Chlamydia: Symptoms and Treatment
Chlamydia is an extremely common disease from the number of those who are sexually transmitted, that is, from a number of STDs. Chlamydia, whose symptoms are absent in about half the cases, as well as clinical manifestations or characteristic complaints, are diagnosed annually in more than 90 million people.
The high prevalence of chlamydia is due to several main reasons that contribute to this. The first, and, at the same time, the main reason for this prevalence are the features of the course of chlamydia, or rather — a mild manifestation of the symptomatology or even the absence of it. As we initially noted, chlamydia without symptoms occurs in almost half of cases of incidence, and therefore sexual partners often do not even know that for one of them this diagnosis is topical. What is noteworthy, often a person becomes a carrier of chlamydia for several years, not knowing anything about it. And although the initial description of chlamydia can force someone to give up on him because of the frivolity, however, it is with time that the disease manifests itself, and already in the form of serious enough, moreover, irreversible forms. As such, we can distinguish a number of diseases, namely: pyelonephritis, prostatitis, diseases of the uterus, cystitis, diseases of the appendages and cervix, etc.
The trend was that young couples, having made a decision to acquire a family supplement, faced with the fact that one of the partners in it suffers from infertility, and it is the clamidiosis that is the only reason. It should be noted that salpingitis only according to the incidence of it in Europe in the order of more than 600,000 cases of the total number of its diagnosis is a consequence of the impact on the body of chlamydia, it, in turn, becomes in a quarter of these cases the cause of infertility.
As for the approximate statistics, thanks to which it is possible to estimate the incidence rate, the following data are available. So, almost half of men belonging to the group of sexually active age, suffer from Chlamydia infection, women — about a third (this group is 16-40 years old). Infection with chlamydia occurs in 30-60% of cases among women and about 51% among men with topical inflammatory diseases of non-gonococcal scale associated with the functions of the genitourinary organs. It should be noted that prostatitis in men becomes the most common disease that has occurred against the background of Chlamydia infection. Asymptomatic cases of those infections that also occur against the background of chlamydia influence, are for men and women statistics on the frequency of about 5-20%.
The course of chlamydia is possible with a clinic inherent in such diseases as conjunctivitis, arthritis, pneumonia, diseases of the cardiovascular system, etc. As a result, patients accordingly turn first to specialists of a suitable profile for these diseases, that is, to therapists And rheumatologists, to the ophthalmologist and others, while the venereologist is not considered in the context of the symptoms of these diseases in general. An important feature of urogenital chlamydia is that it contributes to increasing the susceptibility of patients to syphilis and to HIV infection. Moreover, these strains of chlamydia acquire not only exceptional virulence (ie aggressiveness), but also are extremely difficult to cure.
Chlamydia is also characterized by considerable contagiousness (ie, infectiousness or a characteristic feature in the form of the ability to transmit infection from a sick person to a susceptible healthy one). Thus, against this background, chlamydia is a disease that occurs in about 80% of women who act as sexual partners of men who have been infected.
Also about chlamydia, we can say that they are in the order of 85% of cases are the companions of other infections, the transmission of which is sexually transmitted (ie, STI). As such infections can be identified, again, syphilis, as well as thrush, gonorrhea, ureaplasmosis, mycoplasmosis, trichomoniasis and others. This type of combination is the reason for increasing the pathogenicity of each microbe, which turns out to be in such an association, which also complicates the course of treatment of the underlying disease, which is chlamydia.
Chlamydia: flow features
As the cause of infection of chlamydia is the causative agent of this disease, that is, a bacterium that represents the genus of chlamydia. Chlamydia exist in two varieties, but one of these species predominantly affects animals, therefore it is advisable to consider the second species, the bacteria Chlamidia trachomatis. This bacterium, in turn, exists in 15 varieties, some of which are capable of provoking trachoma and venereal lymphogranulomatosis. Two varieties of this bacterium contribute to the defeat of the urogenital system (both in women and men), provoking the development of urogenital chlamydia. It should also be noted that Chlamidia trachomatis is in an intermediate position, occupying a position between bacteria and viruses, which makes the disease extremely difficult to diagnose, and, correspondingly, adequate therapy directly to its address.
