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What Is Chlamydia Trachomatis? - Symptoms, Signs & Treatment

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  • 0:05 An STD Women Should Note
  • 0:47 Chlamydia
  • 1:29 Signs and Symptoms of…
  • 3:20 Treatment and Prevention
  • 3:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson we'll cover a very famous sexually transmitted disease known as chlamydia. You'll learn about the bacterium that causes this condition, how it's spread, what problems it causes, and how it can be treated.

An STD Women Should Note

Sexually transmitted diseases of any kind are nothing to mess around with. Some of them can be treated and cured, while others, such as herpes or HIV, are incurable, will stalk you for the rest of your life and may potentially kill you.

While most sexually transmitted diseases affect both men and women, some of them are more likely to cause more serious problems in one sex or another. In the case of the disease we will talk about in this lesson, it is even more important to pay attention to this lesson if you're a woman, as it's a condition that can leave a woman unable to have children.

Chlamydia

The condition I'm talking about is the most common sexually transmitted disease and is known as chlamydia. The Gram-negative bacterium responsible for causing chlamydia is called Chlamydia trachomatis. The reason it's a Gram-negative bacterium is because this bacterium's cell wall is very thin compared to a Gram-positive bacterium, resulting in a difference in color when doing a procedure known as the Gram stain. Specifically, Gram-negative bacteria will be more pinkish-red in color under the microscope, while Gram-positive bacteria will be purple in color.

Signs and Symptoms of Chlamydia

However, I only wish chlamydia were as innocent as going over color schemes in a staining procedure. Unfortunately, it's quite a serious condition that affects men and women but is of more concern for women. This bacterium is transmitted during any type of sex, be it oral, anal, or vaginal.

Typically, people who get chlamydia experience no symptoms. You'd think that fact is really swell!

However, just because you experience no signs or symptoms associated with this disease, that doesn't mean some serious damage won't occur. In women, even a silent infection can hurt a woman's reproductive tract, notably the cervix, uterus, and Fallopian tubes. This infection can lead to a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease, which is a condition that causes lower abdominal pain as a result of the infection of a woman's reproductive organs by chlamydia or gonorrhea. This condition can eventually lead to infertility in a woman. While infertility in men may rarely occur with this condition as well, it's not nearly as big of a concern.

Regardless, infertility isn't the only problem this condition causes. Other symptoms and signs associated with chlamydia include:

  • Pain during urination
  • Itching around the sexual organs
  • Abnormal and odorous vaginal discharge in women

and

  • Painful swelling around the testicles in men

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