Table of contents:
- The main signs of chlamydia
- Infection routes
- What are the symptoms of chlamydia
- Why is chlamydia dangerous?
- How to treat chlamydia
- Chlamydia prevention
Video: CHLAMIDIOSIS - What Is It, Symptoms, Signs And Treatment
The main signs of chlamydia
- 1 Ways of infection
- 2 What are the symptoms of chlamydia
- 3 Why chlamydia is dangerous
- 4 How to treat chlamydia
- 5 Prevention of chlamydia
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (several times higher than cases of infection with gonorrhea). It is almost always transmitted sexually and is caused by obligate intracellular parasites - bacteria from the genus Chlamydia.
The main route of infection is vaginal intercourse with an infected partner. With oral and anal intercourse, infection is less likely, but not completely excluded. According to some studies, pathogens of chlamydia enter the human body when an infected person kisses, since the mucous membranes are in contact. However, the likelihood of such infection is small, since chlamydia is concentrated precisely in the organs of the genitourinary system and precisely in their mucous membranes.
The domestic route of infection is theoretically not excluded, but practically impossible due to the fact that pathogens outside the human body die very quickly. It is believed that you can get chlamydia in the pool, steam room or sauna. But this seems unlikely, since the pathogens are susceptible to disinfectants used to purify the water in the pool bowl, and are also unstable to the high temperatures of baths and saunas.
Of all types of chlamydia, urogenital chlamydia is the most common.
What are the symptoms of chlamydia
Chlamydia lasts a long time without visible signs. Chlamydia multiplies in the body of the infected, it affects more and more cells of various tissues of the organs of the genitourinary system, in a person is still unaware of the infection. The first signs of the disease appear approximately two to three weeks after infection, but they are nonspecific and similar to the signs of a number of other diseases, including non-venereal diseases.
Under favorable conditions - a weakened immune system, a recently transferred infectious disease, a recent surgery, a warm season - the incubation period of chlamydia can be reduced to seven days.
Under unfavorable conditions - immunostimulation, recent antibiotic therapy, cold season - can extend the incubation period to several months.
But sooner or later, the symptoms of chlamydia will still appear.
In men, the symptoms are as follows:
- Discomfort or even mild pain when urinating;
- Transparent or whitish discharge from the urethra (most often observed in the morning);
- Itching in the urethra;
- Pain in the scrotum, pain of unclear location, radiating to the lower back, rectum and abdomen in them.
In women, chlamydia manifests itself as follows:
- Discharge of white or yellow color with an unpleasant unsharp odor from the vagina or watery, transparent, constant odorless discharge (discharge is normal in women, but in case of diseases, their volume increases);
- Soreness when urinating, slight burning sensation, tingling sensation;
- Soreness during intercourse;
- Redness and itching in the urethra;
- Pain in the lower abdomen, radiating to the lower back.
Women are more susceptible to chlamydia pathogens, so more women are infected from an infected man than men from an infected woman. However, men should not expect that they are not very susceptible to this disease: the percentage of men who get sick is far from small.
Chlamydia affects not only the organs of the reproductive system, but also the urinary system. Therefore, its symptoms often resemble the clinical picture of urethritis, cystitis, ureteritis.
Ignoring the symptoms of the disease or self-treatment of the alleged inflammation of the urethra, bladder, ureters leads to the fact that chlamydia is diagnosed in a neglected state with multiple intracellular lesions and against the background of a number of complications.
At the first symptoms of chlamydia or any sexual disease, you should consult a doctor.
Consultation with a doctor
A man should first come to an appointment with a urologist, and a woman should visit a gynecologist. These doctors will examine the patient, prescribe a test and, based on the results obtained, prescribe treatment.
The doctor will perform an external examination of the genitals, take a scraping of the mucous membranes, send for urine analysis, blood sampling. Men are also encouraged to donate sperm.
Tests reveal either chlamydia in the blood as pathogens, or antibodies to them.
Diagnosis of the disease is complicated by the fact that chlamydiae are intracellular parasites. They, like viruses, are embedded in a living cell and feed on it. In it, chlamydia multiply.
Ordinary bacteria do not build into the cells of the body, but are located outside them. This makes them susceptible to antibiotics and other antibacterial agents, despite the fact that some bacteria have a protective capsule (for example, meningococci).
Chlamydia is located inside a living cell and that is why it is almost invulnerable to drugs. An infected cell lives from one to three days, after which it breaks down and releases multiplying bacteria into the intercellular space. It is at this point that bacteria are vulnerable. From the moment they are embedded in new cells, they are again protected from external influences.
Another point that complicates both diagnosis and treatment is the ability of chlamydia to "fall asleep" under unfavorable conditions for several months and not manifest itself in any way. The patient seems to have recovered, but over time, chlamydia will reappear.
