Chlamydia and Its Role in Female Infertility

Chlamydia and Its Role in Female Infertility Image

It’s estimated that 10 million chlamydia infections occur every year, only in the sub-Saharan African region. In 2018, the CDC (Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention) recorded more than 1,700,000 cases all across Columbia, and some of the most infected were the younger population. While, around 2/3 of the new infections appear in people between the ages of 15 to 24.

This STD is well-known for resulting in significant health complications in infected individuals. But, the question is what’s its role in infertile women? Let’s take a closer look at chlamydia and its impact on infertility in the female population.

Can Chlamydia Cause Infertility?

According to statistics, 10% to up to 40% of females infected with Chlamydia trachomatis develop PID (pelvic inflammatory disease). This disease can have a drastic impact on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and womb. Even though it can be treated with adequate antibiotics, it often goes unnoticed. 

The longer the disease remains untreated, the higher the chance of scarring and blockage of the fallopian tubes. The moment this blockage develops, the eggs may no longer be fertilized, since the seminal fluid (sperm cells) won’t be able to get to the egg, resulting in infertility. 

In other words, this STD can cause infertility. In fact, this bacterial infection is responsible for 1 in 5 cases of infertility in females.  

How Long Does It Take Before the Infection Causes Infertility?

There is no information on how long it will take for the bacterial infection to result in permanent damage. It often depends on the individual and the state of their current reproductive health. 

But, there is one rule: “the faster you get treatment, the better”. 

Preventing the bacteria to spread is the primary way of avoiding any damage to the reproductive organs. But, that doesn’t mean that if you’ve lived with the bacteria for a few years you are permanently infertile. 

On the contrary, some individuals can carry the infection for much longer than others without developing any serious health complications. Others, on the other hand, will quickly start to notice the impact of the STD. 

Fertility Treatments After Contracting Chlamydia

Leaving the STD untreated for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean it will be impossible to conceive. With adequate treatment, the blockage in the fallopian tubes can be removed and allow for an easier conception. While the conception rates may not be as high as in a healthy individual, it’s still possible to avoid an ectopic pregnancy and other health complications.

Is Chlamydia Life Threatening?

This infection doesn’t pose a threat to your life. But, it can have some major health consequences if left untreated. The sooner you get treatment, the higher the chance of preventing infertility. 

To avoid this bacterial infection altogether, make sure to take the right precautions like using condoms and getting tested regularly. This is the first step to avoiding infertility.

References

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-018-3477-y

https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm

https://onlinedoctor.superdrug.com/chlamydia-infertility.html

https://www.cdc.gov/std/infertility/default.htm

Africa and the Middle East Chlamydia Rates Based on Current Epidemiological Data

Chlamydia Information

Chlamydia rates continue to rise. It seems the Middle East is slightly catching up to the sub-Saharan African region. 

Based on reports from Nature Middle East, 3% of the Middle East population is infected with chlamydia, one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted bacterial infections. Compared to the 3.15% infected female population in sub-Saharan Africa, the rates are getting close.  

This STI is widely known for causing major complications in infected individuals, particularly problems during pregnancy and, in severe cases, infertility. This is a widely underestimated infection that continues to spread. 

Chlamydia Cases in Africa and the Middle East

According to the WHO, 50 million women get infected with chlamydia on a global scale, 34 million of them live in Southeast Asia and the sub-Saharan African region. That’s almost 3.15% of the entire female population in the area.

In an effort to compare the chlamydia rates with other countries, scientists have analyzed data from 250,000 people that live in 20 different countries all across the Middle East and the northern part of Africa. 

According to Alex Smolak, an expert epidemiologist, the rates for type 2 herpes and HIV were found to be much lower than in other regions. So, they assumed the same thing would apply to Chlamydia trachomatis. 

However, the research proved otherwise. The scientists found that chlamydia rates in the Middle East are just as high as other regions all around the world. While they may not be as high as Southeast and south Asia with 43 million registered cases, it’s not something to be taken lightly. 

Current Epidemiological Data

There have been very few studies that analyzed the epidemiological data for chlamydia and STDs in North Africa and the Middle East. The main reason being socio-cultural limitations and political issues published the Lancet Global Health.

But, if these regions were to ignore the condition and people don’t receive adequate treatment, it can compromise their reproductive health on a much larger scale. The most vulnerable groups at risk of contracting the infection are sex workers, women who’ve had a miscarriage, and attendees at an infertility clinic.

From the records we do have, statistics show a high chlamydia prevalence rate in Africa and the Middle East, but they are not the only areas where chlamydia is known to spread. 

Based on statistics from 2016, the global prevalence rate of this STI is at 3.8%, and it’s mostly found in women between the ages of 15 to 49 and older. In 2011, the recorded cases in the UK peaked at 236,595 and were found to be mostly present in the younger population between 20 to 24 years of age. 

