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Chlamydia, Female

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Dec.14.2020
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 Chlamydia, Female

Chlamydia, Female

Chlamydia is an STI (sexually transmitted infection) that is caused by bacteria. This infection spreads through sexual contact. Chlamydia can occur in different areas of the body, including:
  • The urethra. This is the part of the body that drains urine from the bladder.
  • The cervix. This is the lowest part of the uterus.
  • The throat.
  • The rectum.

This condition is not difficult to treat. However, if left untreated, chlamydia can lead to more serious health problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can increase your risk of being unable to have children. Also, women with untreated chlamydia who are pregnant or become pregnant can spread the infection to their babies during delivery. This may cause serious health problems for their babies.

What are the causes?

This condition is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria are spread from an infected partner during sexual activity. Chlamydia can spread through contact with the genitals, mouth, or rectum.

What increases the risk?

The following factors may make you more likely to develop this condition:
  • Not using a condom the right way or not using a condom every time you have sex.
  • Having a new sex partner or having more than one sex partner.
  • Being female, age 14–25, and sexually active.

What are the signs or symptoms?

In some cases, there are no symptoms, especially early in the infection. Having no symptoms is also called being asymptomatic.

If symptoms develop, they may include:
  • Urinating often, or a burning feeling during urination.
  • Discharge from the vagina.
  • Redness, soreness, or swelling of the rectum, or bleeding or discharge coming from the rectum. Any of these may occur if the infection was spread through anal sex.
  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Pain during sex.
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods or irregular periods.
  • Itching, burning, or redness in the eyes, or discharge from the eyes.

How is this diagnosed?

This condition may be diagnosed with:
  • Urine tests.
  • Swab tests. Depending on your symptoms, your health care provider may use a cotton swab to collect discharge from your vagina or rectum to test for the bacteria.
  • A pelvic exam.

How is this treated?

This condition is treated with antibiotic medicines. If you are pregnant, you will need to avoid certain types of antibiotics.

Follow these instructions at home:

Sexual activity

  • Tell your sex partner or partners about your infection. These include any partners for oral, anal, or vaginal sex that you have had within 60 days of when your symptoms started. Sex partners should also be treated, even if they have no signs of the disease.
  • Do not have sex until you and your sex partners have completed treatment and your health care provider says it is okay. If your health care provider prescribed you a single-dose medicine as treatment, wait at least 7 days after taking the medicine before having sex.

General instructions

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines as told by your health care provider. Finish all antibiotic medicine even when you start to feel better.
  • It is up to you to get your test results. Ask your health care provider, or the department that is doing the test, when your results will be ready.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine pale yellow.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important. You may need to be tested for infection again 3 months after treatment.

How is this prevented?

The only sure way to prevent chlamydia is to avoid having vaginal, anal, and oral sex. However, you can lower your risk by:
  • Using latex condoms correctly every time you have sex.
  • Not having multiple sex partners.
  • Asking if your sex partner has been tested for STIs and had negative results.
  • Getting regular health screenings to check for STIs.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • You develop new symptoms or your symptoms do not get better after you complete treatment.
  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have pain during sex.
  • You develop new joint pain or swelling near your joints.
  • You have irregular menstrual periods, or you have bleeding between periods or after sex.
  • You develop flu-like symptoms, such as night sweats, sore throat, or muscle aches.
  • You are pregnant and you develop symptoms of chlamydia.

Get help right away if:

  • Your pain gets worse and does not get better with medicine.
  • You have pain in your abdomen or lower back that does not get better with medicine.
  • You feel weak or dizzy, or you faint.

Summary

  • Chlamydia is an STI (sexually transmitted infection) that is caused by bacteria. This infection spreads through sexual contact.
  • This condition is not difficult to treat. However, if left untreated, chlamydia can lead to more serious health problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  • Some people have no symptoms (are asymptomatic), especially early in the infection.
  • This condition is treated with antibiotic medicines.
  • Using latex condoms correctly every time you have sex can help prevent chlamydia.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.

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