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12 de December, 2023

Positive Chlamydia: Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis

Caused by the intracellular bacteria Chlamydia Trachomatis, chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases.

In 40 percent of cases where it is not treated, chlamydia infects the cells of the cervical cervix and spreads to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility.

Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics such as azithromycin and doxycycline.

In case the reproductive organs are damaged (mainly the fallopian tubes), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the procedure of choice to have a baby at home.

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and yet one of the least known.

It is caused by the intracellular bacteria Chlamydia Trachomatis, it is three times more common in women than in men and, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year 2.8 million people are infected with chlamydia alone in the U.S.

In 40 percent of cases when left untreated, chlamydia infects cells in the cervical cervix and spreads to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or blocking the tubes.

It can affect fertility in several ways:

  1. By infecting the cervical cervix it can prevent sperm from reaching the uterine cavity.
  2. By infecting the ovaries, it can cause alterations in ovulation, as well as reduce the quantity and quality of the eggs and cause an infection or ovarian abscess.
  3. Infecting the fallopian tubes it can cause hydrosalpinx, that is, blockage of one or both tubes. This prevents the sperm from meeting the egg and fertilizing it. Likewise, it makes it impossible for the fertilized egg to move from the ovary to the uterus, which increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
  4. When it reaches the interior of the uterus, it results in insufficient development or inflammation of the endometrium (endometritis) and can hinder the correct implantation of the embryo.
  5. It can produce inflammatory reactions that lead to the formation of pelvic adhesions in the uterine tubes, which interfere with the transport of gametes (eggs and sperm).
  6. Because it can cause pain during or after having sex, many couples are forced to avoid sex during a woman's most fertile time, which prevents conception.

Likewise, untreated chlamydia can cause serious consequences during pregnancy, such as:

  • Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • Increased risk of miscarriage
  • Amniotic fluid infection
  • Premature rupture of membranes
  • premature birth
  • Low weight in the newborn
  • Newborns infected with pneumonia or conjunctivitis during vaginal delivery

Main symptoms of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is known as the silent disease because 75 percent of women infected with this bacteria do not have symptoms. In the rest of the cases, these may appear between one and three weeks after infection and include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Irritation
  • Burning when urinating
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Dyspareunia or pain during sexual relations
  • Pelvic pain
  • Fever
  • Infertility

If you have any of these symptoms you should stop having sex and consult a doctor immediately. Timely diagnosis of chlamydia can prevent pelvic inflammatory disease and consequent damage to women's reproductive organs.

Causes of Chlamydia

Chlamydia can be transmitted during unprotected vaginal or anal sex and can even be found in the throats of women and men who have had oral sex with an infected partner.

Any sexually active person can become infected with chlamydia, however, the risk of infection is proportional to the number of sexual partners they have or have had.

It is important to note that chlamydia can also be transmitted from mother to child during vaginal birth, so women infected with chlamydia who have not been treated must undergo a cesarean section.

How is chlamydia diagnosed?

In addition to analyzing your medical history and a vaginal exam that takes just a few minutes and is painless, your doctor will need to take a cell sample from your vagina or cervical cervix with a swab and send it to the laboratory, where it will be analyzed for infected DNA.

It may also be useful to perform blood or urine tests to detect the antibodies that the body produces when exposed to the Chlamydia Trachomatis bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all sexually active women under age 25 and women over age 25 at risk for infection (who have a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners) get an annual blood test. chlamydia detection.

Likewise, the presence of this bacteria must be ruled out in all pregnant women.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea often occur together, so if you have chlamydia it is advisable to get tested for gonorrhea.

Likewise, women with advanced chlamydia should have a gynecological vaginal ultrasound, during which the doctor will insert a probe into their vagina in to determine the damage that this infection could cause to their reproductive organs.

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Comprehensive programs to achieve having a baby at home when you suffer from chlamydia

Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics such as azithromycin and doxycycline.

Women infected with chlamydia should abstain from sex until they and their sexual partners have been treated. Otherwise, they suffer a high risk of becoming infected again and experiencing serious complications in their reproductive health. To ensure that the therapy has been effective, it is recommended to do a follow-up check.

In case the reproductive organs are damaged (mainly the fallopian tubes), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the procedure of choice to achieve a baby at home thanks to the fact that, while the deterioration caused by the bacteria Chlamydia Trachomatis usually alters the transport of the gametes and hinder the transfer of the fertilized egg to the uterus, this makes it possible to aspirate the eggs directly from the ovaries, fertilizing them in a laboratory and place the embryos with greater implantation power in the uterine cavity.

This makes the fallopian tubes no longer indispensable and offers a higher chance of pregnancy than any other procedure available.

It is important to treat chlamydia infection before starting an In Vitro Fertilization cycle, as this can have adverse effects on the success rates of this procedure.

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