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One of the most common physically transmitted diseases is chlamydia. Chlamydia is a type of infection caused by the bacteria "Chlamydia trachomatis". The symptoms of Chlamydia are similar to the symptoms of Gonorrhoea (a bacterial sexually transmitted infection). Chlamydia infection causes permanent fallopian tube damage in women, leads to future ectopic pregnancy (the fertilised egg attaches itself outside the uterus) and infertility.
Symptoms of Chlamydia:
Men and women afflicted with chlamydia exhibit different symptoms.
The symptoms of chlamydia in women include:
- Abnormal, sometimes foul-smelling, vaginal discharge
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles
- Painful periods
- Abdominal pain, accompanied with fever
- Pain during intercourse
- Burning or itching around or in the vagina
- Painful urination
Men usually display the following symptoms if they have chlamydia:
- Minimal amounts of cloudy or clear discharge from the head of the penis
- Painful urination
- Itching and burning around the slit of the penis
- Swollen and painful testicles
Treatment options available:
- Chlamydia is diagnosed by taking a swab from the cervix (in women) or the urethra (in men). These swabs will be sent to the laboratory for analysis. Urine samples can also be taken to check for the appearance of bacteria.
- Since chlamydia is a bacterial infection, it can be easily treated with antibiotics. Oral antibiotics such as azithromycin or doxycycline are commonly prescribed by doctors. Azithromycin is usually prescribed in a large, single dose. The dose may also be stretched out for five days. Doxycycline is taken two times daily for a week.
- With the right antibiotic therapy, the infection will clear up in 1 to 2 weeks approximately. It is very important that you finish the medication course if you wish you heal completely without having to suffer from further bouts of this disorder.
- Women with critical chlamydia may need hospitalisation, pain medicine and IV (intravenous, or directly through the vein) antibiotics. Pregnant women with chlamydia infection can be safely cured with antibiotic such as erythromycin ethylsuccinate, amoxicillin and azithromycin.
Your partner needs testing and treatment as well to avoid further spread and reinfection. It is vital not to engage in any sexual activity while the treatment is ongoing. A further retest should be done three months later to make sure the infection is rectified. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.