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Chlamydia

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ID: ANH23272
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease or infection worldwide. It's more common in women than men. The germs that cause the infection are tiny bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. You can catch Chlamydia from an infected person during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. And if a pregnant woman has Chlamydia, she can pass it to her baby as the baby moves through the birth canal during childbirth. In your body, the infection begins when the bacteria attached to cells in the tissue that lines many of your body cavities, called mucosal epithelium. Once attached, the bacteria begin to invade this tissue. Inside the cell, the bacteria start multiplying. When they escape to infect other cells, the bacteria may leave the cell they came from intact or the cell may be destroyed as the bacteria are released. The bacterial infection causes the body's own immune cells to enter the tissue. This inflames and damages the tissue as your immune cells try to clear the infection. Unfortunately, some of the bacteria can avoid immune destruction inside of your cells. The main risk for getting Chlamydia is having unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex with a person who's infected. You may have a high risk if you are sexually active and are a young person, especially a young woman, don't always use condoms during sex, have more than one sex partner, or are a man who has sex with men. Many people have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may not appear until several weeks after infection symptoms a woman may have include an abnormal discharge from the vagina or birth canal, painful sex, or a burning feeling while urinating. A man may have similar symptoms such as an abnormal discharge from the penis, a burning or itching feeling at the tip of the penis, or a burning feeling while urinating. In both men and women, chlamydia chlamydia may also infect the rectum, which is the last part of the large intestine. Symptoms of infection in the rectum may include pain, abnormal discharge, or bleeding. Left untreated, the infection may cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women. This means the infection is spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes. Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to pain in the pelvis. Infertility, which means not being able to get pregnant. Or ectopic pregnancy. Meaning a pregnancy that grows outside of the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. Such a pregnancy cannot be successful. If a woman gives birth while having untreated Chlamydia, her baby may be born early, have an eye infection called ophthalmia neonatorum, or have pneumonia. In both men and women, untreated Chlamydia can cause reactive arthritis. This is painful swelling in joints as a reaction to the infection. The good news is that Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics, such as Doxycycline or Azithromycin. You may also be prescribed a second antibiotic, such as Ceftriaxone, to treat possible infection with another sexually transmitted disease called gonorrhea. People who have Chlamydia are often infected with gonorrhea at the same time. It's important to know that treatment may not fix any damage the disease has already done to your body. You can reduce your risk of getting Chlamydia if you only have sex with one long-term partner who doesn't have sex with other people and who has been tested for Chlamydia and doesn't have it. And you can practice safer sex, which means taking steps before and during sex to prevent you from getting or spreading Chlamydia. For example, using condoms correctly every time you have sex can reduce your risk. The most reliable way to avoid getting Chlamydia is to practice abstinence. This means not having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. To find out more about Chlamydia, talk to your healthcare practitioner.

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