Type of Infection: Bacterial
Transmission: Vaginal and anal sex.
Symptoms: Up to 75% of cases in women and 25% of cases in men are asymptomatic. Symptoms may include abnormal genital discharge, and burning during urination in both men and women. Women may also experience lower abdominal pain or pain during intercourse, and men may experience swelling or pain in the testicles.
Treatment: Infection can be cured with antibiotics. However, it cannot undo the damage done prior to treatment.
Impact on Infected Person: If untreated in women, up to 30% will experience pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which in turn often leads to ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain. In men, if untreated, chlamydia can cause epididymitis, an inflammation of a testicle (where sperm are stored), which may result in sterility. Infected individuals are at greater risk of contracting HIV if exposed to the virus.
Impact on Fetus or Newborn: Premature birth; infant pneumonia and neonatal eye infections may result from transmission of the disease during delivery.
Preventive Measures: Abstaining from vaginal and anal sex with an infected person is the only 100% effective means of prevention. Latex condoms can reduce but not eliminate the risk of contracting the disease.
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