With a complicated or advanced course of the disease, the patient is referred to a venereologist. This is especially necessary when it comes to concomitant sexual infection. If chlamydia is found in a pregnant woman, then she is observed and treated by an obstetrician-gynecologist and venereologist.
How is chlamydia determined
In men, a swab is taken from the urethra, in women from the vagina. Changes in the smear, deviations from the norm are the reason for a detailed diagnosis:
- Polymerase chain reaction - PCR. It is used most often to detect viral infections long before the first symptoms appear. But due to the dual nature of chlamydiae, which behave like viruses, PCR is effective as a diagnostic method for them too.
- Immunoassay - ELISA. This method detects antibodies to chlamydia. The test works even in the earliest stages of the disease, even before the first symptoms appear. However, ELISA alone is not enough, as it can give false positive and false negative results due to the slightest changes in blood composition.
- Direct immunofluorescence - PIF. This is the most popular method for detecting chlamydia with obvious signs of the disease. The disadvantage of this method is that it is ineffective in the early stages of the disease, when the concentration of harmful microorganisms is low, and in the diagnosis of diseases during the incubation period. But since chlamydia is often detected when already during the initial visual examination of the patient there is no doubt about the venereal nature of the disease, the use of PIF is quite appropriate.
It is advisable for sexually active people to be tested regularly for the detection of sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia, even without corresponding symptoms. When planning pregnancy, partners must be tested for chlamydia as well.
Why is chlamydia dangerous?
Why is chlamydia dangerous?
Chlamydia is dangerous because it entails a number of severe complications. Epididymitis is not uncommon in men. This is an inflammation of the epididymis, which in turn is complicated by severe painful conditions, impaired diuresis and spermatogenesis, difficulty urinating, testicular tissue necrosis and infertility.
Also in men, the urethra and prostate are affected. This dramatically reduces the quality of a man's life, as he constantly experiences discomfort, it hurts him to urinate, he has the first signs of erectile dysfunction.
In women, chlamydia is complicated by inflammation of the uterus and ovaries. These complications disrupt the reproductive function of a woman, can cause pregnancy to fade, miscarriages, lead to premature birth, intrauterine damage to the fetus and pathologies of its development.
In patients of both sexes, urethritis occurs, which is long and difficult to treat against the background of a genital infection. Reiter's syndrome is diagnosed as a complication of chlamydia, which is characterized by complex lesions of the urethra, eyes and joints.
Urogenital chlamydia also has the following dangerous complications:
- Trachoma is an eye disease characterized by scarring of the conjunctiva, overgrowth of the eyelid, deformation of the eyelid cartilage and complete loss of vision;
- Chronic conjunctivitis;
- Lymphogranuloma venereum is a malignant disease in which lymphoid tissue is affected; Like any oncological disease, venereal lyfogranuloma is deadly and requires long and serious treatment.
How to treat chlamydia
How to treat chlamydia
Chlamydiae are sensitive to antibiotics of the macrolide, fluoroquinol and tetracycline series. The antibiotic and the dosage are determined by the doctor depending on the severity of the condition. Antibiotic therapy for this disease is quite long, so the doctor also prescribes drugs to maintain the balance of microflora in the body. At the end of the course of taking antibiotics, the patient is again tested by ELISA or PCR.
The doctor can also prescribe measures to strengthen the immune system, stimulate the body's own forces. In severe cases, patients are prescribed instillation of the urethra, that is, drip injection of drugs into it. Topical suppositories are also shown to women to relieve symptoms of the disease.
The main and, probably, the only reliable way to avoid infection with chlamydia is to maintain a relationship with one proven sexual partner.
Promiscuous sexual intercourse dramatically increases the risk of contracting chlamydia. It has been proven that even the use of condoms and other barrier methods of contraception does not guarantee absolute protection against chlamydia.
If you find a disease in yourself, you must inform your sexual partners about it, so that they also go for diagnosis and, if necessary, a course of treatment.
Both partners should be treated. If one partner is not found to have chlamydia, he should undergo a course of prophylaxis. What will be included in this course will be decided by a urologist, gynecologist or venereologist.
It is important to remember that cure for chlamydia does not mean lifelong resistance to it. Even after completing the full course, infection is possible, as before.
For the duration of treatment, you need to refrain from sexual intercourse until a complete cure - your own and your partner.
Children can become infected from an infected mother when passing through the birth canal, therefore, to prevent infection of a child, a pregnant woman suffering from chlamydia is not allowed into independent childbirth and is shown a cesarean section.
In some cases, babies became infected in utero. At birth, such a child should immediately receive specific assistance in the fight against infection.