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Genital chlamydial infections
Chlamydia can cause inflammation of the urethra, cervix, and rectal lining. The pathogens (Chlamydia trachomatis serovars DK or L1-L3) are transmitted during sexual intercourse…
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Since the transmission takes place during sexual intercourse, the consistent use of condoms protects. The sexual partner should also be examined and treated if necessary. In order to prevent bacterial inflammation of the eye, special hygiene should be observed.
Note Hygiene measures can protect against many infections. Particularly in tropical countries, particular hygiene should be observed (never use used towels, e.g. in restaurants).
The incubation period is about 14 days. More than half of those affected (70 percent of women and 50 percent of men) have no genital symptoms. Infections of the rectum and throat usually do not cause any symptoms.
Most common complaints in women:
- Changes in the color, smell or amount of vaginal discharge from the vagina (inflammation of the cervix with a purulent discharge)
- Intermenstrual bleeding or heavy bleeding during menstruation,
- Bleeding after intercourse,
- Burning sensation when urinating,
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen.
Rarely, inflammation of the rectal mucosa, catarrh of the throat, reactive arthritis (formerly called Reiter's syndrome) or inflammation of the fallopian tubes with abdominal pain occur. Untreated chlamydial fallopian tube inflammation can become chronic and, despite minimal symptoms, lead to serious consequences such as infertility or ectopic pregnancy. During the birth process, the newborn may become infected (pneumonia and / or eye inflammation in the newborn).
Most common complaints in men:
- Burning sensation when urinating and purulent discharge (inflammation of the urethra)
- Pain or discomfort in the testicles.
The symptoms are worse in the early morning. The following complications are possible: inflammation of the epididymis, inflammation of the rectal mucosa, reactive arthritis (formerly Reiter's syndrome) or sore throat. Chronic inflammation of the seminal ducts can lead to sterility.
The pathogen is detected from swabs from the urethra, vagina, anal canal or urine. The investigations include immunoassays for antigen detection, cultural or genetic pathogen detection methods and specific nucleic acid detection (PCR).
Therapy & aftercare
The treatment is done with antibiotics (azithromycin once or doxycycline for seven days). Since an infection is often symptom-free, the treatment of the sexual partner is of particular importance in order to avoid recurrence (relapse) and serious complications.
Note Sexual activities must be avoided during treatment.