Chlamydia Infection in Females
What can be done to prevent the infection?
Several safer sex practices can help prevent the spread of
chlamydia infection. Male
condoms and female
condoms provide some protection. Single partner relationships are
safer than sexual interaction with multiple partners.
Any new partners should be asked about their sexual history and should be
tested for sexually transmitted
disease. Sexual contact should be postponed until the tests show no
infection in the partner.
Finally, a screening for chlamydia can be done in combination with a routine annual
smear and pelvic exam.
What are the long-term effects of the infection?
Chlamydia infections in females are strongly associated with the
development of cervical
dysplasia, or abnormal cells in the cervix, and cancer of the cervix.
It is important to treat chlamydia infections to prevent scarring of the
fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus. Severe or untreated
chlamydia infections can cause serious complications such as the following:
pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, which involves a widespread infection of
pelvic adhesions, or bands of tissue that cause scarring
infertility, or the
inability to conceive a child
ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg
implants outside of the uterus
premature labor and premature delivery, if a woman is infected during
postpartum endometritis, an infection of the uterine lining that occurs
after a woman has given birth
proctitis, or rectal infection
What are the risks to others?
Chlamydia infections are highly contagious and can be passed
through sexual intercourse and other intimate contact. A woman who is pregnant
can pass the chlamydia infection to her baby during delivery. The baby may
then develop an eye infection or