Chlamydia And Infertility

It's Been Around For A Long Time

Sexually transmitted diseases are prevalent and often leave people with scars, lifelong illness, and in some cases, result in death. Sexually transmitted diseases have been part of the human experience from time immemorial, affecting the lives of people who contracted them in very serious ways. While STDs remain very much a part of almost all societies, many things have changed in terms of recognition and treatment. The sexual revolution of the 1960s brought with it a shift in attitudes and along with that shift, STDs became more common than ever. The commonality and frequency of STDs made treatment innovation a necessity.

Chlamydia, The Most Frequently Reported STD

The most frequently reported STD is Chlamydia. More than one million cases of Chlamydia were reported in the US in 2006 alone. Yet, even though the number is alarming, there are still many unreported cases because most people don't know they have the disease and many have never been tested or treated. Re-infection can occur frequently if a woman has several infected sexual partners.

What Is It And How Does It Affect The Body?

Caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia has the potential to cause severe damage to a woman's reproductive organs, much of which is irreversible - including infertility. The symptoms are often overlooked, and the disease is sometimes termed, "silent." If symptoms do appear, they are likely to show up within one to three weeks after exposure. Infection is caused when the bacteria contaminate the urine canal and cervix and a vaginal discharge or burning sensation during urination occurs. The infection then makes its way up through the uterus into the fallopian tubes. It can also travel from the cervix to the rectum. The infection presents with lower back and abdominal pain, fever and nausea, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods.

Irreparable Damage May Be Caused

There are both short and long term consequences to leaving Chlamydia untreated, affecting both general and reproductive health. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) may result. PID is the infection of the uterus or fallopian tubes and this type of infection can cause permanent damage to the reproductive organs. It presents itself with chronic pain, infertility and often, if there is a pregnancy, it is ectopic. The possibility of contracting HIV in greatly increased with PID. There is also a risk of death with PID.

Dealing With Chlamyida

Obviously, it is best if Chlamydia is caught before it can do any damage. Yearly screening, especially for women 25 years-of-age or younger, is a good start. Pregnant women should be screened for the disease as well. Testing can diagnose the presence of Chlamydia and generally the only treatment necessary to deal with the disease is a course of antibiotics. The best medicine is always prevention. Protection through long-term sexual relationship with the same partner, proper use of latex condoms and regular screen are all effective and useful ways to catch and treat this disease before it wreaks havoc in the life of a woman.

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