Chlamydia

Chlamydia by Ashley Christensen Ms. Robinson Period 3 / Sociology 2/29/2000 Introduction Today, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) , are among the most common causes of illness in the United States. People in their teens and twenties are most affected by STDs, with over 6 million new cases each year, and adults between the ages of 13 and 19 are at the most risk for infection. Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States today. It is estimated that more than 4 million new cases occur each year in people of all ages, the majority of which is in young adults. 1 Many STDs are present in todays society, and people are having sex with the mentality that it could never happen to them.

This is not the case at all. Especially with STDs like Chlamydia. This particular disease is quickly spreading through the nation due to its uncommon occurrence of symptoms. People are spreading it around without even knowing that they have it. Chlamydia is at an even greater risk in the Santa Clara County, where it is the number one STD among sexually active people in our area.2 Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. This bacteria can only live inside of cells, therefore it can only be passed on through the exchange of bodily fluids such as semen, blood, breast milk, and vaginal fluids.

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It can be transmitted during vaginal, oral, or anal sexual contact with an infected partner. Chlamydia can be treated because it is a bacterial infection. If treatment is not prescribed in time, however, the disease most often results in infertility in both men and women. Chlamydia In Men This infection occurs primarily in the urethra in men. Men are the primary carriers.

The symptoms, if present, include things like painful, burning sensations with urination, frequent urination, and unusual discharge of fluids from the penis. Many times, however, Chlamydia goes unnoticed because of a lack of symptoms. The disease can be tested for with a laboratory sample of the cells within the tissue of the urethra. The thought of this test alone is enough to discourage many a man from going into a clinic and getting checked. This and the female test uses a process called DNA amplification to detect the genes of the organisms in genital secretions.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved this process for detection of Chlamydia in urine. This is a major step in diagnosing Chlamydia because it does not require a tissue sample; it can be used in situations where performing a pelvic exam isnt possible, like in college health units and at health fairs. Results from the urine test are available within 24 hours, another added motivating factor to get tested in the efforts to curb the rise of this STD. Untreated Chlamydia will cause epidiymitis, an inflammation of a part of the male reproductive system located near the testicles, pain and swelling in the scrotum, scarring and blockage in the urethra and vas defrens, and if left untreated long enough, sterility.

It can cause proctitis, or an inflamed rectum, and conjunctivitis, or an inflammation of the lining of the eye, as well.3 The bacteria also have been found in the throat as a result of oral sexual contact with an infected partner. Chlamydia in Women Chlamydia in women occurs in the cervix. Women are more likely to not experience any symptoms, therefore the disease often goes untreated. Symptoms that are present may include things like vaginal discharge, pain in the pelvic area, and bleeding between periods. These early symptoms are most often mild, but do progress into severe stages. Chlamydia is tested for in women with something similar to a pap smear, in other words, a sample of the cells lining the cervix is scraped off with a small tool, so it is less intimidating than the male version of the same test.

If left untreated the woman may experience an unusual discharge and light bleeding between periods, this bleeding may indicate the spread of infection to the uterus.4 PID, a sign of untreated Chlamydia that occurs in one third of all women infected, can result in scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can block the tubes and prevent fertilization from taking place. Around 100,000 women each year become infertile as a result of PID. In other cases, scarring may interfere with the passage of the fertilized egg down into the uterus. When this happens, the egg may implant in the fallopian tube. This is called ectopic or tubal pregnancy.

This is life-threatening for the mother and results in the loss of the fetus.5 A baby who is exposed to Chlamydia in the birth canal during delivery may develop conjunctivitis, which is an eye infection, or pneumonia. Symptoms of conjunctivitis, which include discharge and swollen eyelids, usually develop within the first 10 days of life. Symptoms of pneumonia, including a strong cough and congestion, most often develop within three to six weeks of birth. Both conditions can be treated successfully with antibiotics. Treatment Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics such as a one-day course of azithromycin or a seven-day course of doxycycline to treat Chlamydial infections.

Other antibiotics such as erythromycin or ofloxacin also are effective. Pregnant women can be treated with azithromycin or erythromycin. Amoxicillin is also a safe alternative for treating pregnant women. Penicillin, which is often used for treating some other STD’s, is not effective against Chlamydial infections.6 New medications are being developed that should simplify treatment and help control the spread of Chlamydia from mother to baby as well as through sexual intercourse. Because of these risks and risks to the newborn, many doctors recommend routine testing of all pregnant women for a Chlamydial infection. Prevention Because Chlamydia often occurs without symptoms, people who are infected may unknowingly infect their sex partners.

