DESCRIPTIONChlamydia are intracellular parasites that have many of the same physical characteristics of viruses. They cause inflammation of the urethra (the anatomical
tube that allows urine from the bladder to pass outside the body), vagina, cervix, uterus, Fallopian tubes, anus, ovaries, and epididymis. This is a common sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia infection may also be transmitted to the eyes or lungs of a newborn infant. If chlamydia is found by microscopic exam and culture of discharge in any person who is sexually active, all sexual partners must be treated. Appropriate health care includes your own observation of symptoms; medical history and physical exam by a doctor; doctor's treatment.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSSometimes no symptoms at all during early stages.
Vaginal discharge (females).
Urethral discharge (males).
Anal swelling, pain, or discharge.
Reddening of the vagina or tip of the penis.
Discomfort on urinating.
Genital discomfort or pain.
CAUSESVaginal sexual intercourse.
Rectal sexual intercourse.
Vaginal infection during delivery of a newborn, which may infect the baby.
Oral sexual intercourse (fellatio or cunnilingus).
Unprotected sexual activity, particularly in young females; diabetes mellitus; general poor health; hot weather, non-ventilating clothing--especially underwear -- or any other condition that increases genital moisture, warmth, and darkness. These foster the growth of germs.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEUse of latex condoms during sexual activity; treatment of all sexual partners of any infected person (usually 2 weeks of an oral antibiotic such as tetracycline).
MEDICAL TESTSYour own observation of symptoms; medical history and physical exam by a doctor; vaginal smear for laboratory analysis; rectal smear for laboratory analysis; urethral smear for laboratory analysis; re-exam after completing the prescribed treatment.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSSterility in a female; infecting one's sexual partner; secondary bacterial infections in pelvic organs, genitals, or rectum.
Complete cure with adequate antibiotic treatment.
HOME CAREInstructions for your daughter:
Keep the genital area clean. Use plain unscented soap.
Take showers rather than tub baths.
Wear cotton panties or pantyhose with a cotton crotch. Avoid panties made from non-ventilating materials, such as nylon.
Don't sit around in wet clothing--especially a wet bathing suit.
After urination or bowel movements, cleanse by wiping or washing from front to back (vagina to anus).
Lose weight if you are obese.
If you have diabetes, adhere strictly to your treatment program.
Avoid irritating sprays.
Avoid pants that are tight in the crotch and thighs.
Change tampons frequently.
If urinating causes burning:
-- Urinate through a tubular device, such as a toilet-paper roll or plastic cup with the end cut out.
-- Urinate while bathing.
Your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline, to take for 2 weeks.
Your child should avoid overexertion, heat, and excessive sweating and should delay sexual relations until feeling well. Allow about 3 weeks for your child's recovery.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Not until treatment has removed symptoms.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your daughter has symptoms of vaginitis.
Symptoms in your child persist longer than 1 week or worsen despite treatment.
Unusual vaginal bleeding or swelling develops.