Chlamydia - pathogenic bacteria that live in human cells. Today, chlamydia is observed in 60-70% of women. There are several types of these bacteria, but the most dangerous is chlamydia trachomatis. What symptoms may indicate that you are a victim of these microorganisms, and, most importantly, how to be treated?
Bacteria or virus?
At first, only birds and animals were infected with chlamydia. However, the microorganisms gradually mutated and began to parasitize in human cells. The life cycle of chlamydia ranges from 40 to 70 hours. They are bacteria in nature, but they behave like a virus.
When infected, a person develops a dangerous disease - urogenital chlamydia. In children born to a sick woman, eyes and airways may be affected. Despite the long-term treatment, which offers modern medicine, immunity to this bacterium can not be developed, so you can get it again.
Ways of infection
Chlamydia trachomatis in women and men appears in the body mainly during sexual transmission of infection. Most often, people with weakened immunity fall ill.
Bacteria tend to be transported with sperm into the reproductive organs. With kisses and skin contacts, transmission of chlamydia does not occur.
Is it possible to catch chlamydia in the pool, through a towel, dishes, etc., a controversial issue. Bacteria can penetrate into the body, but most often for the development of the disease, they come in insufficient quantities. So the sexual way remains the most probable and dangerous.
The incubation period is from 1 to 4 weeks, and it is almost impossible to identify it at this time. As soon as microorganisms begin to take root in the cells of the uterine cervix, cytokines are secreted. They help to increase blood flow and stimulate the movement of lymphocytes. There is a focus of inflammation. Through the lymphatic system, bacteria spread throughout the body.
It is very difficult to detect chlamydia on your own without special tests. In most cases, it proceeds without any symptoms. Sometimes chlamydia can take the form of another pathology. However, there are conditions that can indicate the presence of chlamydia trachomatis in women:
- painful and frequent urination;
- itching, swelling in the area of the urination channel;
- mucous and purulent vaginal discharge;
- lower abdominal pain;
- slight back pain;
- moist discharge from the genitals;
- bleeding in periods between periods;
- general weakness;
- inflammation of the eyes;
- joint pain;
- itching and pain in the rectum.
If at least some of these signs are observed, there is a reason to consult a doctor. Quite often, the symptoms gradually subside, and the disease becomes chronic.
The severity of chlamydia is affected by many factors:
- chlamydia strain;
- hormonal background;
- the degree of weakening of the immune system.
Chlamydia and pregnancy
Chlamydia trachomatis in women during pregnancy can cause serious illness in a child still in the womb. Among the most common complications:
- miscarriages in the first months of fetal development;
- ectopic pregnancy;
- frozen fruit;
- high water flow;
- defeat of the placenta.
Infection of the baby can occur both during pregnancy and during the passage through the birth canal. The infection in the child’s body leads to the development of serious diseases of the heart, lungs, intestines, and nervous system. Statistics have documented cases of chlamydia becoming hereditary, which may well lead to infertility in one of the generations.
People who are going to become parents, be sure to pass tests for chlamydia when planning pregnancy. This precaution will help to avoid many unpleasant consequences.
Before you assign tests for chlamydia, the doctor collects anamnesis (patient survey). In the course of it, it turns out whether cases of miscarriages, infertility, pregnancy with complications, inflammatory processes in the urination channel were recorded. The doctor also examines the genital organs for the presence of external signs of infection - edema, discharge.
The traditional comprehensive examination includes laboratory tests:
- urine and blood;
- bacteriological analysis of vaginal discharge (swab);
- seeding on the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics;
- PCR (smear infected flora of the vagina).
The study of smear in modern medicine is considered to be ineffective, since the error can be in 80% of cases. The analysis of the collected material is carried out by a microbiologist who can confuse similar types of bacteria.
One of the modern methods is ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). It consists of detecting the DNA of chlamydia in the patient’s blood. DNA diagnostics is the most accurate way to determine the progress of a disease.
PCR is performed at the molecular level. With this study, chlamydia can be detected even in small quantities due to the presence of DNA. The accuracy of this analysis is close to 100%.
If chlamydia was detected during the examination, tests for sexually transmitted diseases can be prescribed:
- ureaplasma and mycoplasma;
- HIV and others.
Despite the latest medical technology, laboratory research can make a mistake if:
- the material was taken poorly;
- the patient took antibacterial drugs or put candles;
- urination occurred less than an hour before taking the material;
- the infection is present deep in the genitals.
To get an accurate result, doctors try to combine different methods.
Traditionally, when chlamydia trachomatis is detected, treatment is carried out in a comprehensive manner:
- antibiotics (a number of penicillin, tetracycline, sulfonamides and other drugs of a wide spectrum of action);
- probiotics for restoring intestinal microflora (Linex, Rioflora);
- immunostimulating drugs;
- antifungal agents.
Along with drugs, a lifestyle change is needed:
- nutritional adjustment (give up alcohol, hot spices and dairy products that stimulate the development of bacteria);
- rejection of casual sex;
- do not have sex during treatment;
- drink infusions of herbs that strengthen the immune system (chamomile, Eleutherococcus, calendula flowers, sage).
Buying a disease is easy, but to cure it can be difficult. In the case of chlamydia trachomatis, this is 100% true. Maintaining immunity, proper nutrition, personal hygiene and accuracy in sexual relationships will be the best prevention of chlamydia. Well, if you happen to get sick, you will definitely have to seek medical help, especially if you are pregnant.