Many doctors recommend that all people who have more than one sex partner, especially women under 25, get tested for Chlamydia regularly, even without symptoms. Using condoms or diaphragms during sexual activities also is an effective way of preventing the spread of this STD.7 Thibodeau, Gary A. STDs The Human Body In Health And Disease Copyright 1992. Mosby Year-Book Press. Various Authors.

Chlamydia The Columbia Encyclopedia, Third Edition, Copyright 1994 Columbia University Press. Bibliography Bibliography American Social Health Association Research Department Chlamydia Prevention Online Article. 1999. Encarta Online Encyclopedia. Chlamydia Online Article. Second Edition. Copyright 1996.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Survey . 1998.

Chlamydia

Steve Redding
Professor Rayhel
Human Sexuality
5/01/01
Chlamydia
What is Chlamydia? It is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the U.S. Its full name is chlamydia trachomatis. It is a kind of bacteria that can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, or eye. What does chlamydia cause? It causes PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), Sterility, and even death. Some common symptoms include: fever, fatigue, severe lower abdominal pain, lower abdominal tenderness, enlargement of the fallopian tubes, and vaginal discharge. There are many other things that Chlamydia can lead to.

Chlamydia often produces no symptoms. 60% of women and 40% of men have no symptoms. This is perhaps the scariest part of the disease. Equally scary is enormous infection rate of this disease. Three million American women and men become infected with chlamydia every year. Chlamydia is: four times as common as gonorrhea, more than 30 times as common as syphilis, most common among women and men under 25. For every one person with herpes, there are six with chlamydia. Another scary fact is that its possible to acquire the disease more then once; being infected once (twice, a hundred times) does not mean you are immune against more infections. People at high risk include white males aged 15-24, people with more then one partners, and women during their reproductive lives. In women and men, chlamydia may cause the rectum to itch and bleed. It can also result in a discharge and diarrhea. If it infects the eyes, chlamydia may cause redness, itching, and a discharge.

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Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual intercourse. It is easier to get chlamydia through anal intercourse. Direct exchange of bodily fluids is the most common way of transmission. Whether Chlamydia can be transmitted orally is not known.Chlamydia grows within cells. Chlamydia usually infects the cervix and fallopian tubes of women and the urethra of men. Chlamydial infections are said to be the most common of all STDs. It is also said that in a population of 15 million, there are up to 300,000 cases of chlamydia each year. There are many undiagnosed cases of chlamydia in the community. It has been estimated that the true population of chlamydia in sexually active people may be in the order of 5% to 10%. Most of the time the bacterial infection will not cause any symptoms; this is especially true in females. The infection is much worse in females then in males and in most cases, the infection is not usually noticed until then its too late. Usually, chlamydia has no symptoms. Up to 85 percent of women and 40 percent of men with chlamydia have no symptoms. Most people are not aware that they have the infection. When symptoms do occur, they may begin in as little as 5-10 days after infection.
Chlamydia affects men and women differently. Some common symptoms that men experience may be mild burning while urination and, in some men, the symptoms might disappear but in most cases the infection is still there. Some other common symptoms include watery, white penile discharges, which sometimes happen only in the morning, and can disappear. This does not mean that the infection is gone. The other symptom is testicle pain. Chlamydia also makes men sterile. It can spread from the urethra to the testicles. Then it can result in a condition called epididymitis. Epididymitis can cause sterility. Chlamydia causes more than 250,000 cases of epididymitis in the U.S. every year. Another danger of chlamydia for men is Reiters syndrome. Reiters syndrome causes severe arthritis, and immobilizes many men. Of the estimated one and a half million men in the U.S. who get chlamy die each year one percent 15,000 may develop Reiter’s syndrome. Perhaps one-third of these men 5,000 will become permanently disabled each year.