The goal of this research is to raise awareness in Africa and the Middle East, particularly for the most vulnerable groups. Addressing the problem is the primary step to solving it.

References

https://www.natureasia.com/en/nmiddleeast/article/10.1038/nmiddleeast.2019.117

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-018-3477-y

https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/97/8/18-228486/en/

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Estimated-number-of-new-cases-of-Chlamydia-trachomatis-infections-among-adults-in_fig2_5543751

https://www.treated.com/sti/chlamydia/chlamydia-trends-and-statistics

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(19)30322-5/fulltext

Oral STDs: All That You Need To Know

Oral STDs: All That You Need To Know Image

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common across the globe, but we usually associate them with uncomfortable signs and symptoms in the genital area. However, oral STDs are also common and it’s important to learn about them. So, scroll down to get informed about oral STDs and how to recognize them.

Who can get oral STD?

Generally speaking, every man or woman who engages in oral sex is at risk of developing oral STD. The reason is simple, most sexually transmitted diseases can be passed on to partner through oral sex. That being said, some factors contribute to a higher risk of developing oral STD and they include the number of sexual partners, the particular oral acts in which people engage, among others. The likelihood also increases with the lack of awareness of oral STD. The more people know about oral STDs the more likely they are to adopt safe practices and avoid them.

STDs passed on through oral sex

Various STDs can also pass on to a partner through oral sex and below we’re going to discuss them. 

Chlamydia 

The risk of developing this oral STD comes after giving oral sex to a partner with an infected penis or vagina and rectum. People who get oral sex on the penis from a partner with chlamydia in the throat can also develop this STD (but on their penis, not oral of course). Oral Chlamydia can be asymptomatic, but affected people may also experience a sore throat. The good thing is that it’s possible to treat Chlamydia with the right medicine.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea, like other STDs, is spread after giving oral sex to a partner with infected vagina, penis, or rectum. Although the STD doesn’t usually cause symptoms, it can induce a sore throat. That being said, oral gonorrhea can be more difficult to cure than genital or rectal infections, but treatment is still possible with antibiotics.

Syphilis

A person can get oral syphilis when giving oral sex to someone with syphilis sore or rash on their genitals or anus. Areas of initial infection may include lips, mouth, and throat. Even though oral syphilis doesn’t always have symptoms, they may include one or more painless ulcers or sores on the lips, mouth, and throat. The treatment is possible with the right medicine.

Herpes

You may develop oral herpes if you give oral sex to a partner with herpes on the genital area, anus, buttocks, or in the rectum. The STD may then develop on lips, mouth, or throat. The STD may manifest itself through headache or fever and painful or itching sores at the site of infection. No cure for herpes exists, but antiviral medications decrease symptoms of outbreaks.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Giving oral sex to a partner with an HPV-infected penis, vagina, or anus can cause oral HPV in the mouth or throat. This oral STD may lead to the formation of warts in the throat that cause changes in voice, shortness of breath, and difficulty speaking. Treatment may reduce warts, but won’t eliminate the infection. Warts may also disappear on their own.

Conclusion

Sexually active men and women need to bear in mind it’s possible to develop oral STDs as well. Practice safe sex and get tested regularly. With home testing kits it has never been easier to determine whether you have an STD or not.

References 

https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/4-things-you-didnt-know-about-oral-sex#3

https://www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/stdfact-stdriskandoralsex.htm

All What You Need To Know About Chlamydia

All What You Need To Know About Chlamydia Image

Chlamydia is defined as a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that affects both men and women. The condition is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. Men can get this STI in their urethra (inside of the penis), throat, and rectum while women can develop it in the cervix, rectum, and throat. 

Both men and women get infected by the bacteria and develop this STI through sexual contact only i.e. during oral, anal, or vaginal sexual intercourse with a person who is infected too. People who have already had chlamydia in the past can get re-infected if they have unprotected sex. 

Signs and Symptoms to watch out for

As mentioned above, Chlamydia can be asymptomatic, but in some cases, patients do experience different symptoms. Signs and symptoms of chlamydia appear within five to ten days after contracting the infection. 

Symptoms of Chlamydia in women are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding during sex
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Frequent need to urinate and discomfort while urinating 
  • Low-grade fever
  • Painful sexual intercourse 
  • Swelling in the vagina or around the anus 
  • Vaginal discharge in large quantities appears yellow with bad odor

Signs and symptoms of Chlamydia in men are:

  • Tender and swollen testicles 
  • Penile discharge (milky, watery, or pus)
  • Burning sensation and pain while urinating 
  • Itching and burning around the opening of the penis

Consequences of having Chlamydia 

Chlamydia is associated with a number of complications including a higher risk of getting other STDs. In addition, Chlamydia can cause obstruction and scarring in the fallopian tubes, which could make female patients infertile. 

