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More Common than You Think

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that affects more people than one thinks. To date, there is an estimate that one out of ten of young people who are sexually active acquire this sexually transmitted disease in the United Kingdom alone. In 2012, more than 200,000 individuals have acquired positive results for Chlamydia and the more alarming part of this is that about 64% of these tested population were under the age of 25.

The positive side of this however, is that this disease is essentially easy to treat and cure. A simple and readily available antibiotic treatment is all that is needed. The downside though is that the symptoms are not that obvious and because of this, not many are able to seek treatment immediately. And when left untreated for a long period of time, this sexually transmitted disease can render a person infertile.

How Do you catch it?

The Chlamydia Trachomatis bacteria is usually found in the vaginal or semen fluids of infected women and men. When an infected individual has sexual intercourse with another, be it through anal, oral or vaginal sex, and does not use of protection, this bacteria is more likely to be passed on. Even a pregnant woman can pass on the bacteria to her child when she gives birth. It is easy to contract, and all it takes is having unprotected sexual intercourse with a partner who has it. For this reason, it is very important to make use of protection such as condoms at all times. The upside of this bacteria is that it cannot be contracted if a person merely swims in a pool or sits on a toilet seat that a person with Chlamydia has used.

The Symptoms

A large percentage of people infected with this sexually transmitted disease do not usually experience having any form of symptoms. About 75% women and 50% men who have this disease do not initially know that they have contracted it. That is why it is highly imperative that people, particularly those who are sexually active and would usually refrain from using protections such as condoms, to at least learn about its symptoms.

For women, some of these symptoms include: bleeding in between menstrual periods, unusual vaginal discharge, pain felt during the abdomen and lower back portion of the body, especially during sexual intercourse and feeling a burning or painful sensation while urinating.

As for the men, some of the symptoms are: itching or burning sensation in the genital area, most particularly on the end portion of the penis, a burning or painful sensation while urinating and an unusual discharge from the penis. These symptoms, for those who notice it, usually start to happen during the first to third weeks after contracting the disease. These symptoms may last only for a short period of time and suddenly disappear. For others, it can continue on indefinitely.

How To Determine if You Have Contracted Chlamydia

Since it is very difficult to truly be sure if one has contracted this sexually transmitted disease, people are left unaware of their condition if they do have it. And because of this, these infected individuals unknowingly infect their other sexual partners in the process, thus leaving them to infect others as well. The truth of the matter is that the only way to truly know if a person has Chlamydia is to take a test. For the women, a swab sample is taken from the cervix portion and for them men, it is taken from the urethra. In addition to the swab test, a urine test is available to identify the presence. Unfortunately, these tests are still not 100% accurate. If a person fears that she or he may be infected with this sexually treated disease, it is imperative that the seek treatment.

The Importance of Seeking Treatment for Chlamydia

A lot of people would be wary of seeking treatment when they are still unsure of having this sexually transmitted disease. Some would reason out that they do not experience any form of symptoms and do not need to be treated for it.

However, it is still better to be treated to gain some form of peace of mind. In addition to this, if a person does have Chlamydia and does not seek treatment, this can lead to more serious health concerns in the long run. Some of these risks in women include Reiter’s syndrome or also called Arthritis, blocked fallopian tubes which could lead to infertility, a serious risk of acquiring an ectopic pregnancy and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and pain associated with it. For pregnant women, it increases the chances of their infants to acquire neonatal pneumonia or conjunctivitis.

As for men, some of the health risks include: testicle infection which could lead to infertility, Reiter’s syndrome or also called Arthritis and testicle swelling and pain called Epidymitis. With all these possible health risks, it is important to know the necessity to be tested for Chlamydia. In addition to this, a person may pass this on to others which could potentially affect their lives in a negative manner as well.

How To Treat Chlamydia

When treating this sexually transmitted disease, it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible. This is to quickly be cured of this infection and become less likely to experience the various health risks that wear earlier identified. The most common form of treatment that is provided for is a single dose of Azithromycin, a form of antibiotic. This form of treatment is easy to accomplish and is essentially hassle-free. Within a week of this form of treatment though, it is important to remember that one uses an ample form of protection to prevent passing on the bacteria to other sexual partners. Treatment is also imperative because Chlamydia, once contracted, will never go away.

Sexual Partners Also Need to be Treated

If a person has Chlamydia, it is important for that individual to inform their sexual partner or partners to seek treatment as well. As it has been established that this sexually transmitted disease can be acquired even with one sexual contact with an infected person, he or she is most likely to have it as well. For those infected with the disease, it ideal to contact their sexual partners within the last six months and have them seek testing and treatment. If it is difficult to do accomplish this for one reason or another, the local genito-urinary medicine clinic will be able to provide assistance in this matter, anonymously of course. This is done in order to aid in seeking out people infected with Chlamydia and help them get the treatment that they need, thus lessening the spread of this disease.

Treating Chlamydia is a Must

Getting treatment for this disease is important to prevent it from spreading to other individuals. In addition to this, this sexually transmitted disease can potentially harm the fertility of people, making them unable to bear or have children in the future. And since it is easy to treat Chlamydia with a dose of the antibiotic Azithromycin, the prevention of becoming fertile and other related symptoms will be achieved. But like any other treatment, it may also lead to some side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, loose wind or having the occasional feeling of nausea. Be sure to contact a physician to aid in the proper and effective treatment for Chlamydia.

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Side Effects of Azithromycin Chlamydia Treatment

Common side effects include:

  • diarrhoea
  • abdominal pain
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • loose wind (flatulence).

Please read the patient information leaflet available

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