Chlamydia_Is_Killing_Your_Child

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					Title:
Chlamydia Is Killing Your Child

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548

Summary:
Chlamydia is one of the most commonly reported sexually transmitted
diseases that affect both men and women. Although previously linked to
infertility in women, a new study by Spanish researchers have linked the
disease to male infertility because it damages sperm quality.


Keywords:
infertility, bacterial infection


Article Body:
A recent study has given infertile men new hope of successfully
conceiving a child with their partners. The culprit may just be a silent
bacterial infection called chlamydia lurking within their bodies.
According to Spanish researchers, chlamydia can damage sperm quality,
thus causing infertility in men. They presented their findings at the
American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference, based on a study
done on 143 men infected with the infection. Using a new microscopic
analysis technique, samples from the test subjects were analyzed and
found to have a level of sperm damage more than three times higher than
in healthy men. The sperm damage includes the level of DNA fragmentation,
poor sperm concentration, increased levels of shape defects and poor
ability to swim quickly.

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by bacterium, Chlamydia
trachomatis, and is among the most common sexually transmitted diseases
in the world. It is commonly referred to as the “silent infection,”
because about three quarters of infected women and about half of infected
men present no symptoms. Those infected with chlamydia often do not feel
any symptoms until complications arise from the bacterial infection,
occasionally becoming the cause of permanent damage. If symptoms do
occur, they can be felt within one to three weeks after infection. In
women, its symptoms can range from abdominal pain, abnormal vaginal
discharge, bleeding between menstrual periods, cervical or rectal
inflammation, low-grade fever, a yellowish discharge from the cervix that
may have a foul odor, vaginal bleeding after intercourse, rectal itching,
rectal bleeding, painful intercourse, painful urination, and the urge to
urinate more than usual. In men, the most commonly reported symptoms are
pain or burning feeling while urinating, pus or watery or milky discharge
from the penis, swollen or tender testicles, rectal itching, rectal
bleeding, and rectal inflammation. All of these symptoms are often
disregarded by those who suffer from the disease, or are mistook for
other ailments because they are non-specific. This bacterial infection
is commonly spread through vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse, but in
rare cases may be passed on by a mother to her child through vaginal
childbirth.
Chlamydia has already been linked to infertility in women, but this study
has conclusively proven using the microscopic analysis that the quality
of sperm declines significantly if the male has the bacterial infection.
This is an important breakthrough for couples who have been unsuccessful
in becoming pregnant, because chlamydia is a treatable disease. Treatment
for the bacterial infection is a course of antibiotics. Doxycycline is
the usual drug prescribed, with one tablet taken twice a day for a week.
The most convenient treatment called azithromycin because you take four
tablets at the same time. During the study, 95 out of the 143 men were
treated with antibiotics and reassessed after four months. Scientists
found that an average of 36% showed a marked improvement in sperm
quality, and during that period 13% of the couples got pregnant. After
the treatment was finished, 86% of those treated got pregnant.

The significance of the study goes beyond the infertility issue. It is
also a wake-up call for many healthcare professionals to increase public
awareness about chlamydia amid the rising numbers of people who have this
bacterial infection, especially in the 18-25 age group. If this growing
trend is unchecked, chlamydia maybe killing those yet to be born.

				
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posted:2/2/2010
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