Chlamydia is also associated with: 

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes that cause fever and pelvic pain. Severe PIDs may require hospitalization. 
  • Prostatitis – men can deal with complications of Chlamydia too. For example, the infection can spread to the prostate gland and cause prostatitis which is indicated by symptoms such as lower back pain, fever and chills, painful urination, pain during sexual intercourse, and others.
  • Epididymitis – Chlamydia can affect epididymis (coiled tube beside each testicle) and cause infection.
  • Reactive arthritis – It’s also important to mention that people who have Chlamydia are at a higher risk of developing reactive arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome. Reactive arthritis usually affects joints, urethra, and eyes
  • Infections in newborns – pregnant women with Chlamydia may spread the infection to their baby too which can lead to eye infection and pneumonia 

When to see the doctor

If you’re a sexually active man or woman, it’s strongly recommended to see your doctor and get tested once a year. This is particularly important for women who are younger than 25 and people with multiple sex partners and who tend to engage in unprotected intercourse. Of course, it’s useful to consult the doctor if you suspect that you have Chlamydia and in case you experience the above-mentioned symptoms.

What further testing to do to check for ailments related to Chlamydia 

Due to a number of complications associated with Chlamydia, further tests may be useful. For example:

  • Ultrasound for diagnosis of PID
  • A laparoscopy that allows the doctor to view your pelvic organs
  • Blood tests for PID, prostatitis 
  • Imaging tests (CT scan, x-ray)

Everything You Need to Know About Chlamydia PCR

Everything You Need to Know About Chlamydia PCR Image

Did you know that more than one million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired each day across the world? According to the World Health Organization (WHO) each year there are about 357 million new infections with one of the four most prevalent STIs: gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia. When left untreated, STIs can cause many complications but testing and timely diagnosis can help prevent unwanted scenarios. This post focuses on chlamydia and test that can help protect your health.

Importance of testing for Chlamydia 

Bearing in mind Chlamydia is the most common STI in the US, it is important to get tested in order to prevent complications that could arise due to lack of management. The biggest mistake that many sexually active men and women make is avoiding getting tested because they experience no symptoms. In some cases, and especially at the very beginning, Chlamydia can be asymptomatic. That means just because you don’t experience any signs and symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re safe. The infection can also spread to other parts of the body and cause skin irritation, swollen joints, inflammation of the heart, spinal cord, and brain. 

Yearly screening is strongly recommended for sexually active women and homosexual/bisexual men who have unprotected sex. Pregnant women should also get screening for Chlamydia in order to minimize the risk of affecting your child. It is important to inform the doctor if you’re using vaginal douches and creams or if you’re taking antibiotics. Your doctor will probably ask you not to use any of that 24 hours prior to your test.

The most common tests used for the detection of Chlamydia are nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) which include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The PCR test is a cutting-edge technology with significantly higher sensitivity and specificity than other tests for Chlamydia. Due to the enhanced sensitivity of the PCR test, it can detect the presence of 20-50 bacteria per reaction and it is ideal for those cases when patients experience no symptoms. 

Since the test search for the bacteria’s genetic material i.e. DNA, it is highly unlikely the result will be false-position. This is yet another reason behind the importance of the PCR test. The test can involve a swab, direct fluorescent antibody (DFA), and urine. The latter is most frequently performed. PCR urine test involves the first-catch urine (20-30ml). It’s crucial not to include more than first catch urine because it would dilute the sample. Ideally, you shouldn’t urinate for at least an hour prior to the PCR urine test. Results are either the positive indicating existence of bacteria or negative meaning there is no sign of bacteria.

Ways to manage Chlamydia 

Unlike some other infections, there aren’t many at-home treatments for Chlamydia. Also, the efficacy of common home remedies is not proven just yet. That said, some patients consume garlic during the meal, drink sage tea, enrich the diet with anti-inflammatory foods. The best thing you can do is to avoid having sex, even if you’re in a relationship or married until your infection goes away. Standard treatment for Chlamydia is the use of antibiotics. Depending on the severity of infection, the doctor may prescribe a one-time dose or you may need to take the medication about five to ten times a day. In order to prevent Chlamydia, avoid having sex with multiple partners and use protection. 

Conclusion

Chlamydia is the most prevalent STD in the United States and one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the world. Treatment of Chlamydia revolves around the use of antibiotics, but the timely diagnosis is necessary. PCR urine test is the most reliable detection method and it is highly unlikely to show false positive results, unlike other methods. Get screened once a year to catch an infection and prevent its complications. 

References 

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs110/en/

https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/chlamydia.htm

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/why-its-important-to-get-screened-for-stis-even-if-you-have-no-symptoms-10402313.html

https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/everything-about-chlamydia-and-chlamydia-testing/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8181.php

https://medlineplus.gov/chlamydiainfections.html

Common STDs and How to Recognize Them

Online STI Test Kits For Home Use

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are conditions passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Millions of people around the globe have STDs, especially in developing countries, including Ghana and other African nations. Prevention of STDs is entirely possible, but to make it happen, we need to get informed and learn as much as we can about them. The main purpose of this post is to highlight common STDs and show you how to recognize their symptoms.

