Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Silent Epidemic

Billboards, television ads, and 7th grade health teachers all proclaim the message of safer sex, yet the U. S. Department of Health and Services estimates that 13 million people become infected with a sexually transmitted disease every year. According to the Center for Disease Control, Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States with 3 million new cases occurring each year. This article will talk about signs and symptoms of Chlamydia, how to treat it, and how to avoid it.

Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can also be transmitted to a new born baby as it passes through the birth canal of the infected mother. 50-75% of women infected with Chlamydia show no signs or symptoms and have no idea they are infected, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “the silent epidemic”. Chlamydia, when untreated, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This puts the woman at risk for infertility, endometriosis, and damage to the reproductive system. Endometriosis symptoms can be extremely painful, and if considering conception, may require infertility treatment. Common symptoms of Chlamydia include unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain in the abdomen, fever, and painful urination. In order to diagnose Chlamydia a culture swab must be obtained

Once detected, Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics. The most commonly used antibiotics in treatment of Chlamydia are Azithromycin, Doxycycline, Tetracycline, and Erythromycin. Antibiotics must be prescribed by a physician and are administered orally according to the doctor’s specifications. It is also important to complete your course of medication completely in order to recover from the infection. It may be a good idea to return to your doctor for Chlamydia testing every year, as it is possible to be re-infected with the disease even after treatment. Abstain from sex while being treated for the disease even if you no longer have symptoms. You can resume sexual activity once your course of antibiotics is finished.

The risk for transmission is dramatically reduced with the use of condoms with a water based lubricant, such as K Y Jelly. Petroleum based lubricants, such as Vaseline, should not be used because they break down latex (the material the condom is made of). The only sure way to avoid becoming infected with Chlamydia is abstinence (not having sex) or monogamy with an uninfected partner.

It is important for partners to discuss their sexual history before having sex and have STD tests done. Essential to prevention for sexually active individuals is an understanding of sexually transmitted diseases and how they are spread.

Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about endometriosis symptoms. For more information, please visit www.infertilitytutorials.com

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Female Infertility Factors

If you have had difficulty conceiving for more than twelve months, or six months if you are over 35 years of age, you may be wondering if you are infertile. Researchers estimate that one in six couples face fertility challenges as a result of male or female health complications. There are multitudes of factors that can affect your chances of conception. Here we will briefly outline three major causes of infertility in women: endometriosis, fallopian tube damage or blockage, and ovulation disorders.

Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue shed during a woman’s “period” implants outside of the uterus. The implanted tissue responds to the hormonal cycle and continues to grow, shed, and bleed in sync with the lining of the uterus each month. This can lead to inflammation and eventually scarring which adversely affects functions of the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Pelvic pain and infertility are common in women with endometriosis. Upon examination, more than 40% of infertile women of reproductive age are found to have endometriosis. Laparoscopic surgery to remove abnormal tissue is a commonly used treatment option for this condition.

Fallopian tube damage usually results from inflammation of the fallopian tube. This blocks the passage of the egg through the fallopian tubes on its way to fertilization and implantation in the uterus. Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, is the most frequent cause. Tubal inflammation can cause pain and fever, or it may go unnoticed. Tubal damage is the major risk factor for ectopic pregnancy. Here a fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tubes. One episode of tubal infection may cause fertility difficulties. The risk of ectopic pregnancy increases with each occurrence of tubal infection.

Some cases of female infertility are caused by ovulation disorders. Disruption in the part of the brain that regulates ovulation can cause low levels of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. Even slight irregularities in the hormone system can affect ovulation. Specific causes of hypothalamic-pituitary disorders include injury, tumors, excessive exercise and starvation. Ovulation-stimulating drugs, follicle-stimulating hormones, human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), and in vitro fertilization are possible treatments for this condition.

If you are one of the many couples experiencing problems with conception talk to your general practitioner. Most of these problems can be resolved with medical treatment or lifestyle adjustments. Your doctor will be able to diagnose any conditions present and give you treatment options, or refer you to a specialist.


About the Author:

Eric Daiter has been sponsored by The NJ Center for Reproductive Medicine, a leading provider of infertility treatment, to write information about endometriosis symptoms. For more information, please visit www.infertilitytutorials.com

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