Consider the features that chlamydia have. Chlamydia are obligate gram-negative intracellular pathogenic bacteria. Their dimensions are of the order of 250-300 nm, the primary infection of cells leads to the defeat of all those barrier systems that the body has.
Reproduction of chlamydia occurs via binary fission, it is also known that they have sensitivity to the influencing of certain types of antibiotics. It is because of the above features, inherent in chlamydia, that scientists have identified them as bacteria. As we already noted earlier, there are chlamydia on the positions between viruses and bacteria, therefore, their inclusion in a particular of the specified groups was controversial.
When considering evolution, any microorganisms are conditionally subject to their isolation in such a sequence as bacteria, then rickettsia, and after — chlamydia. In today’s time, chlamydia are perceived as the smallest bacteria, so they are classified as a modern classification in the rickettsia group, which is due to not only the common size but also the inherent cellular parasitism. Isolation of chlamydia into a separate independent group was performed on the basis of a unique and different from the other bacteria of the cycle of intracellular development.
As for the route of transmission of chlamydia, here, as we have already identified, infection occurs during sexual contact. Meanwhile, extra-sex transmission of the infection is possible, which occurs, for example, through underwear, hands and other ways, and although there is no significant epidemiological significance, it can not be ruled out. In addition, there is also a fairly high degree of infection with chlamydia among newborns, which in particular occurs when they pass the genital tract infected with chlamydia or in the intrauterine scheme of transmission of this infection.
Chlamydia, being in favorable conditions for them, provoke the development of many different diseases, directly affecting the appendages and genital organs. Let’s highlight these diseases below:
- Cystitis (disease with concomitant inflammation of the bladder)
- urethritis (a disease with concomitant inflammation of the urethra)
- orchitis (a disease in which the testicle is exposed to the testicle);
- funiculitis (inflammatory lesion of the spermatic cord)
- vulvitis (lesion of female external genital organs)
- chronic prostatitis (a disease with concomitant inflammation of the prostate gland)
- vesiculitis (disease with concomitant lesion of seminal vesicles)
- orhoepididymitis (a disease in which both the testicle and its appendages are inflamed;
- cervicitis and endocervicitis
- salpingitis (disease with concomitant inflammation of the fallopian tubes)
- Adhesive processes
- endometritis and many others.
Symptoms of chlamydia, as well as signs indicating chlamydial intrusion, are determined from the specific organ they have settled in. One strain can provoke the development of diseases of the genital organs, and the development of eye diseases, for example. Given this, the symptoms will naturally differ. The main defining symptoms of chlamydia factors, respectively, can determine the type of chlamydia that provoked the disease and the way of infection.
The first symptoms of chlamydia often go away after two weeks, after which the infected person is confident that he is in good health. Nevertheless, he becomes not only a carrier of infection, infecting his sexual partners, but also jeopardizing those people who live in close proximity (children, relatives).
Urogenital chlamydia: symptoms
As the main symptoms of chlamydia of the genitals (for both men and women), highlight the sensations, the so-called, subjective nature. A similar type of sensation is that patients feel that something has changed in the body (in the genital area in particular) and something «is not right». It is difficult to understand exactly what has been changed, as well as to describe. That, in fact, subjective sensations are the main signs of the disease in question, because it often does not «give anything away» by anything else.
Chlamydia, being on the epithelium, which is characterized by a pronounced sensitivity to them, lead to the development of the inflammatory process. Actually, the area that chlamydia falls into becomes the rectal mucosa and urethra (for men) and the mucous membrane of the rectum, the urethra and the cervix. The subsequent development of the inflammatory process leads to its transition to the surrounding organs.
As we noted initially, the course of chlamydia is characterized by either complete asymptomatic or minimal manifestations. Completely asymptomatic disease occurs for 68% of women and 47% of men. The peculiarity of the defeat of the genital and urinary organs of chlamydia is that the symptomatology is not too pronounced. It can manifest in the form of discomfort in the lower abdomen, as well as in disorders associated with urination, which, in turn, can be itching in the urethra, urination and pain when urinating, in addition, there may be vaginal discharge and Of the urethra.
