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Chlamydia – The Latest Medical Breakthroughs

Monday, 13 Sep 2010 01:46 PM

Chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in humans, is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is a major infection that causes human genital diseases and various eye diseases. It is also the most common sexually transmitted disease worldwide.
Chlamydial infection of the neck of the womb (cervicitis) is an asymptomatic infection found in about 50 % to 70% of women. The infection can be passed onto women in three ways: vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Of all the women who do not show symptoms, almost half of them develop pelvic inflammatory diseases. This, in turn, leads to infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries and can cause scarring in the reproductive organs, resulting in grave problems later. There are no outward symptoms for chlamydia and, in many cases, the bacterium lingers on for months inside the body. The infection is often called the "silent epidemic."

Abdominal pain, unusual uterine bleeding, fever, pain during intercourse, increased urinary frequency, and pain during urination are characteristic symptoms of chlamydia. Fifty per cent of men show symptoms of infected urethritis, which include painful urination, unusual discharge from the penis, tender testicles, or fever.

Chlamydia, when left untreated in women, can spread to the fallopian tubes and cause the tubes to become blocked at the very ends. This condition is called hydrosalpinx. Chances are that scar tissue may develop around the fallopian tubes and lead to difficulty in the movement of the egg during ovulation. Hysterosalpingogram can be used to detect distal tubal obstruction. Pelvic adhesions can, however, be examined only through a surgical process. Chlamydia can easily be treated with antibiotics and the couple must restrain from sexual intercourse until the infection is completely treated.

Genital chlamydia is basically transmitted through direct sexual contact with an individual who is infected, or transmitted through the genital tracts of the infected mother to the newborn. The disease can easily be prevented by routine prenatal screening for chlamydia and appropriate regulation and routine check of the infection in pregnant women. The infection should be diagnosed at an early stage for the treatment to be effective. All sexual partners should be notified in such circumstances.

Recent developments in the field of medicine have ensured that one of the drugs available for the treatment of the disease can deliver results in a single oral dose. Medical treatment has also been approved by the FDA.

Additionally, advances have been made in the diagnosis of the disease and a new urine-based screening test has been discovered, which does not require the use of swab sample cells to be procured from the genital area.

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