What Is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a form of sexually transmitted disease that is caused by bacteria. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the world wherein 2.3 million people in the United States alone are infected. The disease is also common in South America, Europe, and in Southeast Asia. Among the sexually transmittable disease, chlamydia is the most frequently occurring STD in humans. The disease is caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis, which belongs to the bacterial family chlamydiaceae… While this family is found in many living organisms, chlamydia trachomatis is only found in humans.
Spreading the Disease and Its Complications
Chlamydia trachomatis is transmitted during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Moreover, the bacteria may be passed from mother to child during childbirth. For women, 75 percent of those who do have the bacteria in the womb do not exhibit symptoms and may not know that they are infected. Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics, but if it is left untreated, it can spread to the upper genital tract, causing pelvic inflammatory disease. And in the long run, it can cause severe reproductive and other health problems with serious consequences. The bacterium is also known to cause blindness if untreated, accounting for as much as 15 percent on cases of blindness worldwide.
Despite the presence of antibiotics, which can easily treat the disease such as azithromycin, doxycycline, tetracycline, and erythromycin, the disease still persists in some parts of the world mainly because the symptoms of the disease show up only in its advanced stage, and by then, the disease is already difficult to treat.
Common Infections Arising from Chlamydia
Some parts of the world do not have proper awareness of the disease and as a result, health conditions worsen for those who are affected. These health-related conditions include the following:
1).Cervicitis. This disease affects around 50 to 70 percent of female population. This affects the female’s womb, leading them to develop pelvic inflammatory diseases. Pelvic inflammatory diseases can cause scarring on the insides of the reproductive organs, which may cause complications such as chronic pelvic pain, difficulty in conceiving, tubal pregnancy, and other risky complications of pregnancy. Women who are affected with chlamydia are very much at risk becoming infected with HIV. Although symptoms show up late in chlamydial infection, the symptoms of the disease are the following: unusual vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, pain during sexual intercourse, fever, painful urination, and the urge to urinate rather more frequently.
2).Blindness. Blindness from chlamydia accounted for 15 percent of blindness worldwide a decade ago, though in recent years the figure has dropped to a little more than 3 percent. The eye infection may be transmitted by rubbing the eyes with the fingers, sharing towels and other garments, and by coughing and sneezing.
3).Reactive arthritis. This is a trio of ailments made up of arthritis, conjunctivitis, and urethritis.
4).Post natal infections. A mother who is infected with chlamydia will transmit the disease to her child and the effects on the child manifests as pneumonia, blindness, conjunctivitis, and sometimes may cause abortion and premature birth.