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Chlamydia Chlamydial infection is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States today The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 4 million new cases occur each year The highest rates of chlamydial infection are in 15 to 19-year old adolescents regardless of demographics or location Pelvic inflammatory disease PID a serious complication of chlamydial infection has emerged as a major cause of infertility among women of childbearing age Chlamydial infection is caused by a bacterium Chlamydial trachomatis and can be transmitted during vaginal oral or anal sexual contact with an infected partner A pregnant woman may pass the infection to her newborn during delivery with subsequent neonatal eye infection or pneumonia The annual cost of chlamydial infection is estimated to exceed 2 billion SYMPTOMS Most chlamydial infections are silent causing no symptoms However men and women with Chlamydia may experience abnormal genital discharge or pain during urination These early symptoms may be mild If symptoms occur they usually appear within one or three weeks after exposure Two of every three infected women and one or two of every four infected men have no symptoms whatsoever As a result often the disease may not be diagnosed and treated until complications develop Doctors estimate that in women one third of the chlamydial infections result in PID Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Often these infections are not diagnosed until PID or other complications develop In men rarely chlamydial infections may lead to pain or swelling in the scrotal area which is a sign of epididymitis an inflammation of a part of the male reproductive system located in the testicles Left untreated this condition like PID in women can cause infertility Chlamydia can cause proctitis inflamed rectum and conjunctivitis inflammation of the lining of the eye The bacteria also have been found in the throat as a result of oral sexual contact with an infected partner In tropical climates a particular
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