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Chlamydia—Causes, Risks, and Treatment for the STD

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia trachomatis causes an infection that can be spread during sexual activity; men and women alike are susceptible to the infection. For men, infection will present inside the penis (urethra), in the throat, or in the rectum. For women, the infection will present in the cervix, throat, or also rectum.

Symptoms

While it is possible to have chlamydia and experience no symptoms at all, when symptoms do appear they have certain characteristic traits that are observable. The chlamydia infection can produce common symptoms some of which are listed below.

Symptoms of Chlamydia Infection in Men

  • Discharge from Penis
  • Burning during Urination
  • Pain and Swelling in One or Both Testicles

Symptoms of Chlamydia Infection in Women

  • Vaginal Discharge
  • Burning during Urination

IMPORTANT NOTE: Infections can spread throughout the body, specifically to the genital tract in certain women. Genital tract infection may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which in turn could increase the risk for infertility or an ectopic pregnancy.

Additionally, infection that arises within the eye can lead to blindness if left untreated.

How Is Chlamydia Spread? Am I at Risk?

Anyone having unprotected sex is at risk for chlamydia as well as every other sexually transmitted disease. If you are sexually active it is important to use condoms and dental dams during all sexual activity with your partner. Chlamydia, like many other sexually transmitted diseases, is spread via vaginal, anal, or oral sex. And having chlamydia in the past does not prevent you from getting it again. Anytime you have unprotected sex with someone who is a carrier for chlamydia, you are at risk. Additionally, it is possible to get chlamydia with close sexual contact of the genitals, even if there is not ejaculation.

NOTE FOR PREGNANT MOTHERS: Chlamydia can be passed on to your baby during the birth process, so be sure to address your chlamydia problem immediately with your doctor. Early action against any disease or infection is always the best policy to mitigate potential problems and harm.

Treatment Outlook

The great news for those suffering from chlamydia is that it can be easily cured with antibiotics. Your doctor will decide which antibiotic is right for you based on your health and medical history, current medications, and age, etc. Compounded medications may be a better option for some as they may be easier on the body than off-the-shelf pharmacy meds from larger pharmaceutical corporations. Talk to your doctor about the benefits of compounded medications.

Commonly Used Antibiotics for Treatment of Chlamydia

  • Amoxicillin
  • Azithromycin
  • Doxycycline
  • Erythromycin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA