A common infection, disease, that is transmitted through sexual contact.

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Meaning

An infectious disease that is more prevalent than Gonorrhea is today, which is from the bacterium Chlamydia Trachomatis.

It is a major cause of human genital and eye disease, and is contracted through sexual contact.

History

From the Greek, meaning 'cloak'.

Practice

Symptoms:

Usually this infection shows mild symptoms, if any. Which is why it is so widely unreported to health agencies.

This infection is known as 'the silent infection' due to the fact that as many as 75% of infected women show no symptoms, while about 50% of males show no symptoms.

IF symptoms do occur, it generally happens within the first 1 to 3 weeks after one is infected with the bacterium.

Woman - Some symptoms that might occur, is a burning sensation while urinating, or experience an abnormal vaginal discharge.

Depending on where it spreads to, symptoms can also be as common as lower back pain, lower abdominal pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse, bleeding in between periods.

Men - Usually symptoms are a burning sensation when urinating, or unnatural discharges from the penis. Burning and itching around the top of the penis are also possible signs.

Swelling and/or pain of the testicles is not common for this infection.

Anal infections for men and woman can show signs of pain, discharge, or uncommon bleeding at the rectum.

Complications:

Woman - If left untreated, this can cause serious health risks, such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which can be quite serious. It can effect the fallopian tubes, can be transmitted to unborn children during pregnancy.

About 40% of women suffer from PID, due to Chlamydia infection, and it can lead to severe pelvic pain, infertility.

Woman with untreated Chlamydia are five times more likely to contract HIV.

Males - While rare among men, it can lead to sterility, though very rare, but also pain and fever. It can lead to arthritis and skin lesions and eye inflammation. Again these are rare, but possible in some instances, if left untreated.

Treatment:

Testing for sexually active women under 25 is considered essential, and on a regular basis. Annual tests are also considered practical for women older who have more than one sexual partner.

Samples taken from the penis or vagina can be required, if a simple urine test is inconclusive.

In many cases, when diagnosed soon enough, simple drug treatments are prescribed to cure the infection. It should be noted, re-infection is very common, unless one either shuns sex totally, or if using safer sex practices.

The treatment can be a single dose of a drug, or a week's medication of doxycycline, twice daily. Usually azithromycin is sufficient, which requires just a single dose.

Note, condoms are not 100% safe, and regular testing should be undertaken on a regular basis, at least annually.

Noteworthy:

The CDC (Center for Disease Control USA) estimates that there are approximately 2.3 MILLION cases per year, from the age of 14 to 39. They show a reported rate in 2006 of 1.2 Million cases, but estimate that the actual rate is considerably higher, due to the under reporting of this infection.

Under reporting is believed to be caused by the mild symptoms, if any, that are noticed in the early stages of infection

15% of blindness in 1995 were attributed to untreated cases of Chlamydia infection. While the instances has dropped dramatically since, it shouldn't be ignored.


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