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Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria may enter the body during sexual activity. It can lead to infection of the genitals (penis or vagina). It can also infect the mouth or anus following oral or anal sex. An infected pregnant woman can pass the infection to her child during the baby's passage through the birth canal. If attended to before Chlamydia reaches the critical stage, Chlamydia can be cured. But if left untreated, Chlamydia can cause severe reproductive and other health problems such as infertility. Untreated Chlamydia infections in pregnant women can lead to premature delivery. Babies born to infected women can get Chlamydia infections in their eyes and respiratory tracts.


Symptoms in men:



  • Clear or whitish yellow discharge from the tip of the penis.
  • Frequent urge to urinate or a burning sensation while urinating.
  • Redness at the tip of the penis.
  • Burning and itching around the opening of the penis.
  • Pain and swelling in the testicles.

Symptoms in women:

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Low back pain
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Pain during sex
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Painful periods
  • Itching or burning sensation in or around the vagina
  • Pain when urinating
  • Vaginal discharge with a bad odor

Those diagnosed with Chlamydia infection need to inform sexual partner(s) within 60 days. Chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics. Health care providers usually prescribe a single dose of azithromycin or a week of doxycycline. Persons infected with Chlamydia should abstain from sexual intercourse for 7 days or until completion of medications.

Cervicitis

An inflammation of the cervix mainly due to an infection is Cervicitis. The infected cells of the cervix become irritated and may become red, swollen and ooze mucus and pus. They could bleed easily when touched. The most important cause of Cervicitis is sexually transmitted disease although many women do not test positive for any type of infection though contacted with Cervicitis.


Symptoms of Cervicitis

Many women do not exhibit any symptoms and if tested may be positive for Cervicitis. If present, the signs and symptoms include:


  • Vaginal discharge which could be grayish or pale yellow.
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or bleeding after sex, between periods.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain, fever in some cases.
  • Vaginal irritation
  • Pain in the vagina
  • Pressure or heaviness in the pelvis.

Serious symptoms might indicate a life-threatening condition and immediate medical care should be sought. If Cervicitis is suspected during pregnancy, there could be life-threatening symptoms including - high fever, severe nausea and vomiting and severe pelvic pain.


Causes of Cervicitis

Cervicitis is most often caused by an infection caught during sexual activity. Some sexually transmitted diseases include gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes Virus and Trichomoniasis. Other possible causes for Cervicitis are:


  • Use of a diaphragm or cervical cap insertion into the pelvic area.
  • Allergy to condoms and latex
  • Chemical exposure
  • Many sexual partners
  • High risk sexual behavior
  • Sex at an early age.

When the vagina is overwhelmed by unhealthy and harmful bacteria, it can cause Cervicitis. Hormonal imbalance with relatively low estrogen or high progesterone may interfere with the body's ability to maintain healthy cervical tissue. Cancer treatment and radiation therapy can also cause Cervicitis.


Diagnosing Cervicitis

A doctor first gets a closer look at the cervix when Cervicitis is suspected. Then the doctor will swab the cervix, collect vaginal fluid and see how it bleeds. The patient's sexual history is noted. A routine examination of the cervix is conducted if you are pregnant or the doctor thinks that there is high risk for sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea or Chlamydia. Inspection of the discharge under a microscope may show Trichomoniasis or Bacterial Vaginosis. Pap smear is also done. Rarely, colposcopy and biopsy of the cervix is necessary.


Reducing risk of Cervicitis

You can reduce or lower the risk of Cervicitis by:


  • Avoiding known allergens.
  • Avoiding sexual intercourse.
  • Monogamous sexual partner.
  • Following instructions while using diaphragm or cervical cap.
  • Getting tested for STD infections annually.
  • Getting vaccinated against human papilloma virus.
  • Using condoms during sexual intercourse.

Treatment

If sexually transmitted infection is not the cause, then you do not need treatment for Cervicitis. If an infection is suspected, the main goal would be to eliminate the infection and prevent it from spreading to the uterus and fallopian tubes, in case of pregnancy.

In case of bacterial infections such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and others, antibiotics are used for treatment. Antiviral drugs may be used to treat herpes infections. Hormonal therapy with estrogen and progesterone may be used in women who have reached menopause. When such treatments fail, and Cervicitis is still present for a long time, then cryosurgery, electro cauterization and laser therapy are adopted.


The doctor would prescribe the line of treatment depending upon the cause of infection. The doctor may advice antibiotics, antifungal medications and antiviral medications. The doctor may also recommend treating the partner to rule out chances of infection again. It is recommended to avoid sexual contact till the partner has finished treatment.


Tips to prevent Cervicitis

Avoid chemical irritants such as deodorant tampons. When inserting any foreign objects into the vagina, make sure that they are properly placed. Be in a monogamous sexual relationship. Use condom every time of sex to lower the risk of getting sexually transmitted infections. A condom must be properly used every time.



Epididymitis

The epididymis is a tube in the male reproductive system connecting the vas with the testicles. When the epididymis gets inflamed, it results in epididymitis. This is the result of a bacterial infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. In other cases, it can be due to E coli and similar infections. Examination of a patient suffering from epididymitis will usually reveal tender lymph nodes in the groin and tenderness in the area of the testicles. Doppler ultrasound, tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea and blood count might reveal epididymitis.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 18, 2017