What Is a Treatment for Chlamydia?

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Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted bacterial infection, is typically treated using the oral antibiotics doxycycline and azithromycin, which is more commonly known by the brand name Zithromax, according to WebMD. In more serious cases of chlamydia, hospitalization and treatment with intravenous antibiotic medications may be required.

Most chlamydia infections clear up after two weeks, explains Healthline. During this time, patients must refrain from sexual activity. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that patients should address quickly to avoid additional infections or complications when bacteria spreads throughout the body. Although individuals can contract chlamydia at any age, women and men under 25 have a higher risk of infection. People with multiple sexual partners who do not use protection increase their risk of infection.

If chlamydia is left untreated, the infection can lead to serious health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and an increased risk for ectopic pregnancies in women, explains WebMD. In men, untreated chlamydia can result in proctitis, or rectal swelling; nongonococcal urethritis, a form of urethral infection; and epididymitis, an infection affecting the tube that transports sperm from the testes. Pregnant women can also transmit the bacteria to their children at delivery, leaving newborns at risk for pneumonia and severe eye infections that can lead to blindness.

Chlamydia can be difficult to diagnose because it often presents with no symptoms, notes WebMD. When symptoms do occur, they include genital discomfort, characterized by burning or itching; pain when urinating; and genital discharge in both men and women. Men may also experience inflammation and tenderness around the testicles. In women, further symptoms of chlamydia may include spotting between periods, pain during intercourse and abdominal cramps accompanied by fever.