Pathology: Histology: Pap Smear

Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that occurs in both women and men and affects an estimated 2.9 million people in the United States every year. It is the most frequently reported of the bacterial STDs and estimates of its prevalence among young women aged 14 – 19 years who are sexually active are about 1 in 15. Chlamydia does not always cause overt symptoms and for this reason many women who are concerned that they may be infected decide to take a test to find out. This is important because chlamydia can cause damage to the female reproductive organs that can be serious and permanent. Also, an infected pregnant mother may pass on the infection to her child, and when this happens the baby may suffer from chest or eye infections.

If you think you have chlamydia act promptly to avoid the possibility of developing serious health problems. A simple lab test can determine whether or not the infection is present. Typically a urine sample or a cotton swab of the vagina will be analyzed. A woman can collect the swab herself or it can be taken by a healthcare practitioner. In cases where participants have had unprotected oral or anal sex, swabs need to be taken from the mouth and the rectum, respectively.

Testing for chlamydia

All major cities across the US have centers and labs that test for a wide range of diseases or infections, including STDs, and it’s also possible to order tests online. For example, searching online for STD testing Chicago will yield comprehensive details of Chicago health testing centers that provide information on how to collect and submit samples for testing locally, getting the results back in one or two days.

Treatments for chlamydia

Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics and about 95% of people who take their first medication for the disease are cured. Sometimes antibiotics are given in a single dose and sometimes a physician may decide that a longer course of treatment is more appropriate – it depends on the circumstances. As it is a sexually transmitted infection, partners and former partners may also be asked to attend for a check-up. Sometimes a follow-up test is recommended, on completion of treatment, although normally this is not required if the infection was relatively uncomplicated.

Preventative measures

It is possible to pick up an infection from having unprotected sex with a previous partner and then to pass it on to a current partner without ever knowing the infection exists. The more sexual partners that a person has, the more likely they are to become infected.

When used consistently and correctly, latex male condoms can reduce the risk of getting chlamydia or giving it to a partner. As with any sexually transmitted disease, abstinence from vaginal, anal and oral sex is the surest way to avoid infection. People who are in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship and who have been tested and cleared for infection are also likely to remain free from STDs.

photo by: kat m research