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is a common STD caused by the herpes simplex virus. The virus is categorized into two types: HSV-1, which is mainly transmitted through oral-to-oral contact, usually causing cold sores, but can also induce genital herpes and HSV-2, which is an STD.

How common is genital herpes?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 3.7 billion people under the age of 50, or 67% of the world population, have HSV-1 infection. About 417 million people aged 15-49, or 11% of the world population, have HSV-2 infection. Estimates show that 350 million women (87%) and 355 million men (87%) in Africa have HSV-1 virus. On the other hand, the HSV-2 virus affects 17 million women in 18 million men in Africa.

Evidence confirms that the prevalence of genital herpes in Ghana is high, and it could be attributed to high endemicity and inadequate intervention, especially in women.

Read More: Genital Herpes in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing genital herpes?

Generally speaking, every sexually active man or woman can develop genital herpes. That being said, some people are at a higher risk than others. Common risk factors associated with genital herpes include:

  • Having unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Having a sexual partner who tested positive for genital herpes
  • Being a woman

Symptoms of genital herpes

The ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of some STD helps an affected man or woman to get much-needed treatment. That’s why it’s important to learn how to recognize symptoms of genital herpes, particularly because most people are not even aware they have it. In most cases, symptoms are mild, and patients think they will go away on their own without realizing they have an STD, which they can transmit to other people.

Symptoms tend to develop two to 12 days after exposure to HSV. People usually experience:

  • Pain and tenderness in the genital area
  • Itching in the genital area
  • Small red bumps or tiny white blisters
  • Ulcers which can rapture, bleed, ooze, and make it difficult to urinate
  • Scabs on the sites where ulcers rapture

An affected person experiences flu-like symptoms during the initial outbreak. They may also experience headache, muscle ache, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in the groin. Sores associated with genital herpes develop on buttocks, thighs, anus, mouth, and even urethra. Women can also develop sores on the cervix and external genitals while men can notice them on scrotum and penis.

Men and women with recurrent herpes develop symptoms about 48 hours before the outbreak. They may notice tingling, pain, and itching at the site of infection. The pain may, in some cases, extend down to buttocks and knees.

Read More: Genital Herpes Symptoms

Why get treated?

Unfortunately, many men and women don’t go to see their doctor get this STD treated. When left unmanaged, genital herpes can lead to many complications such as increased risk to other STDs, meningitis, proctitis (rectal inflammation), bladder problems, and infection of the newborn.

How is genital herpes treated?

The cure which could eliminate genital herpes entirely doesn’t exist, but it is still possible to get the necessary treatment. The main objective of the treatment is to lower the chances of transmitting genital herpes to other people, reduce the frequency of occurrence, lower severity of symptoms, and help sores heal. For this purpose, doctors prescribe antiviral medications such as Acyclovir (Zovirax) and Valacyclovir (Valtrex).

Getting tested regularly is important, and luckily, today, you can order a test online and do it in the comfort of your home rather than scheduling an appointment at the doctor’s office.

Read More: Genital Herpes Treatment

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is an STD caused by infection with the bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which tends to infect moist and warm areas of the body such as urethra, eyes, throat, vagina, anus, and female reproductive tract.

How common is gonorrhea?

Sometimes referred to as “the clap,” gonorrhea is one of the most prevalent STDs. On a global level, 87 million new cases of gonorrhea are diagnosed each year. Like many other STDs, gonorrhea is also more prevalent in developing countries. For example, one study showed that out of 950 subjects from Ghana, 28% of them had gonorrhea, and men were more likely to develop it than women.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing gonorrhea?

Just like with other sexually transmitted diseases, every man or woman who engages in sexual intercourse can develop gonorrhea. But, the risk is higher in some groups. Factors that increase your odds of developing gonorrhea include:

  • Younger age
  • Having a new sex partner
  • History of other sexually transmitted diseases
  • History of gonorrhea
  • Having a sex partner who also has concurrent partners

Symptoms of gonorrhea

Some people have no symptoms at all, but it doesn’t mean there is no infection. The absence of symptoms can still mean you are infected and also able to transmit this STD to other people. Generally speaking, signs and symptoms of gonorrhea develop one to 14 days after the infection. Men and women experience gonorrhea differently, and below you can see how they feel when they develop this STD.

Men tend to experience:

  • Painful, red, warm and swollen joints
  • White, yellow, or green urethral discharge that looks like pus
  • Pain in the eyes, sensitivity to the light, pus-like discharge from the eyes
  • Pain in scrotum or testicles
  • Itching
  • Difficulty swallowing or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Anal discharge, itching, and pain in the anal area bleeding when passing stool

On the flip side, women with gonorrhea may notice:

  • Fever
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Swollen, red, warm, and painful joints
  • Vaginal discharge yellow or green in color
  • Swelling of the vulva
  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Sore throat, itching, difficulty swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Heavier periods
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain and vomiting
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Itching and pain in the anal area

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

Why get treated?

