Latest Catalogue Chlamydia

Chlamydia

DEFINITION

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI)  caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis.


DESCRIPTION

Left untreated in women, Chlamydia may cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can damage the reproductive organs. Symptoms are usually mild or absent so serious complications such as chronic pelvic pain, infertility and ectopic pregnancy  can occur 'silently'   with a woman being unaware that she is infected. Chlamydia rarely causes complications in men. Infection sometimes spreads to the epididymis (a tube that carries sperm from the testis), causing pain, fever, and rarely, sterility.


RISK FACTORS

Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Multiple sexual partners and having unprotected sex increases the risk of infection with Chlamydia.


SYMPTOMS

At least 50% of men and 70% of women infected with Chlamydia do not have any symptoms. If a person does experience symptoms, they usually occur 1 to 3 weeks after infection.

 

Women who have symptoms might have;
- an abnormal vaginal discharge
- a burning sensation when urinating
- lower abdominal pain
- lower back pain
- nausea
- fever
- pain during intercourse
- bleeding between menstrual periods.

 

Men with signs or symptoms might have;
- a discharge from the penis
- a burning sensation when urinating
- burning and itching around the opening of the penis.


Men or women who have receptive anal intercourse may acquire Chlamydial infection in the rectum, which can cause rectal pain, discharge or bleeding.


TREATMENT OPTIONS

As with all medical conditions, your Doctor should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.There are laboratory tests to diagnose Chlamydia. Some can be performed on urine, other tests require that a specimen be collected from a site such as the penis or cervix.

 

Treatment usually involves taking a single dose of an antibiotic prescribed by your Doctor. It is very important not to have sex for at least a week after treatment. If your partner is also being treated, do not have sex until at least a week after both of you have been treated.


PREVENTION

Having one sexual partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected is the best way to avoid  contracting  an STI. Male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of Chlamydia.

 

It is advisable to be tested for Chlamydia if;
- you have any of the signs of the infection
- your partner has been diagnosed with Chlamydia, even if they do not have any symptoms
- you have had unprotected sex with any partner, including a casual partner
- your partner has had sex with someone who could be infected
- you have recently changed sexual partners
- you have any other sexually transmitted infection.


ORGANISATIONS & SUPPORT GROUPS

Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia (SH&FPA)
www.fpa.net

VIC
Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC)
580 Swanston Street
Carlton, 3053
Victoria

Free call: 1800 032 017
Tel. +61 3 9347 0244
Website: www.mshc.org.au

ACT
Sexual Health and Family Planing ACT (SHFPACT)
Level 1, 28 University Avenue
Canberra
ACT, 2601

Tel. (02) 6247 3077
SMS: 0400 770 999
Fax: (02) 6257 5710
Website: www.shfpact.org.au

QLD
Family Planning Queensland
100 Alfred Street
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
(P.O. Box 215, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006)
Clinic : (07) 3250 0200
Education: (07) 3250 0240
Website: www.fpq.com.au
Email: enquiries@fpq.com.au

WA

The Family Planning Association of Western Australia Inc.

FPWA

70 Roe Street
Northbridge
WA, 6003

Tel. (08) 9227 6177
Fax: (08) 9227 6871
Website: www.fpwa.org.au

TAS
Family Planning Tasmania
2 Midwood Street
New Town
TAS, 7008

Healthline: 1300 658 886
Hobart office tel. (03) 6228 5244


PHARMACIST'S ADVICE

Ask your Pharmacist for advice
1) By using latex condoms correctly and consistently during vaginal or rectal sexual activity, you can reduce your risk of getting and/or transmitting Chlamydia. Condoms are available from your Pharmacy.

2) Lubricant should be used with a condom. It helps to prevent a condom from breaking. Always choose a water-soluble lubricant (not petroleum jelly) and rub it on the outside of the condom. Lubricants are available from your Pharmacy.

3) If the diet is inadequate consider some supplements. After taking a course of antibiotics, Acidophilus is suggested to restore the friendly bacteria in the bowel.
4) As antibiotics increase the demand for B group vitamins, additional B Group might be of benefit if dietary intake is inadequate.