be different according to the stage of the disease and where the bacteria has spread to. First, during sexual intercourse the bacteria travels through the woman’s cervix and her urethra. During this stage of the disease, some women have reported having a vaginal discharge and burning upon urination. The bacteria may then later move on to the uterus and fallopian tubes. At this stage women have reported abdominal and back pain, nausea and vomiting, low grade fever, irregular bleeding between menstrual cycles and that sexual intercourse is painful. It should also be noted that some women never have any symptoms at all.
Men who have Chlamydia have reported burning upon urination and discharge from the penis. They have also reported itching and some burning around the opening at the end of the penis. In some rare cases pain and swelling around the testicles has been reported. Men and women who have had anal intercourse and exposed to Chlamydia may contract the Chlamydia infection in their anal passage and rectum. Symptoms of this problem include pain and swelling around the rectum with bleeding and some discharge. Chlamydia can be contracted and infect the throat of people who engage in oral sexual intercourse with someone who has been infected with Chlamydia. Symptoms of this include a sore throat and some lesions or pustules on the throat itself.
Chlamydia can be successfully treated with antibiotic therapy. This disease needs to be evaluated by a medical professional. Once a consultation has occurred the physician will then do the appropriate lab work with cultures to determine which bacteria is present. If Chlamydia is present it can be treated with antibiotic therapy. Anyone who suspects they may have a STD should stop having intercourse immediately with all partners and consult a physician. They should also report to their physician every sexual partner that they had so they can be treated appropriately as well. This goes very far in retarding the spread of this disease.