As seen above, some men and women may not notice any symptoms at all, but they are still infected. That is why it is crucial to get tested regularly, and home tests could be incredibly practical in this case. Being proactive about sexual health and symptoms of gonorrhea allows you to get the necessary treatment in a timely manner. When left ignored, gonorrhea can cause multiple complications such as infertility, an infection that spreads to other areas and joints in the body, a higher risk of HIV/AIDS, and complications in babies born to infected mothers.

How is gonorrhea treated

The primary route of treatment of gonorrhea is through antibiotics. Partners of infected men and women are also encouraged to get tested in order to prevent transmitting the STD back and forth or to other people.

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common, sexually transmitted disease that affects men and women alike. Just like other STDs, Chlamydia is caused by bacteria, and in this case, that is Chlamydia trachomatis. The STD can be spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, but it is also possible for pregnant women to spread Chlamydia to their babies during delivery.

How common is Chlamydia?

According to the WHO, about 127 million cases of Chlamydia are diagnosed each year. That is a staggering number. One of the most common reasons behind the ever-growing incidence of Chlamydia, especially in developing nations such as Ghana, is the lack of public awareness. In fact, the prevalence of STDs in Ghana is expected to grow as stigmatization continues. And, as you are already aware, stigmatization occurs due to the absence of the above-mentioned public awareness.

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing Chlamydia?

Factors that increase a person’s risk of developing this sexually transmitted disease include:

  • History of some STD
  • Having sex without a condom
  • Changing multiple sex partners in a year
  • Being sexually active before the age of 25

Getting tested regularly can help decrease your risk of developing Chlamydia. Regular tests also raise awareness of this STD, fight stigmatization, and prevent spreading Chlamydia to other people. Besides “traditional” testing at clinics or hospitals, people can also get at-home tests for Chlamydia, which may be practical for those who want more privacy throughout the whole process.

Symptoms of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is often considered as “silent” infection because many people have it although they don’t experience any symptoms. But, just like with other STDs, the absence of symptoms can still mean you are infected, and you can transmit it to someone else. Bear in mind that even if Chlamydia doesn’t cause any symptoms, it can still damage the reproductive system. First signs and symptoms tend to occur one to two weeks after the exposure to the bacterium. Men and women tend to experience this STD differently. Below, you can see the signs and symptoms of Chlamydia in men and women.

Men may notice the following:

  • Pain in the testicles
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Green or yellow discharge from the penis

It’s also possible to get the infection in anus. In this case, a man may notice pain, bleeding, and discharge from this area.

On the other hand, women may experience these symptoms:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix)
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning sensation while urinating

In some cases, the STD can spread to the fallopian tubes.

Read More: Chlamydia Symptoms

Why get treated?

Reasons to be proactive about the prevention and treatment of Chlamydia (as well as other STDs) are numerous. Besides lowering the risk of transmitting Chlamydia to someone else, you can also decrease the likelihood of experiencing various complications. When left ignored or unmanaged, Chlamydia can harm your health in more ways than one. Some of the most common complications include increased risk of other STDs, pelvic inflammatory disease, infection near the testicles, infections in newborns, infection of prostate, reactive arthritis, and infertility.

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment

How is Chlamydia treated?

Just like other STDs, Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. A patient may receive a one-time dose, or he or she may need to take the drugs a few times a day for five to 10 days, depending on the severity of symptoms. Generally speaking, the infection goes away in one to two weeks. It goes without saying you need to abstain from sex during this time.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacterium Treponema pallidum, and it develops in four stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. The bacteria can spread from one person to another through direct contact with a syphilitic sore. Just like other STDs, this one also spreads through sexual contact i.e., vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

How common is syphilis?

The World Health Organization reports that 6.3 million cases of syphilis are recorded each year around the globe. In 2016, the last year for which data is available on a global level, 1 million pregnant women had active syphilis, which led to 350,000 adverse birth outcomes. Of these, 200,000 accounted for stillbirths and neonatal death. In Africa, the prevalence of syphilis is high, especially in males in rural areas. One study of pregnant women showed that the cumulative prevalence of syphilis among 4181 blood donors over a five-year period was 2.58% in Ghana.

Population-based studies show greater prevalence, and scientists point out that the lack of precise information can be correct with further research on this topic. More precise information allows scientists and healthcare professionals to create programs to raise awareness and prevent this STD from spreading.

Read More: Syphilis in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing syphilis?

You may have a higher risk of developing syphilis if these factors apply to you:

  • HIV infection
  • Regularly engaging in unprotected and risky sex
  • Man who has sexual intercourse with other men
  • Changing multiple sexual partners

Symptoms of syphilis

Symptoms of syphilis vary from stage to stage.

