What Causes Chlamydia In Women
Chlamydia is a bacterium that causes an infection that is very similar to gonorrhea in the way that it is spread and the symptoms it produces. Like gonorrhea, the chlamydia bacterium is found in the cervix and urethra and can live in the throat or rectum. Both infected men and infected women frequently lack symptoms of chlamydia infection. Thus, these individuals can unknowingly spread the infection to others. Another strain of Chlamydia trachomatis, which can be distinguished in specialized laboratories, causes the STD known as lymphogranuloma venereum, which affects the lymph glands.
Chlamydia can be detected on material collected by swabbing the cervix during a traditional examination using a speculum, but noninvasive screening tests done on urine or on self-collected vaginal swabs are less expensive and sometimes more acceptable to patients. While culturing of the organism can confirm the diagnosis, this method is limited to research laboratories and forensic investigations. For routine diagnostic use, newer and inexpensive diagnostic tests that depend upon identification and amplification of the genetic material of the organism have replaced the older, time-consuming culture methods.
Male Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
These are just some of the most common complications of untreated chlamydia, which is why its important to get medical attention right away. Most people who get treatment quickly have no long-term medical problems.
Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Chlamydia
Sexual health plays an important role in fertility. Many STDs can cause scarring and inflammation, making it more difficult to conceive, even after the infection has been treated.
In the case of chlamydia, the infection can damage your reproductive health, if left untreated. The bacteria can cause PID which can do permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to inflammation, scarring, and blockage in your reproductive organs. In some cases, it can also cause ectopic pregnancy which can be deadly if the pregnancy isnt removed in time.
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What Is Chlamydia And What Causes It
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that affect about 10 percent of women under 24 years old. It is contacted by vaginal, anal and oral intercourse. It caused by Chlamydia trachomatis.
Women that practice unsafe sexual intercourse are more likely have the disease. Sexual contact is the commonest mode of transmission. However, it could be transmitted during childbirth and women with poor hygiene.
It is often recommended that women who are sexually active conduct yearly testing for the disease. This is more important for women that are pregnant. This is because in pregnancy chlamydia can cause miscarriage, preterm babies, and ectopic pregnancy.
How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be passed on through genital contact. This means you can get chlamydia from someone who has the infection if your genitals touch, even if you dont have sex or ejaculate .
You can also get chlamydia if you come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid, or get them in your eye.
Chlamydia cant be passed on through kissing, hugging, sharing towels or using the same toilet as someone with the infection.
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Chlamydia In Women: A Complete Guide
To help women protect themselves against this common type of sexually transmitted disease , Flo has prepared a guide that explains the basics of chlamydia.
STDs are infections that are transmitted from one person to another via sexual contact. Today, there are over 20 types of STDs and chlamydia is one of them.
Whether you suspect that you might have it or want to educate yourself, let this guide help you find all the answers you were looking for.
Special Cases: Chlamydia In Infants And Hiv
Newborn infants are also at risk for chlamydial infections if their mother has an untreated infection at the time of delivery. Newborn infants can contract chlamydia trachomatis as they travel through the birth canal and develop eye infections or pneumonia . For this reason, chlamydia testing should be routine during pregnancy.
Having an STI, like chlamydia, can also increase your chances of contracting HIV if you are exposed it to it, or spreading HIV if you are already infected . If you think you have chlamydia, or any STI, it is important for you to seek help immediately from your healthcare provider or an STI clinic. Many clinics provide free or low-cost STI testing. This will all help keep you, your sexual partners, and your community healthy.
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Research And Statistics: How Many People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a very common infection, constituting the largest proportion of all STDs reported to the CDC since 1994.
The American Sexual Health Association , for instance, estimates that as many as three million people have chlamydia each year in the United States.
Certain groups are much more likely to get chlamydia than the general population. For example, the rate of reported chlamydia in 2017 was about 39.9 cases per 1,000 people among women ages 20 to 24, and about 32.7 per 1,000 people among women ages 15 to 19.
Among men age 19 or younger who visited an STD clinic in 2017, nearly 40 percent of those who had sex with women tested positive for chlamydia. This number was nearly 30 percent for men ages 20 to 24 who had sex with women, and only slightly lower for men who had sex with men.
