Pediatric Chlamydia

Pediatric Chlamydia

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Summary

Pediatric chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that impacts both males and females. If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system.

Expanded overview

Chlamydia is a commonly occurring STI that can be difficult to diagnose. Not everyone develops symptoms, but chlamydia can still be passed with or without obvious warning signs. If left untreated, females can develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can damage the reproductive system and cause infertility.

Causes

Chlamydia is an infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis that is found in the cervix (the passage forming the lower part of the uterus), throat, urethra (tube that carries urine from the bladder), vagina and rectum.

Risk factors

There are several risk factors that will increase the chance of chlamydia:

  • Having a cut – The disease enters the blood stream through an opening in the skin (like a cut).
  • Having a mother with chlamydia – It is possible for a mother to infect her child during vaginal childbirth.
  • Being sexually active – Those that are sexually active have a greater risk of contracting chlamydia. Further, the more sexual partners you have, the more likely you are to get chlamydia. Being with a partner that has had multiple partners also increases your risk.
  • Weakened immune system – Immune systems can be weakened by HIV/AIDS, immune-suppressing medications (organ transplants) or other reasons.

Symptoms

Most people with chlamydia will not experience symptoms. If symptoms are present, they will appear one to three weeks after the infectious encounter. Symptoms can include:

  • Bleeding from the genitals or rectum
  • Burning during urination
  • Eye infections
  • Irregular menstruation (periods)
  • Lower abdomen pain (typically only with women) or pain during intercourse
  • Penile, rectal or vaginal discharge
  • Rectal pain
  • Swelling or pain in the testicles

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