The primary syphilis is usually indicated by chancre (small sore), which appears on the site where bacteria entered the body. The chancre develops about three weeks after exposure to bacteria. It may be hidden in rectum or vagina, so many people don’t notice it. Chancre tends to go away on its own in one to three weeks. Some people can have one chancre only, but others may have several, and it tends to be painless.

Secondary syphilis occurs within a few weeks after the chancre has healed. A person may notice:

  • Rash starting on the trunk and spreading across the body
  • Sores in mouth or genitals
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes

The above-mentioned symptoms may go away in a few weeks, but in some cases, they come and go throughout the year.

Latent syphilis occurs when a person isn’t treated in the first two stages. This phase has no noticeable symptoms, but it may last for years before it progresses to the tertiary stage. The last stage of syphilis involves the spreading of the STD to other organs such as the brain, blood vessels, heart, bones, liver, and joints.

Read More: Syphilis Symptoms

Why get treated?

Without proper treatment, syphilis can progress from one stage to another and cause a number of complications such as the formation of small bumps or tumors on the skin, bones, and other organs, cardiovascular problems, neurological problems, higher risk of HIV, and complications in pregnancy and with childbirth.

How is syphilis treated?

Syphilis is easy to treat when diagnosed in early stages when doctors usually prescribe penicillin. In most cases, one injection is necessary. In later stages, syphilis can be difficult to treat, which is why it’s crucial to see the doctor as soon as you notice sore on your genital area.

Read More: Syphilis Treatment

Conclusion

Sexually transmitted diseases are common but are preventable. Practice safe sex, get tested regularly, and learn how to recognize signs and symptoms. The more you know, the safer you are.

Read More: STD’s in Ghana

References

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/28-10-2015-globally-an-estimated-two-thirds-of-the-population-under-50-are-infected-with-herpes-simplex-virus-type-1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6081947/

https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-4035-y#Sec5

https://www.ghanahealthservice.org/ghs-item-details.php?scid=22&iid=78

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-3967-6#Sec11

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5998162/

Information about home test for chlamydia

Chlamydia Information

Chlamydia is a venereal disease that comes from the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. This bacterium attacks and embeds on the lining of the genital cells in the body. Unlike most bacteria, trachomatis needs a host to reproduce. Though it is defective on the human cells, the embedding makes it easy for detection in a test.

Read More: The Chlamydia Bacterium

Thus, a simple self-test at home can precisely give correct exposures. The advantage of having a home test is it takes a few minutes to relay the results. Early detection of the disease helps you in dealing with any rapid development of the pelvic inflammation damages.

Product: Right Sign Chlamydia Test

Product: One Step Chlamydia Test

Sampling of tissues

Men and women have different anatomies in their bodies. This means the procedures for collecting samples vary. The testing procedure may take about fifteen minutes to relay back the results. It is smooth and precise if you do it under safe and sterile conditions. Besides the sampling methods, the other testing procedure is the same.

Women Chlamydia home Test Sampling

The self-test home kit comes with a test tube, a swab, and two solutions, A and B. the commonplace of infection is usually the vagina. Then, take a swab and rub it in the vagina to collect tissue cells. If you can, using your urine can also produce the same results. In the test tube, pour in the solution A to sterilize it before putting in the sample. Put in the sample after the first procedure with solution A.

Men Chlamydia Home Test Sampling

For the men, the procedure is almost the same, but slightly different. Gently take the swab and insert it slightly into your urethra opening. Rub vigorously in round rotations inside the urine opening. Though it may hurt slightly, it is the only way to produce results. After the unpleasant procedure, you can put the swab with the tissues in the test tube with the solution A. you may also use your urine, but the swab tissue is more precise.

Read More: Chlamydia Symptoms

Results Analysis

This is the last stage before finding out the status of your condition. You have to put in some drops of solution B into the test tube. Close the test tube and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. After the solution mixes with the sample, you can now introduce it in the testing cartridge. This is the most anxious of all the stages. It takes about 20 minutes to wait. When it is ready, you will see one line for a negative result and two lines for a positive outcome.

The home test kit is a quick way of knowing your status if you do not feel like opening up to any clinic. It is faster than the clinical tests that may take about a day or two in most cases.

Read More: What is Chlamydia? and why get tested

Chlamydia Treatment with Antibiotics

Chlamydia Information

Chlamydia is one of the most frequent STIs in the world, affecting more than 1,700,000 people all across the U.S. Records show that many of these cases remain unreported because people don’t get tested or never experience any symptoms.

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Even though our human bodies are well-equipped to fight the infection alone, once it spreads to the reproductive system, the disease becomes too risky. This is a serious issue, and it can result in infertility and inflammation.

The only way to know for sure if an individual is infected is to get tested. As soon as you get diagnosed, you need to seek treatment, and this is the first and most important thing for managing the disease. Anyone who seeks treatment will receive proper antibiotics after thorough testing.

