About chlamydia in women

What is chlamydia in women?

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the U.S. It is an infection with the bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is very similar to gonorrhea in its symptoms and pattern of transmission. It is important to note that many people (both women and men) who are infected with chlamydia do not have any symptoms and may not be aware that they have the infection. Chlamydia infection can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes in a woman and can lead to future infertility and an increase risk of ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy also increases a woman's risk of preterm labor and of having a baby with low birth weight.

Lymphogranuloma venereum is another type of STD that is common in the developing world and is caused by a different strain of the Chlamydia bacteria.

What are the symptoms for chlamydia in women?

Lower abdominal pain symptom was found in the chlamydia in women condition

Most women with chlamydia have no signs or symptoms of the infection, so it may be impossible to know if you have chlamydia. It has been referred to as a silent infection for this reason. However, since the infection can cause permanent damage to the reproductive tract, it is still important to recognize and treat this infection. The most common manifestation of chlamydia infection is an infection of the cervix with inflammation (cervicitis) in women.

When symptoms do occur, they are very similar to those caused by gonorrhea. Symptoms, if they do appear, may take up to several weeks after the initial infection to develop. Symptoms and signs of chlamydia infection can include vaginal discharge and abdominal pain. Infection of the urethra can produce the characteristic symptoms of a urinary tract infection, including pain or Burning with urination, blood in the urine, feelings of urinary urgency (feeling a continuous need to urinate), and urinating frequently.

If chlamydia infection is not treated, about 30% of cases spread within the pelvic organs, leading to a condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include pelvic pain, pain with sexual intercourse, fever, cramping, and abdominal pain. Pelvic inflammatory disease can cause scarring and damage to the reproductive organs that may result in infertility.

Infected men also may not show symptoms. If symptoms and signs are present, these can include penile discharge, Burning with urination, and less commonly, pain or swelling in one or both testicles.

What are the causes for chlamydia in women?

Chlamydia is an infection with Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. When an infection is present, the bacteria can be present in the cervix, urethra, vagina, and rectum of an infected person. It can also live in the throat. Any type of sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral) with an infected person can spread the infection.

Young people who are sexually active are at high risk for chlamydia.

An infected mother can also spread the infection to her baby at the time of birth as the baby passes through the vaginal canal. The most common complications of chlamydia acquired through the birth canal are eye damage and pneumonia in the newborn.

Even after a person has been treated for chlamydia, it is possible to get the infection again. With chlamydia, repeat infection is common.

What are the treatments for chlamydia in women?

Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics may be given as a single dose or a 7-day course. Women should abstain from sexual intercourse during the 7-day course of antibiotics or for 7 days after the single-dose treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others. Azithromycin and doxycycline are antibiotics commonly used to treat chlamydia infection, but other antibiotics may be successfully used as well. Pregnant women may be safely treated for chlamydia infection with antibiotics (for example, azithromycin, amoxicillin, and erythromycin ethylsuccinate, but not doxycycline). Sex partners of a person diagnosed with chlamydia should also be tested and treated if necessary, to avoid reinfection and further spread. Women whose sex partners have not been treated are at high risk for developing reinfection.

What are the risk factors for chlamydia in women?

Young women are more likely to contract chlamydia than older women and men of any age. If you are 24 or younger and sexually active, get tested for chlamydia. Other factors that may increase your risk for chlamydia include:

  • New sex partners
  • Many sex partners
  • A sex partner with an STD
  • Swapping sex for money or drugs
  • Prior history of chlamydia or other STDs
  • Not using condoms during sex with new partners

Is there a cure/medications for chlamydia in women?

Chlamydia is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. It's important to be tested for chlamydia because if left untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women. PID can cause infertility or ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside of the uterus).

There are a few medications that can help treat chlamydia in women, but there is no cure for this infection.

  • The most common treatment for chlamydia is antibiotics, which you take by mouth or through your vagina. You can also take antibiotics if your symptoms get worse after about a week.
  • If you have chlamydia along with another STD like gonorrhea, you may need to take two different types of antibiotics: one to treat chlamydia and one to treat gonorrhea. You may also need to take both medications for an extra week or so after completing your course of antibiotics.
  • Your partner should be treated at the same time because they might have chlamydia too (even if they don't have any symptoms).
  • The most common symptom of chlamydia in women is pain during urination-but not every woman experiences this symptom. Chlamydia can also cause burning when urinating, discharge from the vagina, or an unusual smell or color of discharge from the vagina. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away.

Lower abdominal pain,A vaginal discharge that is watery and sometimes greenish,Pain during sexual intercourse,Swollen, painful testicles in men
Pain when urinating (burning or stinging),Discharge from the vagina,Bleeding after intercourse or between periods (if you're not on birth control)
Azithromycin (Zithromax),Doxycycline (Vibramycin),Erythromycin (E-Mycin)

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