Chlamydia 3 Essay, Research Paper
Imagine for a moment that you and two of your buddies are at a club with fast music, fast women and cheap thrills around to have a lot of fun with. You’re dancing, having a good time and hanging out with your friends. You aren’t the designated driver and you want to have a few beers to make the night a little better, as you get a few in you the girls at the club start to look better and better with each passing minute and drink. You and your buddies go over to mingle with a few of the new found “pretty” girls, you’re talking, laughing and having a good old time. All of a sudden the conversation shifts from “so, what do you do”, to “so, where do you want to go after this.” You and your buddies hastily and quickly get in the car and follow them to their place without a care in the world. While there you and your buddies have a few more drinks and flirt some more with the other women, as the night goes on, so do your other friends and their female counterpart, well needless to say all of you end up in the beds of the women, only one problem, nobody has brought protection, no big deal, right? The next day you are all making your brags about what you did the night before with “your” girl. That night as you are going to bed you have to use the bathroom just like any other night only on this night it burns as you urinate, you think no big deal and go to bed, you wake up the next morning and when you go to the bathroom you notice a discharge in your pants, uh-oh. Panic sets in and you call your other buddies, the other two say everything was normal, nothing happened out of the ordinary, however, you convince your friends to go to the clinic with you and get checked anyway just to be safe cause you know, rather you think you don’t have anything. When the test results come back for the four of you, guess what, you are all positive. How can this be, you are the only one who showed any symptoms but you all have something, that’s a little STD called Chlamydia.
The most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States today is Chlamydia — but most people don’t even know it exists. About four million people will become infected with Chlamydia this year, according to the New York State Department of Health. “In fact, new cases of this bacterial infection are approximately four times more common than new cases of genital herpes or genital warts combined. Although Chlamydia can produce serious consequences, it’s not as well known as other STDs, such as gonorrhea or syphilis.”
There are two facts which are particularly troubling though. First, up to 70 percent of women who are infected don’t know they are because they lack signs or symptoms. (The same is true for up to 30 percent of affected men.) Also, the prevalence of Chlamydia is highest among sexually active women less than 20 years of age. “Without signs or symptoms, people aren’t aware that they have a problem until they develop complications”. Among men, these include: Burning during urination, Discharge from penis, or inflammation and pain in the testicles. Among women, these include: pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and dangerous complications during pregnancy and birth. Furthermore, if a woman is pregnant and not treated, her baby has a 50-50 chance of developing conjunctivitis (an inflammation of the eyes which threatens eyesight), and a 20 percent chance of pneumonia. Chlamydia can also lead to premature birth or low birth weight. This is very unfortunate because Chlamydia is the easiest STD to treat. Doctors can prescribe a single dose of an antibiotic (azithromycin), or other antibiotics which eliminate the disease within a week”. When signs of a Chlamydia infection do occur in women, they include: increased vaginal discharge, painful urination, unusual vaginal bleeding, bleeding after sex and lower abdominal pain. According to the New York State Department of Health, “People increase their risk when they acquire a new sexual partner, have more than one partner, have sex with someone who is known to have had other partners, or do not use contraceptives, such as condoms.”
All sexually active women who are less than age 20, and those who have inflammation of the cervix should be tested, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Women less than age 24, who do not use contraceptives consistently, or who have a new (or more than one) sex partner also should be tested. Their sex partners should be tested and treated as well.
Chlamydia is easily confused with gonorrhea because the symptoms of both diseases are similar, and they often occur together. Until recently, the only way to diagnose chlamydia was to take a sample from a patient’s genital area and attempt to grow the organism in specialized tissue culture in the laboratory. Although still considered the most definitive test, this method is expensive and technically difficult, and test results are not available for up to 3 days. Scientists have developed several rapid tests for diagnosing chlamydia that use sophisticated techniques and a dye to detect bacterial proteins. Although these tests are slightly less accurate, they are less expensive, more rapid, and can be performed during a routine checkup.
A 7-day course of antibiotics such as tetracycline or doxycycline is the recommended treatment for chlamydial infection. Other antibiotics are effective, however, and can be used if tetracycline cannot be taken. For example, pregnant women should not take tetracycline, but rather can be treated with erythromycin. Penicillin, which is often used for treating some other STDs, is not effective against chlamydial infections. New medications are being developed that should simplify treatment and help control the spread of chlamydia in the population. It is very important that a person with chlamydial infection take all of the prescribed medication, even after symptoms disappear. To be sure that the infection is cured, a follow-up visit to the doctor or clinic 1 to 2 weeks after finishing the medication may be necessary. All sex partners of a person with chlamydial infection should be evaluated and treated to prevent re-infection and further spread of the disease.
In women, untreated chlamydial infections can lead to PID. In men, untreated chlamydial infections may lead to pain or swelling in the scrotal area, which is a sign of inflammation of a part of the male reproductive system located near the testicles known as the epididymis. Left untreated, these complications can prevent people from having children. Each year up to 1 million women in the United States develop PID, a serious infection of the reproductive organs. As many as half of all cases of PID may be due to chlamydial infection, and many of these don’t have symptoms. PID can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can block the tubes and prevent fertilization from taking place. Researchers estimate that 100,000 women each year become infertile because of PID. In other cases, scarring may interfere with the passage of the fertilized egg to the uterus during pregnancy. When this happens, the egg may attach itself to the fallopian tube. This is called ectopic or tubal pregnancy. This very serious condition results in a miscarriage and can cause death of the mother.
Chlamydia is a rather simple and easily defeated STD when it is noticed and acted upon, however, when people have frivolous sex and don’t care to concern themselves with who they are really having sex with, whether it be the other 20 or 30 people they have had sex with in the past, however, the one thing to remember is that it only takes one.