Product: Right Sign Chlamydia Test

Product: One Step Chlamydia Test

What Causes Chlamydia?

Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacteria responsible for the disease, and it infects the cells in the urinary tract. This type of bacteria can live in the cervix (the low end of the womb), vagina, urethra (a tube that connects the bladder), rectum, throat, and the eyes. Anyone can transmit it and get it. The only way to transmit it is via sexual contact as long as the individual comes in direct contact with infected semen or vaginal fluids.

Read More: Fact About the Chlamydia Bacteria

When to Get Treatment?

If you suspect you have any symptoms that may indicate a chlamydia infection, seek treatment immediately. Ask your doctor for evaluation and check your medical history for further information that may have anything to do with your sexual life.

Your doctor will determine if you need to receive proper treatment and when to start using adequate antibiotics.

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment

The Different Types of Antibiotics Used for Treating Chlamydia

Based on statistics, 95% of all the individuals infected can be treated with antibiotics. One of the most common antibiotics prescribed are:

  • Doxycycline
  • Azithromycin

Doxycycline antibiotics are taken two times a day for a week, while Azithromycin can only be taken at once as 2-4 tablets.

 If you are allergic to something you are breastfeeding or pregnant, you might receive different antibiotics based on your condition or potential complications. Side effects are possible, but mild. There is a chance of diarrhea, stomach pain, vaginal thrush, etc. 

Doxycycline

Doxycycline is designed to fight the bacteria inside the body. It can treat multiple different infections, from simple ones such as acne to something as serious as chlamydia. The purpose of this antibiotic is to boost the immune system. It affects the production of toxins and inhibits its growth. But, once a patient has started taking these antibiotics, that patient must avoid sexual intercourse while the treatment lasts. After a couple of weeks, if the symptoms still persist, or you believe the infection has reappeared, you can be tested.

Azithromycin

Azithromycin is an extremely powerful antibiotic that attacks the bacteria. It’s only main goal is to kill it. This type of antibiotic is only given to those who can’t be treated with Doxycycline. It’s a fast and potent treatment that can get rid of the bacteria left in the system.

Read More: What’s Chlamydia and Benefits of Testing at Home

References

https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm

https://www.fpa.org.uk/sites/default/files/chlamydia-information-and-advice.pdf

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/treatment/

Facts about Chlamydia Bacteria

Chlamydia Information

Chlamydia belongs to the venereal diseases close to gonorrhea. You may wonder that Chlamydia is most prevalent among adolescents and young adults.

This is because most people mistake this disease with gonorrhea. Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual encounters or exposure to genital fluids.

The Chlamydia causing bacteria chlamydia trachomatis is commonly known as trachomatis. As you have seen, it is the young and most knowledgeable that are at risk of the disease. Thus, it is prudent for them to have all they need to know about Chlamydia.

Risks of Chlamydia Trachomatis

The vulnerable groups from this disease are people within the age group 15 to 25. It is the group that is actively involved in childbearing. Some of the symptoms of the disease include

  • Inflammation of the genitals
  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Yellowish green discharge from the genital
  • Fever and sore throat
  • Premenstrual bleeding for women
  • In some cases, anal Chlamydia may occur

The longtime risks of chlamydia range from severe damage to the reproductive organs in both men and women. In pregnant women, there is a potential of infecting the child at birth. The outcome may be damage to the eyes, lungs, and skin. In the long run, the baby may suffer blindness and have a deficiency in immunity.

The most profound advantage of the chlamydia bacteria is the ability to stay in a host without detection. It can reproduce and continue infecting the person without showing any clinical signs.

This helps it to spread from one person to another with ease. Women tend to inhibit the bacteria for longer than men.

Read More: Chlamydia Symptoms

Diagnosis and Treatment

Apart from regular questions about your history and concerns, the doctor carries a physical observation. Samples from the genitals go for testing in the laboratory.

Sometimes, further tests may come from the throat, anus, and the sores. After the results, the doctor prescribes medication.

The treatment of the bacteria is through antibiotics. Usually, the dose goes for about a week. It is paramount to abstain from sex during and after the medication until the doctor certifies your recovery.

At no point should one skip or negate on taking the drug. Though it is easy to treat, the damage on the organs if untreated can be long term.

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment With Antibiotics

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment

Prevention

There is no possible way to prevent Chlamydia apart from abstinence from sex. In case you cannot manage that, practicing safe sex comes next. Make sure there is no genital to body contact unless there is protection. Regular screening for both partners will help protect each other and early detection.

Ultimately, one should weigh the options ahead. Is it the pleasure of having unsafe sex and contracting chlamydia bacteria, or being safe and reserving your reproductive organs for the future.

