Chlamydia infections primarily affect the urethra in men and the cervix in women. Chlamydia is considered one of the most common STDs and is now recognized as a major cause of pelvic inflammatory disease, a cause of infertility in women. Certain strains of the bacteria will only infect the cervix and the urethra, while other strains cause eye disease.
Chlamydia is a particularly dangerous disease because there are many infected individuals who experience no symptoms. Men who experience symptoms typically experience watery or milky discharge from the urethra as well as painful urination. Women who experience symptoms might experience discomfort when urinating, which becomes more prevalent as the infection develops. Women often do not experience any symptoms, and therefore have a higher propensity to carry the disease untreated. Chlamydia will also increase vaginal discharge and possibly light bleeding between periods. This bleeding is a possible indication that the infection has spread to the uterus.
An anal infection of chlamydia can cause discomfort and produce abnormal discharge from the anus. If not detected and treated there may be serious complications for the infected individual. Advanced chlamydia can cause infection of the appendix, heart and liver. In addition, men risk an infection of the epididymis, which may cause infertility.
The bacteria Chlamydia Trachomatis cause chlamydia. These bacteria can only survive inside living cells, which it then kills. Therefore, a bodily exchange of infected fluids is necessary for transmission.
The most common treatment for chlamydia is tetracycline, prescribed for a course of 7 days. Pregnant women may be treated with erythromycin and should have follow up tests done if they have failed or forgot to take the pills, or had unprotected sex during treatment. Please consult your physician for current information on treatment options.