CHLAMYDIA

  • Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD)

  • This infection is easily spread because it often causes no symptoms and is unknowingly passed on to sexual partners 

  • It is caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis

  • Chlamydia is transmitted and presents in a similar way to gonorrhoea. 

  • In cases of infection in women, it does not present symptoms in 80% cases but it can cause bleeding after sexual intercourse and intermenstrual bleeding (bleeding between 2 menstruations)

Chlamydia and the microbe - chlamydia trachomatis
Chlamydia symptoms, prevention and treatment

Spread of Chlamydia

Chlamydia spreads through:

  • Unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal) with an infected person

  • It can be transmitted from infected mother to her child during childbirth

  • Sharing sex toys which are not sanitised properly or are not covered with a condom

  • Chlamydia can also spread by genital contact even if no sexual activity is involved

  • Infection can occur if the vaginal fluids and semen of infected person, contacts the eye of non-infected person

Chlamydia does not spread through swimming pools, towels, toilet seats, utensils, hugging or kissing.
 

High Risk Individuals

  • Sexually active individuals, especially young adults

  • Sex workers who have access to greater frequency of unprotected intercourse

  • Women with a diagnosed condition called “cervical ectopy”

  • Men who have unprotected oral and anal sex with other men
     

Symptoms of Chlamydia

  • Only about 10 percent of infected men and 5-30 percent of infected women develop symptoms

  • The symptoms appear after several weeks of infection

Symptoms of chlamydia in men and women

Complications of Chlamydia

  • If the infection is not treated timely, It can lead to multiple complications:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID) which can damage the fallopian tubes permanently

  • Epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the testicles)

  • Infertility

  • It increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy in women

  • The infection can lead to pre-term delivery in pregnant women

  • It can also cause low birth weight, conjunctivitis, pneumonia and even blindness in some newborns

  • It can lead to Nongonococcal Urethritis (infection in Urethra) and Proctitis (swelling of the rectum) in men

Prevention from Chlamydia

Chlamydia can be prevented by:

  • Indulging only in protected sex (use condom always)

  • Use a condom during oral sex on men

  • Use a dental dam while performing oral sex on women

  • Not sharing sex toys

Treatment of Chlamydia

  • For treatment, antibiotics like azithromycin and doxycycline are administered

  • The sexual partner/s should be traced and tested for the disease

  • Young adults, teenagers and pregnant women should be sensitised about the risks of this disease