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Chlamydia is among the most common sexually transmitted infection, and it is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. If left untested, it can result in more serious complications. The infection is more severe in women than in men as it affects the uterus and cervix. Chlamydia can also cause infections of the throat, lungs, and the eye. This paper pays high attention to the signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and a discussion of patient`s education as a form of preventing Chlamydia.
Signs and Symptoms
Most people are unaware that they are affected by the infection because they do not experience any signs. However, Chlamydia presents with burning sensation and pain during urination among women. There is pain in the lower abdomen that is accompanied by a vaginal discharge (Breguet, 2007). The affected individual experiences episodes of bleeding mainly after sexual intercourse or heavy bleeding between the periods. The symptoms of Chlamydia are unique in men although there is still a burning sensation and pain during urination. Men with the infection often experience a cloudy or watery discharge at the tip of the penis. There are instances when a person feels pain in the testicles or a feeling of tenderness (Molony, 2004). It is not often easy to tell if a person is affected by Chlamydia as the symptoms are not apparent. However, the condition is noticeable by the signs and symptoms that present in three to four weeks (Breguet, 2007).
Chlamydia is diagnosed by a physician by using a swab that takes a sample from men’s urethra or cervix of women. The specimen is then taken to the laboratory for analysis of the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria (Molony, 2004). Other tests are administered by use of urine samples to identify the presence Chlamydia bacteria in the sample. One can get a confidential Chlamydia test at the nearest sexual health facility as one of the prevention measures. Besides, there are home kits for testing the condition if a person suspects the signs and symptoms.
Doctors prescribe oral antibiotics such as Zithromax and doxycycline for the treatment of Chlamydia. The antibiotics should be used in a week or two even if a person feels better. Doctors recommend that both partners should be treated in order to avoid re-infection. Women experience a severe form of the Chlamydia and often require hospitalization for intravenous administration of the antibiotics (Molony, 2004). However, it is advisable to go for retesting to ascertain if one is cured or not. It is recommended that both partners refrain from sex during the period of medication. Failure to treat the Chlamydia condition is attributed to infertility among the women and the pelvic inflammatory disease (Breguet, 2007).
Discussion and patient education
The diagnosis of the Chlamydia infection involves a series of discussions and questions with the physician to identify the patient’s sexual activities (Molony, 2004).The physician emphasizes the need for the patient to avoid multiple partners in order to be certain of the transmission. Besides, the patient education includes an emphasis on the use of condoms during intercourse to prevent transmission of the infection to or from a partner (Breguet, 2007). The patient is advised on avoiding sex during the medication period to allow the process of elimination of the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria to be effective. In addition, the doctor conducts patient education such as avoidance of new sexual partners as it increases the exposure to the Chlamydia bacteria. The emphasis on screening for the bacteria is common among the doctors as one of the prevention measures (Molony, 2004).The patient education also includes the symptoms of the disease and the possible complications in order to encourage patients to undertake preventive measures such as using a condom and regular screening for the bacteria. The doctor emphasizes on the development of risk reduction plans by the patient and potential sexual behavior change.
It is, therefore, evident that Chlamydia is a serious sexually transmitted infection, and thus, people should take the necessary prevention measures such as the use of condoms. This would prevent them from being infected with other STIs such as HIV/Aids.
Breguet, A. (2007). Chlamydia. New York: Rosen Pub. Group.
Molony, R. (2004). Chlamydia. Duncan, BC: TiriMedisc.