Again, we repeat that the most unpleasant for this infection is the practical absence of symptoms. Moreover, the symptomatology of sexual infections is mostly similar in nature, and therefore for accurate diagnosis of a specific infection will have to undergo at least a dozen tests, through which it becomes possible to isolate chlamydia from other infections. Also important is the fact that often in chlamydia there are other satellites, on the basis of which the presence in the body can also be assumed to have them (gonococci, ureaplasma, and other variants previously identified). However, this association with other infections determines for chlamydia the possibility of the best adaptation in the body environment while simultaneously resisting the immune system.
Non-sex clamidiosis: symptoms
Chlamydia in men and women occur not only with the involvement of the genitals in the inflammatory process, but also often involving the joints, lungs, intestines, eyes, skin, throat, heart, nervous system. Chlamydia in newborns can be accompanied by the development of pneumonia, eye damage, bronchitis, eustachitis, otitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis, vulvovaginitis.
In addition, heterosexual women and homosexual men often encounter a chlamydial proctitis, in which the rectum is exposed to the rectum. This disease predominantly proceeds without any symptoms, if it manifests itself, in the form of secretions from the rectum, pain in it and itching.
When chlamydia gets into the eye, the symptomatology (actual for both men and women, and for children) corresponds to the manifestations that are relevant for chlamydial conjunctivitis. This includes in particular purulent or mucous discharge from the eyes, a certain degree of inflammation of the conjunctiva. After treatment, the possibility of recurrence of this form of conjunctivitis is not ruled out.
It should be noted that these diseases, chlamydial proctitis and chlamydiosis of the eye, the symptoms of which we have examined, are characterized by the complete disappearance of their inherent symptoms after a few weeks, even without treatment. Neither chlamydia nor chlamydia, unfortunately, do not disappear, and self-healing of this disease is in itself a rarity. Moreover, without treatment there is a transition of the disease into a chronic form, and, accordingly, this is a chronic Chlamydia, the symptoms of which are exacerbated periodically. In addition, chlamydia continue to spread throughout the body with a gradual defeat in the process of such spread of internal organs, here, as already noted, not only sex, but also many other organs, joints and lymphatic system are affected.
Reiter’s syndrome is one of the most serious complications developing against the background of chlamydia. The transition of chlamydia to this syndrome implies a simultaneous lesion of the prostate gland (in men, respectively), eyes and joints.
In addition, chlamydia can also provoke the development of pneumonia. The onset of such pneumonia is characterized by a gradual defeat of the airways (which distinguishes this form of pneumonia from bacterial pneumonia, that is, usual) with concomitant inflammation. The temperature corresponds to the low-grade indices (within no more than 38 degrees), in addition to this there is an exhausting patient cough, other types of manifestations associated with the functions of other organs (joints, skin, intestines, stomach, CNS) are attached. At delivery of analyzes the parameters are uncharacteristic, which is the absence of leukocytes in the blood, as well as in the neutrophil shift. The absence of leukocytes is evidence that there is an inflammatory process, and a neutrophil shift is an important enough indicator on the basis of which the severity of the actual infection and the corresponding disease prognosis are determined.
With the development of pneumonia, an increase in temperature can reach values within the range of 38-40 degrees, which is accompanied by weakness and headaches. As a distinctive symptom that allows to attach Chlamydia nature to the existing pneumonia, is an extremely painful cough. In this case, the defeat of the respiratory tract is almost non-essential. In addition, Chlamydia pneumonia is also characterized by the fact that its course is protracted and prolonged, with constant relapses of the disease in the future.
Chlamydia: symptoms in women
Before we go on to describe the symptoms in women in the treatment of chlamydia, we note that in 7 cases out of 10 it is completely absent. Chlamydia occurs in women, especially vaginal discharge, they, in turn, can be mucous or purulent. The difference from usual secretions is a concomitant unpleasant odor, perhaps also a difference in shade — it happens that such discharge is yellowish. In addition to secretions, pains can also appear, which are noted from the internal and external genitalia. Also there is burning and itching (these feelings also accompany and urination), there is an unbearable desire to scratch the skin, there is pain in the lower abdomen, concentrated in the pelvic region. In particular, pain intensification is observed on the eve of menstruation, bleeding is frequent, with no menses associated (intermenstrual bleeding).
As a concomitant symptomatology, there can also be a slight increase in temperature, weakness — that is, a characteristic symptomatology of intoxication. Meanwhile, there are no specific signs or symptoms that would indicate the actuality of chlamydia (both for herself and her attending physician).
