Chlamydia: what is it, symptoms, causes and treatment of this STD

Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs it is a global pandemic that has affected humans for centuries. The best known and most worrying today is HIV, which also has no known cure yet, but is not the only STD that exists.

Gonorrhea or syphilis are also old acquaintances of mankind (the latter was responsible for the deaths of a large number of historical figures) although fortunately although it is very dangerous today, it benefits from a treatment.

But perhaps the most common sexually transmitted disease, and at the same time less known than the previous ones, is chlamydia. It is the latter that we will talk about in this article.

    Chlamydia: what is it?

    Chlamydia oq CHLAMIDIOSIS is, as discussed above, a sexually transmitted disease (or sexually transmitted infection) caused by an infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It is the most common STI or STI, being present in a high percentage of the population and in many cases existing asymptomatically. If it is held by a minor reverence of the majority of the population, the truth is that it can have serious consequences for those who suffer from it if they do not receive treatment.

    This infection can occur in both men and women in the genitals (urethra or uterus), anus or throat depending on the route of infection. They are more at risk of contracting young people, especially in the case of women, people with multiple sexual partners, Who do not use a condom or who have had another sexually transmitted infection.

    It is a type of infection that is little discussed socially, and it is common for infected people to show symptoms (this is one of the reasons why it is more prevalent, because not noticing anything, infected people continue to spread disease).

    Also, one aspect to keep in mind is that chlamydia usually occurs at the same time as other sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, and the fact that reduces the risk of the victim contracting another STD, Including HIV.

      Main symptoms and phases

      One of the main problems with chlamydia is that in a large number of cases the infection is silent with no visible symptoms. However, this does not mean that the infection does not progress and can cause the same health problems as the rest of the population if left untreated.

      In people with symptoms of chlamydia, symptoms differ slightly between men and women.

      In the case of men, it is common for the urethra to appear between one and three weeks after sexual contact, manifested by painful urination and the secretion of a milky substance (which may be whitish or transparent), especially the morning. These secretions can permeate and stain underwear. There may be inflammation in the testicles and pain in the penis. If intercourse has been anal or oral, infection appears in these areas. In the eyes, it can cause conjunctivitis.

      In the case of women, it is not uncommon for there to be flow alterations in terms of temporality, quantity, or even coloration (yellowish). This flow may have a strong odor feature. Pain usually appears during sex or urination.

      In short, in both men and women it is common for pain or burning to appear during urination or sex, as well as stomach pain. It is not uncommon for milk secretions to be present in the penis of men or timeless vaginal bleeding or yellowish discharge in women. In the event of an infection of the anal, mouth or eye, it is not uncommon for pain, itching, discharge, bleeding or inflammation to appear in these areas. these infections they can generate episodes of fever.

      The contagion of this disease

      A very common thing in sexually transmitted diseases is ignorance on the part of the majority of the population regarding the existing routes of transmission. In the case of chlamydia, it is transmitted in most cases through sexual contact with an infected person, whether or not there is ejaculation.

      Infection can occur with vaginal or anal penetration, as well as oral penetration, without any barrier method (condom or other barrier methods). This last detail is important, because many people are unaware of the risk of infection by this route.

      In addition to this type of contact, infection can also occur if semen or vaginal fluid comes into contact with other mucous membranes, Like the eyes, to the touch with the hands impregnated with these fluids. Chlamydia is also an infection that can spread to a baby during childbirth, in case the mother is infected.

      Other types of contact, such as air or contact with saliva from sneezing, kissing or drinking from the glass itself do not allow the spread of this disease. It is also important to note that overcoming this disease does not confer immunity in front of him, so that further sexual contact with infected persons can generate reinfection.

      consequences

      Seen at this point, it may seem that chlamydia is not too serious a disease, but the truth is that it can have very significant consequences for personal health and well-being, or even lead to death in some. case.

      And does untreated chlamydia it can end up causing pelvic inflammatory disease capable of causing infertility, and can even escalate into an ectopic pregnancy (in which the fertilized egg develops outside the uterus and usually into the fallopian tubes, which could burst this area and lead to death from internal bleeding) in women.

      If transmitted to a fetus during childbirth, chlamydia can lead to problems with eye infections and even pneumonia in the baby, and even the birth of babies with low birth weight. too much greatly increases the chances of abortion.

      treatment

      One of the reasons chlamydia is often underestimated is the fact that today it has a curative treatment that can be applied with relative ease. However, this treatment will cure the chlamydia infection but not the other damage it has caused.

      The treatment of chlamydia is mainly based on the administration of antibiotics, and there are different modalities (there is even a single dose version). The other big pillar to keep in mind when eradicating this disease is prevention: condom or barrier methods should be used when we have vaginal, anal or oral sex when we are not in a monogamous relationship or when we have multiple sexual partners.

      It is also advisable to get tested from time to time if we are at risk, if we are planning to conceive or if there is an ongoing pregnancy. If you are infected, you should avoid having a relationship until treatment is complete. The sexual partner (s) should also be treated even if they are not showing symptoms. It is recommended to take the test approximately three months later to have finished it.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Braunwald, E .; Fauci, AS; Kasper, DL; Hauser, ST; Longo, DL and Jameson, JL (2001). Harrison’s Principle of Internal Medicine. 15th edition. McGraw Hill.
      • National Institute of Health (nd). Chlamydia infections. MedlinePlus. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/chlamydiainfections.html
      • Workowski, KA; Bolan, GA (2015) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidelines for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. MMWR Recomm .; 64 (RR-03): 1-137

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