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Chlamydia Facts, Transmission and Symptoms
What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, caused by the bacterium Chlamydia Trachomatis. It is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the industrialized world. Symptoms can include discharge, pain during urination, and infertility; however symptoms are usually mild or absent.
How is chlamydia transmitted?
Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person, and can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. The more sex partners a person has, the greater their risk of receiving a chlamydia infection.
What are the symptoms of chlamydia?
Chlamydia infections are often asymptomatic, showing no symptoms in about 50% of males and 75% of females. If symptoms do appear, they usually show up within about 3 weeks after exposure.
Symptoms can include:
Abnormal vaginal discharge
Discharge from penis
Itching sensation around the opening of the penis
Burning sensation while urinating
Lower back pain
Lower abdominal pain
Pain during intercourse
Pain and swelling of the testicles are uncommon
Can chlamydia be treated or cured?
Chlamydia may be easily treated and cured with common antibiotics, such as azithromycin or doxycycline, so long as it is treated soon after infection. Untreated chlamydia can lead to more serious complications, caused by the spreading of the bacteria. Pelvic inflammatory disease can develop in women when the infection spreads to the uterus or fallopian tubes, causing permanent tissue damage. This can lead to pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy. In men, the infection may spread to the epididymis, causing pain, fever, and sterility.
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