Questioners, meet the Answerers! We've dedicated this site to the eradication of wondering, second-guessing, and general puzzlement when it comes to chlamydia and gonorrhea. It's not a popular subject, but talking about sexual infections is the best way to prevent them. The more you know about the diseases - the risks, the symptoms, the prevention — the better you'll know how to avoid encountering one. Well, what are you waiting for?
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If untreated, chlamydial infections can progress to serious reproductive issues and other health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences. In women, untreated infection can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This happens in up to 40 percent of women with untreated chlamydia. PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Women infected with chlamydia are up to five times more likely to become infected with HIV, if exposed. Babies who are born to infected mothers can get chlamydial infections in their eyes and respiratory tracts. Chlamydia is a leading cause of early infant pneumonia and conjunctivitis (pink eye) in newborns. Complications among men are rare. Infection sometimes spreads to the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm from the testis), causing pain, fever, and, rarely, sterility. Rarely, genital chlamydial infection can cause arthritis that can be accompanied by skin lesions and inflammation of the eye and urethra (Reiter's syndrome).
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Chlamydia is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. The greater the number of sex partners, the greater the risk of infection. It is very common among teens and young adults, especially sexually active teenage girls and young women, due to the cervix not being fully matured, which increases susceptibility to infection.
Chlamydia (kluh-mid-ee-uh) is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. It can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.
Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men. In women, gonorrhea is a common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). About one million women each year in the United States develop PID. The symptoms may be quite mild or can be very severe and can include abdominal pain and fever. PID can lead to internal abscesses (pus-filled "pockets" that are hard to cure) and long-lasting, chronic pelvic pain. PID can damage the fallopian tubes enough to cause infertility or increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. If a pregnant woman has gonorrhea, she may give the infection to her baby as the baby passes through the birth canal during delivery. This can cause blindness, joint infection, or a life-threatening blood infection in the baby. Treatment of gonorrhea as soon as it is detected in pregnant women will reduce the risk of these complications.
Any sexually active person can be infected with gonorrhea. The greater the number of sex partners, the greater the risk of infection. Gonorrhea is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired.
Gonorrhea (gon a REE a) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in both women and men. The bacterium can grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus. Gonorrhea can also be spread from mother to baby during delivery.