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Chlamydia. Essay

1423 words - 6 pages

What is chlamydia?Chlamydia (klah-MIH-dee-ah) is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the U.S. Its full name is chlamydia trachomatis (trah-ko-MAH-tis). It is a kind of bacteria that can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, or eye.Chlamydia is the name of several types of bacteria. Chlamydia trachoma, for example, has been a major cause of blindness for centuries. Chlamydia trachomatis is sexually transmitted. One strain occurs primarily in the tropics and causes lymphogranuloma venereum -- symptoms include skin lesions and swelling of certain glands in the genital area. The other, we simply call "chlamydia," a very common infection in the U.S.What are the symptoms of chlamydia?Usually, chlamydia has no symptoms. Up to 85 percent of women and 40 percent of men with chlamydia have no symptoms. Most people are not aware that they have the infection.When symptoms do occur, they may begin in as little as 5-10 days after infection.When women have symptoms, they may experience:bleeding between menstrual periodsvaginal bleeding after intercourseabdominal painpainful intercourselow-grade feverpainful urinationthe urge to urinate more than usualcervical inflammationabnormal vaginal dischargemucopurulent cervicitis (MPC) -- a yellowish discharge from the cervix that may have a foul odorWhen men have symptoms, they may experience:pus or watery or milky discharge from the penispain or burning feeling while urinatingswollen or tender testiclesThese symptoms are like the symptoms of gonorrhea. They are called nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). Men often don't take these symptoms seriously because the symptoms may appear only early in the day and can be very mild.In women and men, chlamydia may cause the rectum to itch and bleed. It can also result in a discharge and diarrhea. If it infects the eyes, chlamydia may cause redness, itching, and a discharge.How is chlamydia spread?Chlamydia is spread by vaginal and anal intercourse. It can also spread from a woman to her fetus during birth.How many people have chlamydia?Three million American women and men become infected with chlamydia every year. Chlamydia is:four times as common as gonorrheamore than 30 times as common as syphilismost common among women and men under 25For every person with herpes, there are six with chlamydia.Is chlamydia dangerous?Chlamydia is a serious health threat, especially for women.In women, the infection usually begins on the cervix. It can spread to the fallopian tubes or ovaries. It may cause PID, pelvic inflammatory disease. Chlamydia results in 250,000 to 500,000 cases of PID every year in the U.S.PID can scar and block the fallopian tubes. That can make a woman sterile and unable to get pregnant. Fertilized eggs may not reach the uterus because tubes are blocked. If they develop in the tubes, this is called an ectopic pregnancy. A woman may die if a pregnancy develops outside her uterus. She usually needs emergency surgery. Women with PID of the...

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