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

References

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-018-3477-y

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-4035-y

http://ir.knust.edu.gh/bitstream/123456789/8024/1/Chlamydia%20trachomatis%20prevalence%20in%20two%20Accra%20hospitals%20in%20%20%20%20%20%20the%20Greater%20Accra%20Region%20and%20thre.pdf

What Is Chlamydia, Why Get Tested at Home?

Chlamydia Information

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that affects women and men alike. When not treated properly, Chlamydia can cause serious complications. The problem becomes even more severe if we bear in mind that most people are not even aware they have this STD. The importance of getting tested for Chlamydia is undeniable, and now it has become easier than ever to do so.

Product: Chlamydia Private Test Kit

Product: One Step Chlamydia Test

How we get Chlamydia?

Like other STDs, Chlamydia is transmitted through direct contact by having unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected person. Chlamydia can also spread through genital contact alone. A vast majority of people experience no symptoms of Chlamydia, but they can still spread this STD to someone else. This could explain why the prevalence of this common problem keeps growing.

While every sexually active man and woman can develop Chlamydia, some are at a higher risk than others. Common risk factors for Chlamydia include:

  • History of STDs
  • Having sex without a condom
  • Being sexually active before the age of 25
  • Having multiple sex partners within a year

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Read More: STD Information Africa

What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?

As mentioned above, many people don’t experience symptoms at all, especially when this STD is in its early stages. Generally speaking, symptoms develop one to two weeks after exposure to the bacteria during sexual intercourse. Men and women experience Chlamydia differently. Also, the severity of the symptoms may vary from one person to another.

Symptoms of Chlamydia in women usually involve:

  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Discomfort when urinating
  • A large amount of vaginal discharge often yellow and foul-smelling
  • Low-grade fever
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Swelling in the vagina or around the anus

In most men, Chlamydia manifests itself through pain and burning sensation when urinating, swelling and tenderness of the testicles, and penile discharge.

Read More: Chlamydia Symptoms

How often to get tested?

Symptoms of Chlamydia are uncomfortable and have the ability to disrupt a person’s quality of life. The problem with Chlamydia in countries like Ghana is that the disease can spread due to a lack of public awareness. The healthcare system doesn’t do enough to raise the awareness of Chlamydia and other STDs. As a result, many men and women don’t understand the absence of symptoms doesn’t mean there is no Chlamydia and they may unknowingly spread it to someone else. When not treated in a timely manner, Chlamydia can lead to various complications, particularly in pregnant women.

You should get tested for Chlamydia once a year, especially if you are a female, under the age of 25, or you started having sex at a younger age, don’t use condoms, have a history of STDs. If you tend to switch sex partners, it is also recommended to get tested for Chlamydia more often.

It is also important to mention that if you already have Chlamydia, you should get retested after three months. The reason is simple; getting retested helps determine whether you have spread the infection to someone else or got infected again.

Read More: Why it’s important to get tested for STD’s

Why get tested at home?

Back in time, there were not many options to discover whether you have Chlamydia or not. You would need to book an appointment to see the doctor who ordered tests to be done. The whole process is time-consuming due to wait periods, inadequate healthcare system. When you add to the inefficacy of healthcare, the social stigma surrounding sexually transmitted diseases Chlamydia, it becomes evident why many people do not get tested. The consequences are felt on the national level as more people unknowingly spread Chlamydia to their sex partners who then go on and transmit it onto someone else, the circle keeps going. Most people across the world, including Ghana, do not understand all the aspects of Chlamydia, and they have false security that they’re safe or won’t get it. Everyone can raise public awareness by starting making changes in their lifestyle first. Home testing can help make it happen.

What is the purpose of a home test, you probably wonder? Can it really discover whether I have Chlamydia?

The home test for Chlamydia is, therefore, the ideal solution for men and women who want to learn whether they have this problem or not in the privacy of their home. All that’s necessary is to get the test; no need to schedule an appointment, travel to GP’s office, wait, do the test, come back for results, and feel uncomfortable the whole time. Home tests take away the discomfort from learning whether you have Chlamydia or not. This is a discrete way to be proactive about your sexual health and, in case you have Chlamydia, to avoid spreading it to someone else.

If the result shows you have Chlamydia, you can see your doctor and get the necessary treatment, and that’s it.

The best thing about the Chlamydia test is the fact it’s quick. Results are available fast and with the highest accuracy. Therefore, you can be confident that the results you see are true, reliable, and available to you only.

The chlamydia home test is also easy to use. A few simple steps are necessary to get the sample and get tested — no complicated and time-consuming maneuvers.

Getting tested for Chlamydia is a responsible thing to do, and now people can do it without leaving their homes. A few years back, this wasn’t possible, which possibly led to an increased incidence of Chlamydia. Now you have the opportunity to take control of your sexual and reproductive health. Don’t wait! Get Chlamydia test today and get rid of the stress, discomfort, and other negative emotions that would usually arise before going to the GP’s to get tested.

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8181.php#symptoms