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Chlamydia

WHAT ARE CHLAMYDIA?

Chlamydia are parasites found inside the cells with many of the characteristics of viruses. They cause inflammation of the urethra, vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, anus, ovaries and epididymis. This is a common sexually transmitted disease. Occurring in a pregnant woman, it may be transmitted to the eyes or lungs of the newborn.

CAN AFFECT

Sexually active persons of both sexes, any age.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Sometimes no symptoms during early stages.
  • Vaginal discharge (females).
  • Urethral discharge (males).
  • Anal swelling, pain or discharge.
  • Reddening of the vagina or tip of the penis.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Fever.
  • Discomfort on urinating.
  • Genital discomfort or pain.

CAUSES

  • Vaginal sexual intercourse with infected partner.
  • Rectal sexual intercourse.
  • Oral sexual intercourse (fellatio or cunnilingus).
  • Vaginal infection during delivery of a newborn, which may infect the baby.

RISK INCREASES WITH

  • Unprotected sexual activity, particularly in young females.
  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • General poor health.
  • Hot weather, non-ventilating clothing--especially underwear--or any other condition that increases moisture around the genitalia, which fosters the growth of germs.

HOW TO PREVENT

  • Safe sex.
  • Treatment of sexual partner of any infected woman (usually 2 weeks of an oral antibiotic such as tetracycline).

DIAGNOSTIC MEASURES

  • Observation of symptoms.
  • History and examination by a doctor.
  • Vaginal, rectal or urethral smear for laboratory analysis.
  • Re-exam after completing the prescribed treatment.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

  • Sterility in female.
  • Infecting one's sexual partner.
  • Secondary bacterial infections in pelvic organs, genitals or rectum.

PROBABLE OUTCOME

Complete cure with adequate antibiotic treatment.

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Keep the genital area clean. Use plain unscented soap. Avoid harsh chemical soaps.
  • Wear cotton panties. Avoid panties made from non-ventilating materials, such as nylon.
  • After urination or bowel movements, cleanse by wiping or washing from front to back (vagina to anus).
  • If obese, try losing weight.
  • Avoid douches.
  • If diabetic, adhere strictly to your treatment program.
  • Avoid irritating sprays.
  • Avoid pants that are tight in the groin and thighs.
  • If using tampons, change them frequently.
  • If passing urine causes burning, urinate through a tubular device, such as a toilet-paper roll or urinate while bathing.

MEDICATION

Your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics, to take for 2 weeks. Ensure completion of course.

ACTIVITY

  • Avoid overexertion, heat and excessive sweating.
  • Delay sexual relations your doctors proclaims cure.
  • Allow about 3 weeks for recovery.

DIET

No special diet.

CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY, IF

  • You notice symptoms of vaginitis.
  • Symptoms persist longer than 1 week or worsen despite treatment.
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding or swelling develops.
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