Accordingly, as we were initially identified in the description of this disease, those inner sensations of a subjective nature that a woman feels about the genitals and the state of some of their disadvantages, along with the symptomatology that can also be present — all this is significant for the subsequent treatment To a specialist (gynecologist). At the reception, in parallel, inflammatory processes, for example, endocervicitis, cystitis, urethritis, etc., can be diagnosed. A diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis is also possible. As you might guess, all these diseases can manifest themselves, without «binding» to chlamydia, however it is possible to reliably determine the presence of a link only when analyzing.
Chlamydia in men: symptoms
Symptoms of chlamydia, as well as in women, in men are either slightly or completely absent. The manifestation of symptoms, if noted, then at the very beginning of the disease, and this occurs in most cases in the form of a certain inflammation of the urethra in the chronic form of its course, that is, in the form of a urethritis, the duration of which is about several months. Meanwhile, there are no special symptoms indicating that the cause of this or that kind of ailments lies in the effect on the body of chlamydia and chlamydia proper.
Among the symptoms that you should pay attention to, you can note the appearance of vitreous secretions, emerging from the urethra, defined otherwise as a «morning drop». The process of urination can be accompanied by burning and itching. Possible pain, not too pronounced in the manifestation and, as a rule, concentrated in the scrotum, urethra, in the testicles and in the lower back. There may be a slight increase in temperature (within 37 degrees), as well as weakness, which, like in the case of female symptomatology, indicates intoxication. It is not excluded also possible opacification of urine, appearance of purulent filaments in it. In some cases, patients notice the presence of bleeding at the end of urination or their appearance during ejaculation. Regardless of the nature of these manifestations and the degree of discomfort with which they are tested, it is urgent to see a doctor. Distribution of chlamydia in the body can lead to diseases, mostly irreversible, including impotence and infertility.
Chlamydia in pregnancy: symptoms and features
Chlamydia, as we have already seen in the previous parts of our article, is a very common disease. Therefore, interest in this disease of pregnant women, of course, is justified. So, what determines the detection of chlamydia in a pregnant woman?
It should be noted that, in accordance with the general prevalence and asymptomatic disease, this prevalence is only reinforcing, in pregnancy clamidiosis is also diagnosed quite often. As a rule, urogenital chlamydia is characterized by traditional, it is possible to say, absence of symptoms, as almost the only manifestation of it can be a disease such as pseudo-erosion of the cervix or cervicitis (in which the cervix is exposed to inflammation).
When chlamydia is infected already during pregnancy and with the subsequent exacerbation of the infectious process already against the background of weakening of immunity, the symptomatology can be manifested similarly to that with which women are not pregnant. Mostly it is a mucopurulent form of cervicitis, when it comes to ascending infection, it is chorio-nomionitis (a disease in which the placenta undergoes inflammation) or endometritis with a characteristic inflammation of the uterine mucosa.
The actual process of pregnancy with accompanying chlamydia is always caused by a number of complications of obstetrical scale, for example, it may be a threat of ectopic pregnancy, abortion or spontaneous abortion (which is important for the initial period), as well as polyhydramnios and late toxicosis (gestosis) .
Accompanying the infection can also complications of this type, such as untimely rupture of membranes, an abnormality of the placentation process or premature detachment of the placenta. In addition, intrauterine hypoxia, weakness and fever during labor are not excluded.
What is noteworthy, up to 60% of cases indicate the mother’s transmission of infection to a child with the subsequent development of chlamydia.
Most often, clamidiosis is manifested in the form of conjunctivitis (ophthalmic chlamydiosis). It is diagnosed of the order in 30-50% of cases at a birth from mothers with a considered infection, to a term of 3-15 days of a life.
Chlamydia: symptoms in children
Chlamydial infection can occur in newborns in the form of diseases such as conjunctivitis, tubo-otitis, bronchitis, proctitis, vulvovaginitis, pneumonia. About 70% of cases the infection becomes generalized, which is accompanied by the defeat of various organs. Most often, as has already been highlighted earlier, conjunctivitis develops. As its typical features can be identified gluing after a dream of the eyelids, the emergence of the detachable. The duration of the course of chlamydial conjunctivitis is about 4 weeks, there is no deterioration of vision after it. Some children face a respiratory tract infection (respiratory chlamydiosis), the symptoms of which are the result of infection directly on the lung tissue, which is explained by the aspiration of amniotic fluid with infection during childbirth.