Chlamydia poses a huge danger to females as well. The most severe complication of chlamydia is the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). As a result of infection to women it travels into the upper genital tract. Infection of the cervix and fallopian tubes occurs frequently, and chlamydia can also cause urethral infection. Symptoms of PID can include pain in urination, bladder infection, a thin vaginal discharge of pus and lower abdominal pain. Inflammation of the cervix with pus is very common. Up to 60% of women with untreated Chlamydia will develop PID. In fact, almost of PID in woman is caused by Chlamydia. PID can scar and block the fallopian tubes. That can make a woman sterile and unable to get pregnant. Fertilized eggs may not reach the uterus because tubes are blocked. If they develop in the tubes, this is called an ectopic pregnancy. A woman may die if a pregnancy develops outside her uterus. She usually needs emergency surgery. Women with PID of the fallopian tubes are 7-10 times more likely than other women to have ectopic pregnancies. Of the woman with PID, 20% will become infertile; 18% will experience chronic pelvic pain; and 9% will have a life-threatening tube pregnancy. Also, research has shown that women infected with Chlamydia have a 3 – 5 time greater chance of getting HIV, if exposed. Other symptoms from chlamydia include: bleeding between menstrual periods, vaginal bleeding after intercourse, abdominal pain, painful intercourse, low-grade fever, painful urination, the urge to urinate more than usual, cervical inflammation, abnormal vaginal discharge, and mucopurulent cervicitis (MPC) a yellowish discharge from the cervix that may have a foul odor
Eye infections in infants born of infected mothers can also occur. Between 20 and 50 percent of children born to women with chlamydia will be infected. Every year more than 180,000 babies are born with eye infections or pneumonia. Chlamydia is the leading cause of neonatal conjunctivitis, which is an eye infection that can cause blindness. Symptoms usually begin within four weeks of birth. These children can also develop chlamydia pneumonia, a kind of pneumonia that can be fatal. This infection is harder to treat in infants than adults. Chlamydia also may cause heavy bleeding before delivery. It might cause membranes to break early, resulting in premature delivery. It also may be connected to miscarriage, stillbirth, or low birth weight.
I think it is important to test yourself, both for you and your partners health. To test for Chlamydia in women a sample of cells from the cervix is taken. Testing for Chlamydia in men involves taking a sample of cells from the urethra or testing a first a urine sample.
Chlamydia is easy to treat. Both partners must be treated at the same time. Antibiotics kill chlamydia bacteria. Doxycycline or azithromycin are the preferred treatments. Azithromycin is taken in one dose. Although doxycycline costs less, it must be taken for seven days. Erythromycin is often prescribed for pregnant women and other people who cannot take tetracycline. It is also used to treat infants with eye infections or pneumonia caused by chlamydia. Gonorrhea and chlamydia may have similar symptoms. It is important to tell them apart. Certain medications can kill gonorrhea but don’t work for chlamydia. Other sexually transmitted infections may hide the symptoms of chlamydia.
There are several ways that are prescribed to prevent infection. The best way to prevent infection is knowledge about the disease, and symptoms. Using condoms provide some but not complete protection. Spermicidal sometimes kill the bacteria that cause Chlamydia, but not always. Another way to prevent infection is to urinate and wash after sexual contact. People with more than one partner should have an STD check every six months, even if there are no symptoms.

Chlamydia is a very dangerous infection to contract. Because many people do not experience any symptoms, the disease can spread with out the infected person even knowing that they have it. Although it is easily treated, it is important for sexually active people to know the dangers of this disease.


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chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most commonly sexually transmitted diseases in the United States today. In 1997, 526,653 cases of Chlamydia were reported in the U.S. It infects the penis, vagina, cervix,, urethra, or the eye. Chlamydia is the name of different kinds of bacteria. Certain kinds cause different illnesses. Chlamydia Trachoma causes blindness in the eye. Chlamydia is spread through the vagina orual. In some cases, the disease can spread from the woman to her fetus when she is pregnant.

Chlamydia rarely has any symptoms. Most females or males do not show any symptoms and are unaware that they are infected by this disease. However, when symptoms do occur, they can begin in five to ten days after the person has been infected. The symptoms vary slightly in men and women. Women commonly experience bleeding between menstrual periods, vaginal bleeding after sexual, and painful ion. Some long-term symptoms include Perihepatitis, which is an infection around the liver.Men commonly experience pus or a slight milky discharge from the penis, a burning feeling while ing, or swollen testicles. These symptoms are very similar to those of gonorrhea. Chlamydia can also cause bleeding or itching from the rectum in both sexes.
Chlamydia is very common today. Over three million men and women become infected every year. The disease is most commonly spread through men and women under the age of twenty-five. As many as 1 in 10 adolescent girls that are tested for this deadly disease, are infected. Girls 15-19 make up 46% of people infected. Statistics have shown that for every person that has herpes, there are six that have Chlamydia.
Chlamydia is regarded as a very serious and dangerous threat today. Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can block fallopian tubes. This can make many women sterile. If fertilized eggs develop in the fallopian tubes when a woman is infected with PID then there is a very high chance that she will die even if she undergoes emergency surgery, which is usually the case. About 40% of women who are infected with Chlamydia and are untreated, will develop PID. Chlamydia also makes men sterile if it spreads from the urethra to the testicles. This is called epididymitis, an inflammation of the testicles. Symptoms of this include fever and extreme pain in the scrotum. Reiter’s syndrome is a result of Chlamydia and usually in younger men. Men with the Reiter’s syndrome often develop arthritis, which disables one out of every three men who develop this syndrome. Chlamydia can also cause proctitis, which is an inflamed rectum. A certain strain of Chlamydia can cause a very rare STD, which is called lymphogranuloma venereum. This is commonly called LGV and is identified by swelling and inflammation of the lymph nodes in the groin. If this is not treated, there may be lasting effects. This disease is most commonly in 3rd world countries but also in the United States, where it is most commonly found in homosexual men.

