Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease caused by chlamydia trachomatis, is now a widespread infectious disease in the United States. The disease is common among sexually active people who may transmit the infection to each other through various forms of sexual contact. Symptoms of chlamydia are seldom manifested, hence infected persons may not be aware they already have the disease until many months or even years have passed. This is the reason that this disease is called a "silent epidemic".
In many cases, because of the absence of signs of infection, persons with chlamydia continue to engage in sexual activities. As a result, the disease is left unchecked and is spread on and on. Furthermore, a mother infected with chlamydia can also infect her baby upon birth. Pneumonia, eye infections and conjunctivitis are among the risks that the newborn baby can get from the infected mother.
Chlamydia does exhibit its symptoms, usually between one to three weeks from exposure. These symptoms include yellowish discharge from the vagina accompanied by a burning feeling, difficulty in urination, inflammation of the genital parts, pain during sex and abnormal bleeding in extreme cases.
On the other hand, infected men may also experience discharge from the penis and painful urination. Since chlamydia does not show signs in its early stage, its detection usually comes only when complications develop.
Health experts have expressed concern about the prevalence of this infectious disease and advised sexually active women who are 25 years or younger as well as older women who engage in sex with more than one partner to undergo check-ups every six months.
Administration of antibiotics is the best treatment for chlamydia. The drug most often prescribed by physicians to cure chlamydia is azithromycin (1 gram taken orally) or doxcycline (100 mg, also taken orally two times a day for one week). If the patient has adverse reactions to the previously mentioned medicines, erythromycin ethylsuccinate 800 mg is recommended. The latter medication is usually taken four times a day for one week. Ofloxacin 300 mg is another option. Antibiotic treatment usually takes seven days.
Medications should be taken strictly according to the doctor's prescription to achieve best results. To conquer chlamydia, treatment is not the only option. Obviously, treatment is necessary only when the infection is already present. But why should you wait for infection to set in when you can ward it off in the first place?
Sexually active individuals must always be wary of the possibility of infections that they can get from engaging in sex with multiple partners. Hence a monogamous sexual relationship is still the best way to prevent the infection. Using condoms may, to a certain extent, aid in checking the infection however care must be exercised to ensure total protection. If chlamydia is left unchecked, the infection can damage the reproductive organs of a woman in which case she may no longer be able to bear a child.Anyone who is sexually active is at risk of infection from chlamydia. Self-examination is recommended to monitor early signs.