In children with chlamydial pneumonia, often an Apgar score corresponds to less than 6 points. The early neonatal period in almost every infected person is accompanied by the emergence of a syndrome of respiratory disorders of one or another degree of severity of manifestation, and about 30% of cases require artificial ventilation of the lungs.
In many newborns, either from birth or within the first 24 hours after birth, hepatosplenomegaly is diagnosed, about 50% is diagnosed with edematous syndrome. The difference in the flow of chlamydia in this period from its course in children at an older age is that the course of Chlamydia infection is accompanied by severe toxicosis. The maximum manifestations of this type of toxicosis are diagnosed on the fifth or seventh day of life, which is accompanied by pale skin and the appearance of a kind of marble pattern on it, as well as bloating and regurgitation, nervous system disorders. In 50% of cases, the early form of lymphadenopathy is diagnosed, and rash (small-to-small and short-term) is less common. By the second and third week of the disease, accompanied by a spasm of coughing, a seizure cough is attached.
Treatment of chlamydia
In the traditional form of drug therapy, or more precisely in its application to chlamydia, there are many difficulties, which are primarily dictated by the peculiarities of chlamydia (specific intracellular reproduction, to be more precise), as well as the concomitant immunodeficiency in most cases. Because of the intracellular multiplication of microorganisms, antibacterial therapy is significantly limited by the inability of such drugs to enter the cell. Moreover, the inflammation formed around the foci of infection acts as a barrier, which also hinders the effect of antibiotics. Because of the inadequate state of immunological defense of the body, he simply can not adequately respond to such an infectious introduction.
Given such features, the effectiveness of treatment for chlamydiosis today is achieved through the use of a special comprehensive program, focused on the treatment of chronic viral and bacterial forms of infections with concomitant immunity disorders. This program is based on extracorporeal hemocorrection techniques.
For the sanation of foci with infection, technologies are used that ensure the incubation of the cell mass, for which antibiotics are used — with the help of them antibiotic concentrations are formed in the foci of infection, which determine the effectiveness of their use in an appropriate volume.
Also, the treatment of chlamydia requires the use of immunomodulators, which is necessary because of the effects of chlamydia on the immune system, followed by its inhibition. In general, it can be noted that each specific variant of the course of chlamydia requires the development of an individual scheme for its treatment, taking into account the nature of the infection, its sensitivity to antibiotics, the presence of concomitant types of infections, the duration of the disease and its general severity, localization and the specific area of infection.
Treatment of chlamydia also requires the use of enzyme preparations, adaptogens, proteolytic agents, probiotics, vitamins. An important role is given to local preparations in the form of installation in the urethra of the appropriate type of preparations, the use of enemas, baths, suppositories, vaginal tampons, etc. The necessity of using enzyme preparations is first of all dictated by the need to restore diseased cells and in particular the permeability of their membranes.
Also, in recent times, treatment is in most cases based on the use of physiotherapeutic procedures (ultrasound, electrophoresis, infrared radiation, quantum therapy, etc.).
The greatest effectiveness of treatment is achieved based on the application of a specific method of drug administration. So, the priority directions of treatment are intramuscular and intravenous administration of drugs — this determines the increase in their bioavailability with the maximum distribution in the cells.
In the case of a combination of chlamydia with such diseases as gardnellosis and trichomoniasis, it is necessary first to get rid of them, and afterwards to proceed to the treatment of chlamydia. The end of the course of treatment in this version requires the passage of control tests (after about 20-25 days). Re-detection of chlamydia requires additional treatment. Negative tests for this disease require a subsequent two-month monitoring (once a month), for women — within the same period before menstruation or during its occurrence.
To prevent the spread of infection, all women before the abortion and before childbirth are examined for chlamydia. When planning a family, couples should definitely undergo a screening for the presence of a latent type of infection (for chlamydia, among others). In case of detection of chlamydia in one of the partners, treatment is necessary for both.
In case of symptomology that may indicate chlamydia, it is necessary to contact the treating gynecologist or the venereologist.