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Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the transfer of the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. This occurs from body to body contact during sexual acts. Nearly 1 in 4 men with the disease have no symptoms. The downside to the development of this illness is that often it does not present symptoms to those infected with it. As a sexually transmitted infection, this means that the patient could be potentially passing Chlamydia to other sexual partners without knowing it. This STD is capable of affecting both men and women, and can strike people in all age groups.

Causes, Risk Factors and Complications of Chlamydia

Although chlamydia can strike anyone, it appears to be most prevalent among women in younger age groups. When someone who has Chlamydia engages in vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who is not infected, this bacterium can spread. Chlamydia is one of the few sexually transmitted infections that a mother could potentially spread to her newborn during delivery. This is a serious complication because a newborn baby who is infected with chlamydia can experience serious eye infections or pneumonia as a result of the transmission.

Chlamydia itself is not dangerous because the symptoms that it causes are annoying or irritating more than harmful. However, when this condition is left untreated, it can cause much more serious health problems, which is why diagnosis is so essential. Untreated chlamydia has been associated with other sexually transmitted diseases, infections in newborn babies, reactive arthritis, infertility, prostate gland infections, infections around the testicles and pelvic inflammatory disease or PID.

Signs, Symptoms and Testsof Chlamydia

During the early stages of this condition, there are few signs or none at all. However, when these signs and symptoms do occur, it is typically within one to three weeks following exposure to the bacteria responsible. Some signs and symptoms that are associated with the development of chlamydia include: painful urination, pain in the lower abdomen, vaginal discharge, discharge from the penis, testicular pain and painful sexual intercourse.

If someone suspects they have contracted Chlamydia, proper STD testing should occur whether symptoms occur or not. Because Chlamydia symptoms do not always appear or sometimes go unnoticed, regular STD testing is extremely important. This sexually transmitted infection is diagnosed non-invasively using a swab of discharge from the genitals or an analysis of your urine.

Treatment, Drugs and Preventionof Chlamydia

The treatment for chlamydia once it has been diagnosed is simple. The doctor will prescribe antibiotic medications, whether a single dose of a strong, concentrated one or a medication that needs to be taken several times daily for 7-10 days. The type of medication prescribed is determined by how severe ones case of Chlamydia is. In nearly every Chlamydia case, the infection will resolve itself within a period of one to two weeks. Abstinence from sex during this time is important. All partners of someone infected should be tested and treated because someone could easily be re-infected with the STD.