Using condoms is one way to prevent oneself from catching this bacterial infection. Avoiding sex with different partners, especially unknown people, also helps to avoid this infection. Good thing is that these bacteria cannot survive outside the bodies and one catches the infection only through unprotected sex (actual intercourse or oral sex). Though Chlamydia can afflict both men as well as women, one group that is found to be afflicted the most is women under the age of 25. This also happens to be the group that is sexually the most active.
Chlamydia and pregnancy get linked if it remains untreated for long
Talking about Chlamydia symptoms, there are scores of people who show no or very little Chlamydia symptoms and yet Chlamydia diagnosis classifies them as patients of this bacterial infection. As this infection does not make people sick, there are many who have it and yet remain unaware. However, those who do show Chlamydia symptoms report abnormal discharge from their penis and vagina during urination. However, these are only mild symptoms of Chlamydia in women, and the infection, if it is allowed to stay inside the body, is known to lead to two serious illnesses called pelvic inflammatory disease in women and epidymitis in men. Pelvic inflammatory disease is known to cause infertility in women which is why Chlamydia treatment becomes so very necessary in case of women. Chlamydia treatment is possible through antibiotics but if any damage to the reproductive organs has already been done by this bacterial infection, this damage cannot be reversed.
Chlamydia can lead to birth defects in babies
Damage to reproductive organs can lead to premature delivery, low birth weight and some other child birth defects. This is why early Chlamydia diagnosis and proper Chlamydia treatment in case of women becomes so very important. The best course of action perhaps lies in getting yourself checked for the infection even if you are exhibiting no signs and symptoms of Chlamydia. As Chlamydia can be contacted through vaginal fluids, the newborn baby has a chance to contract the infection as she comes out of birth canal and comes into contact with the blood and vaginal fluids of the mother. In fact, nearly 25% to 50% of babies born to mothers suffering from Chlamydia are born with the infection. The babies born with pink eyes (neonatal conjunctivitis) are a result of having caught the infection from their mothers suffering from Chlamydia. Chlamydia pneumonia is another infection newborns can be born with if they have contracted Chlamydia from their mothers during pregnancy.
Treating expecting mothers with dosage of erythromycin or amoxicillin for a week has been seen to cure more than 90% of the mothers infected with Chlamydia.
Chlamydia first affects the cervix of women. This is a disease called crevictis where a woman experiences pain during sexual intercourse and has an abnormal vagina discharge. This disease later changes into PID (pelvic inflammatory disease). However, symptoms of Chlamydia in women are so mild that that they hardly notice them. The incubation time for Chlamydia is 7-21 days and once a woman catches the infection from her infected male partner, bacteria of Chlamydia lives inside the cervix of the woman for many more months only to show up in a severe form later. PID can cause damage to fallopian tubes and render a woman infertile.
Untreated Chlamydia infection has the potential to lead to AIDS in a woman as studies have shown that Chlamydia infection leaves a woman susceptible to HIV and other STD’s more than a woman who is free from this infection. It has been seen that women who are infected with Chlamydia before the birth of their babies suffer from uterine infections later in their lives.
Diagnosis of Chlamydia is done through a cotton swab taking cervical tissue
Chlamydia diagnosis can be done by a doctor looking at the symptoms of the infection. To make sure the patient is suffering from Chlamydia; a cotton swab is used to take sample of the cervical tissue and sent to lab for testing. Scientists are still working on a readymade kit that a patient can use at home to confirm the presence of this bacterial infection.