- Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can be easily cured.
- Chlamydia symptoms often go unnoticed, especially in women, so at-risk women should be tested every year
- Rates of chlamydia have almost always risen, from 7,594 cases reported in 1984 to 1,708,569 cases reported in 20171
- Chlamydia can cause serious fertility complications and other diseases when left untreated, including complications for newborns
- Treatment for chlamydia may include antibiotics and ozone therapy
Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) with increasing rates of infection since reporting started in 1984. According to statistics from the CDC, 1,708,569 cases were reported in 2017, a 7% increase from 2016 and almost a 12% increase from 2015.1 Although the disease can be easily cured, many people don’t know they have it. Therefore it often goes left untreated and may lead to complications with fertility and inflammatory diseases. In addition it can cause complications at birth for newborns, and increases the risk of transmission of HIV.
Let’s look at what chlamydia is, the complications from untreated infection, symptoms, and treatment and prevention options.
What Is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis and is transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral sexual activity. It is also transmitted to infants at birth. It occurs most frequently in young sexually active adults and is becoming increasingly common among women of childbearing age.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) chlamydia trachomatis causes urethritis in men and cervicitis in women as well as rectal and oral infections.2 Complications from untreated infection in women include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), inflammation of the fallopian tubes (salpingitis), infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. In addition, maternal chlamydia can cause the following complications for newborns:
- An increase in preterm births
- Still birth
- Low birth weight
- Conjunctivitis (eye inflammation)
- Nasal infection
- Infection with chlamydia
Finally, a more invasive strain of chlamydia trachomatis called lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is becoming more common in men who have sex with men.2
Chlamydia usually goes unnoticed due to the fact that there may be no noticeable symptoms. Symptoms may show up as the infection goes untreated or as complications of untreated infections occur, however some people may notice the following:
- Pain or burning during urination
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Lower abdominal pain
- Intermenstrual bleeding (bleeding between periods)
- Abnormal vaginal discharge that may be discolored and have an offensive odor
- Abnormal penile discharge such as pus or watery/milky fluid
- Swollen/sensitive testicles
- Pain in or around the anus
- Anal discharge or bleeding
- Redness, itching or discharge from the eyes (if the eyes are infected)
Prevention of Chlamydia
The only way to prevent contracting chlamydia altogether is to refrain from anal, oral, and vaginal sex. For those who are sexually active, the CDC recommends the following to reduce your risk of contracting an STD3:
- Using condoms correctly every time you engage in sexual activity
- Staying in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone who does not have chlamydia or other STDs
- Getting tested at least once a year if you are sexually active or at a higher risk for contracting it.
Conventional Treatment for Chlamydia
Chlamydia is conventionally treated with courses of antibiotics depending on the type of infection and age of the individual. Combinations of azithromycin, doxycycline, tetracycline, erythromycin, and ofloxacin may be recommended. Recurrence of infection is common and treated individuals should be retested at least 3 months after infection. In addition, current sexual partners should be tested and treated.3
Natural Chlamydia Treatment
At LifeWorks Wellness Center we may treat chlamydia infection with a combination of antibiotics when necessary, as well as ozone therapy which has many therapeutic effects on the body including killing infections and boosting the immune system.
In addition, we also take a step back and look at the body as a whole to ascertain if the immune system is compromised in any way. Nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, inflammation and other non-optimal issues in the body can degrade the performance of the immune system and its ability to fight infections and so we also look for and resolve any such issues. Finally, we will look at any obvious environmental and lifestyle factors which may be affecting you, such as sexual practices that pose more risk for STD contraction, lack of exercise, stress, pesticides, and heavy metal exposure.
Treatment plans vary depending on each individual. Our goal is to develop a plan that gets you healthy naturally and keeps you that way.
Address Chlamydia Naturally at LifeWorks
If you are looking for a more natural approach to treating chlamydia or other sexually transmitted diseases, consider coming to LifeWorks Wellness Center. We offer alternative and complementary approaches to getting well and try to avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics where possible.
We look forward to working with you to develop a plan specifically designed to meet your needs and get you on a path to better health, naturally and holistically.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, 2017.
- World Health Organization, WHO Guidelines for the Treatment of Chlamydia Trachomatis, 2016.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chlamydia CDC Fact Sheet, Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, 2014.