The rate of reported chlamydia varies widely throughout the United States at the county and state level. In 2017, West Virginia, Vermont, and New Hampshire had the lowest reported rates of chlamydia, while the highest rates were found in the District of Columbia, Alaska, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The region with the highest rate of chlamydia was the South, while the Northeast had the lowest rate.
Facts On Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that can be transferred from one person to another through any type of sexual contact. STDs are sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted infections since they involve the transmission of a disease-causing organism from one person to another during sexual activity. It is important to realize that sexual contact includes more than just sexual intercourse . Sexual contact includes kissing, oral-genital contact, and the use of sexual “toys,” such as vibrators. STDs probably have been around for thousands of years, but the most dangerous of these conditions, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , has only been recognized since 1984.
Many STDs are treatable, but effective cures are lacking for others, such as HIV, HPV, and hepatitis B and C. Even gonorrhea, once easily cured, has become resistant to many of the older traditional antibiotics. Many STDs can be present in, and spread by, people who do not have any symptoms of the condition and have not yet been diagnosed with an STD. Therefore, public awareness and education about these infections and the methods of preventing them is important.
Chlamydia is very destructive to the Fallopian tubes. It can also cause severe pelvic infection. If untreated, some women with chlamydia will develop pelvic inflammatory disease. Symptoms of pelvic infection include:
Who Is Most Likely To Be Infected By Chlamydia
Studies have shown chlamydia infections to be the highest among women aged 15 to 24 years. Infection rates are highest in men at a slightly higher age range from 20 to 24 years old.
Population studies have tried to estimate what percent of the overall population is infected by Chlamydia. One extensive study of individuals between the age of 18 and 26 years found 4.2% to have Chlamydia infections.
Another national survey found 1.7% of people between 14 and 39 years had the infection. Out of all states, Alaska had the highest rates of Chlamydia.
Chlamydia Symptoms In Men Vs Women
Despite the population having more sex, there has been no relevant increase in the quality of sex education. This increases existing concerns over the sexual health of the UK population the threat of STIs becoming even more widespread looms over the country like the grey clouds that often occupy our skies.
Since the 1990s, the rates of Chlamydia infections have risen ten-fold. With an estimated 131 million people affected by this sexually transmitted infection worldwide, it is now more important than ever to make sure you use a condom during sexual intercourse with any partner and to get tested regularly. Especially when 70% of women and at least half of all men do not experience any signs of a Chlamydia infection the risk of transmission and further health problems increases.
According to the FPA, Chlamydia is so common that it accounted for just under half of all STIs diagnosed in England. Also, of the 200,000 or so infections in men and women that were diagnosed, around 70% of the women and 50% of the men had no noticeable symptoms. This shows why getting tested is so important as its the only reliable way to know if you are infected. Mike Asher, Co-Founder of Better2Know
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How Common Is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is among the most common STDs in the world. In the U.S. alone, over 1.5 million infections are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year.
In Europe, chlamydia infection is the leading STD. Its the cause of acute morbidity and long-term reproductive health problems, especially in young people. The number of affected people in Europe is constantly increasing, and there are now more than 250,000 new cases each year.
Why Wait Seven Days After Chlamydia Treatment
If youre getting treatment for chlamydia, avoid oral, anal, or vaginal sex until seven days after the treatment is over. As chlamydia is a bacteria, your health care provider will most likely prescribe you antibiotics that need time to be effective.
If your partner is getting treatment, you should wait seven days after they take all of their medicine. If you dont wait for the treatment to be effective and have sex earlier, you can get the infection again.
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Chlamydia Symptoms In Females
Chlamydia symptoms in females are rare. Roughly 7 in 10 women dont experience any symptoms. The infection may be asymptomatic, meaning that people dont know they have it.
If signs and symptoms occur, they usually happen one to three weeks after the exposure, but could start much later. The symptoms are often mild and passing, and easy to overlook.
Some of the potential signs and symptoms of chlamydia include:
- lower abdominal pain
Chlamydia Diagnosis And Testing In Women
You can surely say whether you have Chlamydia by undergoing test for this condition. When you have reason to believe that you have the infection, it is better to go for a test even if you have no apparent symptoms. This is more necessary if the person with whom you have had sex within the last three weeks has been diagnosed with Chlamydia.
