Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease, thrice the incidence of gonorrhea with up to 2 million cases a year. Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual intercourse and it is not transmitted through casual contacts. Chlamydia can also be transmitted to the neonate through vaginal delivery where the fetus comes in contact with the infected vaginal passage.
The risk for Chlamydia infection increases in the occurrence of multiple sexual partners. Chlamydia symptoms are sometimes similar to other STDs specifically gonorrhea, which needs definite diagnosis to determine the causative microorganism and come up with the correct treatment.
Symptoms of Chlamydia often include:
Other symptoms may include inflammation of the cervix, fallopian tubes and liver in advanced stage of disease. Chlamydia may progress to salpingitis, urethritis or Pelvic inflammatory Disease (PID). The presence of PID and salpingitis may cause infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
How to Diagnose Chlamydia
Chlamydia tests are done to diagnose the presence of infection, which include home Chlamydia testing or laboratory testing. Samples of the discharges from the cervix, vagina, urethra and rectum are subjected to cultures to determine the causative microorganism. More advanced Chlamydia test includes blood tests for monoclonal antibodies and DNA probe test. Home Chlamydia test is also available for testing Chlamydia discretely. Home Chlamydia tests involve the collection of urine and sending it back to the laboratory. In the presence of Chlamydia, other sexually transmitted diseases are also easier to acquire, so testing for other STDs is often necessary.
Treatment for Chlamydia usually involves the administration of doxycycline for 7 days. After which, a follow-up test and culture is necessary to ascertain the eradication of the Chlamydia microorganism. People who had sexual contact with the infected individual within 30 days before the diagnosis should also be identified and treated promptly.
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