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What is Chlamydia

The chlamydia is the Infection Sexually Transmissible ( STI ) most common in North America and Europe. It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis . This STI is becoming more common and the number of cases has increased over the past fifteen years. In Canada, more than 65,000 cases were reported in 2006. In 3/4 of these cases, this STI affects adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 in ¾ of cases . In France, 1.4% of men and 1.6% of women aged 18 to 44 are affected.

This infection is difficult to diagnose because the majority of those infected have no symptoms, and therefore do not consult. People infected with gonorrhea, the bacteria that cause gonorrhea, are often infected with chlamydia. This is why screening for these two diseases should be done systematically.

Although the infection is easy to treat, it can lead to serious health problems if it is not detected and treated quickly.

Causes of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is spread through unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse through the exchange of sex toys, the exchange of body fluids, and mucosal contact. It is rarely transmitted by cunnilingus.

Chlamydia can also be transmitted to the newborn by its infected mother during delivery.

Possible complications of Chlamydia

In women, untreated chlamydia can spread from the vagina to the uterus, and sometimes the fallopian tubes. It then causes inflammatory pelvic inflammatory disease. It can then leads to infertility , increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy and be responsible for chronic pelvic pain .

In humans, chlamydia can cause inflammation of the prostate (infectious prostatitis) or testes (orchi-epididymitis), which can lead to infertility.

In rare cases, the infection spreads to the joints through the blood, producing inflammation, in both sexes. This is the Fiessinger-Leroy-Reiter syndrome.

Chlamydia infection increases the risk of HIV transmission. When a newborn is infected by his mother during delivery, he may subsequently develop a pulmonary infection (pneumonia) or ocular infection(conjunctivitis).

When to consult?

If you have had an unprotected, risky sexual relationship, you must consult your doctor to take the tests.

Chlamydia is often referred to as a “silent disease” because more than 50% of men and 70% of infected women have no symptoms and are unaware of their symptoms. Symptoms usually occur after a few weeks, but may take longer to reveal themselves.

The symptoms of chlamydia

Chlamydia is often called a “silent disease” because more than 50% of men and 70% of infected women have no symptoms and are unaware that they have the disease. Symptoms usually occur after a few weeks, but may take longer to reveal themselves.

In the woman

  • Most often, no sign;

  • Sensation burning during urination ;

  • Unusual vaginal discharge ;

  • Bleeding between periods , or during or after sex ;

  • Pain during sex

  • Lower abdominal pain or lower back ;

  • Rectitis (inflammation of the rectum wall);

  • Abnormal flow through the anus.

In humans

  • Sometimes no sign;
  • Tingling, itching in the urethra (channel at the exit of the bladder which opens at the end of the penis);
  • Abnormal flow through the urethra, rather clear and a little milky;
  • Burns while urinating ;
  • Pain and sometimes swelling of the testicles in some cases;
  • Rectitis (inflammation of the rectum wall);
  • Abnormal flow through the anus .

In the newborn child to whom the mother transmits chlamydiae

  • Infection of the eyes with redness and discharge at this level;
  • Pulmonary infection may cause coughing, difficulty breathing and fever.

Risk factors for Chlamydia

  • Have more than one sexual partner
  • Having a partner who has other sexual partners
  • Do not use a condom;
  • Have contracted an STI in the past.
  • Be between 15 and 29 years old.
  • Being HIV-positive
  • Have a mother with chlamydiae (for an unborn child).

Prevention

Basic preventive measures
Condom use helps prevent the transmission of chlamydia during anal and vaginal intercourse. Condoms or dental dams can also be used as a means of protection during oral sex activities.
Screening measures
Screening is done when one has had sex at risk or a new partner.
Screening should be done routinely in all persons passing through an anonymous and free testing center (even if they come for HIV testing), planning centers, and orthogeny centers. In these places, 10% of those screened are positive for chlamidiae. Some doctors recommend screening all pregnant women under the age of 25 as well.A regular screening test allows for rapid treatment and prevents transmission of the infection to new partners. In the case of a positive result, it is important to notify anyone with whom you have had sex and who may have been exposed . She will have to be tested and immediately treated if she is infected. This point is extremely important because this infection is not immunizing, it can be caught several times in a row. In 84% of cases, a person who has been re-contaminated has been infected by the same person as the first time!

Chlamydia can be detected in both men and women through a simple test.
The first jet of urine is taken from the man, and the first urine shot is taken from the woman, or she is given a vulvo-vaginal self-sampling.
Other samples are possible, at the level of the opening of the urethra, the cervix (with a gynecological examination) as well as rectal self-sampling, or a sampling in the throat.

Medical treatments of Chlamydia

The chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. The current recommendations are treatment with:
– Oral azithromycin in a single dose of 1 gram prescribed in priority.
– Doxycycline 100 mg orally, morning and evening, for a week. It has more side effects and cannot be forgotten.

The partner must also be treated. Sexual intercourse should be avoided or involve condoms for at least a week. The search for other STIs is also essential and the person being treated must see his / her doctor no later than 7 days after the start of treatment.
In 10 to 15% of cases, the infection, although well maintained, persists. Therefore, two screening tests must be performed again, approximately 5 weeks after the end of the treatment and between 3 and 6 months after the end of the treatment.

Complementary approaches

Although one of the goldenseal compounds appears to be theoretically effective against chlamydia, the availability and effectiveness of antibiotics makes this choice inappropriate.

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