The test is very simple and painless, and usually done with a urine sample to detect the presence of the Chlamydia bacteria. Another test called Swab Test, this is done by inserting a small cotton bud inside the vaginal chamber and it is swiped with the discharge and then the swab tested and analyzed in a laboratory.
When you have had anal or oral sex, the swab test may be done in your rectum or throat also to detect the presence of bacteria in these areas. If you have symptoms of the infection in your eyes, the swab must be collected from your eyelid.Also there are many perfect types of Chlamydia testing kits that you can do at your home.
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What Other Problems Can Chlamydia Cause
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Men often don’t have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis . This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a “reaction” to an infection in the body.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.
How Can I Prevent Chlamydia
The best way to prevent chlamydia or any STI is to not have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
If you do have sex, lower your risk of getting an STI with the following steps:
- Use condoms. Condoms are the best way to prevent STIs when you have sex. Because a man does not need to ejaculate to give or get chlamydia, make sure to put the condom on before the penis touches the vagina, mouth, or anus. Other methods of , like birth control pills, shots, implants, or , will not protect you from STIs.
- Get tested. Be sure you and your partner are tested for STIs. Talk to each other about the test results before you have sex.
- Be monogamous. Having sex with just one partner can lower your risk for STIs. After being tested for STIs, be faithful to each other. That means that you have sex only with each other and no one else.
- Limit your number of sex partners. Your risk of getting STIs goes up with the number of partners you have.
- Do not douche. removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from infection. This may increase your risk of getting STIs.
- Do not abuse alcohol or drugs. Drinking too much alcohol or using drugs increases risky behavior and may put you at risk of sexual assault and possible exposure to STIs.
The steps work best when used together. No single step can protect you from every single type of STI.
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How Does Chlamydia Affect Pregnancy
For pregnant women, chlamydia may lead to premature birth, or babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Premature birth is the most common cause of infant death and can lead to long-term health and development problems in children.
Babies born to mothers who have chlamydia can get:
- Infections in their eyes, called conjunctivitis or pinkeye. Signs include discharge from the eyes and swollen eyelids. The signs most often show up within two weeks after birth.
- Pneumonia. Signs include congestion, cough, and rapid or labored breathing, although these are not always present. Signs most often show up one to three months after birth.
Chlamydia And Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease, better known as PID, is a bacterial infection of the womb and/or fallopian tubes. It’s often caused by chlamydia and it causes chlamydia related infertility in women as described above.
The most common symptoms of PID in women are:
- abdominal vaginal bleeding .
- pain during sex
- lower back pain
Some women become ill over the course of just a few days, but the infection can also occur slowly, . PID is very common in the UK, with around 1 in 50 women developing it each year. It’s most prevalent among the 15 – 24 age group and a woman’s chances of developing PID are much higher if she has contracted an STI such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea.
The treatment for PID is a two week course of antibiotics. In serious cases, a stay in hospital may be needed.
How Is It Contracted
Chlamydia is transmitted primarily through sexual activity. The following are the most common ways:
- unprotected intercourse with an infected partner
- oral sex, although a less common cause of infection as bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis targets the genital area rather than the throat. Although it is possible theoretically, the cases of infestation from mouth-to-penis and penis-to-mouth contact are rare
- vagina, cervix, anus, penis or mouth contacting infected secretions or fluids which means that contraction can occur even if the penis or tongue does not enter the vagina or anus
- bacteria can travel from the vaginal area to the anus or rectum of women while wiping with toilet paper
- sharing sex toys
- from mother to the newborn during vaginal childbirth through the infected birth channel
- infection can be transferred on fingers from the genitals to other parts of the body
Chlamydia is not contracted through simple kissing, handshaking, any casual contacts, sharing baths, towels and cups as well as from toilet seats.
Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular human pathogen, is one of four bacterial species in the genus Chlamydia. 3D illustration
Who Should Be Tested For Chlamydia
You should go to your health provider for a test if you have symptoms of chlamydia, or if you have a partner who has a sexually transmitted disease. Pregnant women should get a test when they go to their first prenatal visit.
People at higher risk should get checked for chlamydia every year:
- Sexually active women 25 and younger
- Older women who have new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted disease
- Men who have sex with men
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