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Chlamydia is a serious risk to children too. 20 to 50 percent of children that are born by women with Chlamydia will be infected as well. Over 180,000 babies are born each year with eye infections that are a result of Chlamydia. New babies have a 50-50 chance of developing conjunctivitis. Symptoms of infection can occur within four weeks of birth. Chlamydia also causes very heavy bleeding before the actual delivery, which causes miscarriage, stillborn, or premature delivery. Fortunately nine out of ten pregnant women with Chlamydia are treated successfully.
Chlamydia can be diagnosed in three ways. First, the examination of cervix and cervical discharge. Second, tests of cells from the penis, urethra or cervix. Third, an examination of urine samples. At first, it was difficult to distinguish between Gonorrhea and Chlamydia because they are very similar in their symptoms and often occur together. However, now scientists use certain techniques and a dye to find the bacterial proteins. This is slightly less accurate then other tests, but is less expensive and more rapid.

Chlamydia is simple to treat. Both sexual partners need to be treated at the same time. Antibiotics kill off chlamydia bacteria. There are two major antibiotics that are used today, Doxycycline and azithromycin. The difference between these two antibiotics is that azithromycin is taken in one dose, while doxycycline is taken over a span of seven days. Doxycycline is sometimes preferred over azithromycin because it is cheaper. These are not the only medicines prescribed to patients. Erythromycin is often given to pregnant women with Chlamydia and it treats infants that suffer from eye infections or pneumonia as a result of Chlamydia. PID is also often treated with certain medicines.
Surgery is sometimes necessary.
There are some things that one must know if they are being treated for Chlamydia or other STD’s for that matter. One who is infected with Chlamydia should take all the medicine that was prescribed. Do not be fooled if the symptoms disappear. It is possible that the bacteria are still in your system. You must schedule check-up’s to make sure that the disease is completely gone from your body before youual again. Another very important thing to remember is that you must make sure that your sexual partner is treated as well so that you do not reinfect each other.
People who are most likely to get the disease are those who have a large number of sexual partners. Having a great deal of sexual partners is dangerous because one can never be sure that they haven’t had sexual with someone who has the disease. People who don’t use condoms are very likely as well. People who have had a history in which they had other sexual diseases, they are more likely to get Chlamydia then someone who has never been infected with a sexual disease. People with Chlamydia can avoid spreading this deadly disease by informing the people theywith that they have the infection. Another way is to notual intercourse with anyone until the disease is completely treated. Using condoms every time is one of the most effective ways of not spreading Chlamydia. In order to avoid being infected there are three ways to make sure you are not or will not become another victim of Chlamydia. Wear a condom every time youual, go to routine check-ups to see if you have been infected, or abstain from sexual. These are the three most effective ways to make sure if you do not receive this STD. Another way to lower the risk of being infected by Chlamydia is to not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These cause people to make stupid decisions, especially life altering ones.

There are some myths or misconceptions that go around about how one becomes infected. One of the most common misconceptions is that people on birth control are more susceptible to Chlamydia then others. It is true that taking birth control may alter the cervix to make it slightly more open to being infected by Chlamydia. However, women who do use birth control, have a lower risk of developing PID from Chlamydia then those who do not use birth control.
Many ask, “What is being done to address the problem?” In 1993, Congress appropriated money to start a sexually transmitted disease prevention program. This program helps with family planning, health care programs, and health laboratories. However, because of minimal resources, the program only exists now as demonstration projects. Some programs still need to be started and are needed dearly. Surveys have shown that more then 200,000 women that go to STD clinics do not have access to screening and treatment. Nationwide, there is dire need of programs to test for infection and treatment for this disease. Such programs have to be able to test and treat both women and men.

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