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Chlamydia


What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is the most popular Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). It is estimated that around 5 million people get it each year in the European Union. Statistics also show that both men and women get it in the ages from 15 to 35. Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia Trachomatis.

The symptoms of Chlamydia in women: This can sometimes be hard to notice in women since around 70% of them have no complaints. But make no mistake; untreated chlamydia can bring several complications when rising through the cervix to the Fallopian tubes, leading to Fallopian tube inflammation. Such inflammation will spread to the abdomen and cause scarring and blockage in the Fallopian tubes. Please stay alert to the following symptoms: pain while urinating, abdominal pain, bleeding in between menstrual periods, vaginal discharge as well as painful intercourse.

The symptoms of Chlamydia in men: Chlamydia also show little symptoms in men and can cause serious issues if not addressed as quickly as possible. This can infect the testicles and cause epididymitis (testicle inflammation). Symptoms like pain during urination, discharge and testicular pain are common. Please pay close attention that all mucous membranes are susceptible to infection. Don’t let this get worse as Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics. Check the list of medicines below that can treat chlamydia. Please contact your doctor if you have any questions or doubts.

Azithromycine
Azithromycine
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Doxycycline
Doxycycline
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Amoxil-Amoxicillin
Amoxil-Amoxicillin
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Zithromax
Zithromax
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Erytromycine
Erytromycine
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Tetracycline
Tetracycline
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Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by chlamydia ( Chlamydia trachomatis ).

According to statistics, 100 million people fall ill with chlamydia every year in the world, and the number of people infected with chlamydia around the globe, according to conservative estimates, reach one billion. According to the WHO, urogenital chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, so the creation of the most effective means of treating the so-called non-gonococcal inflammatory diseases of the genitourinary system poses a serious problem for modern venereology.

The widespread of chlamydial infection is associated primarily with the asymptomatic course of the disease.

Chlamydia trachomatis - are fixed gram-negative obligate intracellular micro-organisms. Chlamydial infection mainly affects the genitourinary system. Currently, urogenital chlamydia is the most common (up to 60%) cause of non-gonococcal urethritis. For a long time, covertly existing, under adverse conditions (exposure to antibiotics, overheating, hypothermia, colds), chlamydia can transform into the so-called  L-forms  - as if “fall into hibernation." This phenomenon contributes to prolonged intracellular parasitism.

The main routes of infection are vaginal, anal intercourse.

Children can become infected when they pass through the birth canal of a mother with a chlamydia patient. Possible contact-household transmission path.

Women are more susceptible to chlamydia.

The incubation period is from 2 weeks to 1 month.

Clinical manifestations:

Chlamydia is often asymptomatic, or with minimal manifestations. With absolutely no symptoms, chlamydia occurs in 46% of men and 67% of women. If symptoms are present, then they are not pronounced.

Symptoms of chlamydia in women:

Chlamydia in women manifests itself with such symptoms as vaginal discharge, mucous or purulent mucus. They can differ from normal secretions by an unpleasant odor or a yellowish tinge. Mild pains may appear in the external and internal genital organs, itching and burning (including urination), pain in the lower abdomen in the pelvic area, increased pain before menstruation, intermenstrual bleeding.

Symptoms of chlamydia in men:

In men, symptoms of the presence of chlamydial infection appear at the beginning, in most cases, as a mild inflammation of the urethra of a protracted (chronic) course - urethritis, which lasts at least several months. In men, scanty vitreous discharge from the urethra can appear. When urinating, itching and burning may occur. There can be different pains, mostly mild: it can hurt in the urethra, in the scrotum, in the lower back, in the testicles. A man may feel general weakness - a consequence of intoxication. Clouding of urine, the presence of purulent threads in it can be observed. Some men may even develop spot at the end of urination or with ejaculation.

In some cases, there is prolonged preservation of chlamydia in the body in the form of isolated microcolonies on the mucous membranes - the so-called carriage. Clinical, instrumental and laboratory examination does not reveal any signs of organ damage - that is, a person is clinically healthy, and only with the use of high-precision methods of laboratory diagnostics (PCR, culture research) chlamydia is detected. This condition is associated with the suppression of the reproduction of chlamydia by the body's immune system.

Diagnostics:

Diagnosing chlamydia is difficult because  Chlamydia trachomatis is an intracellular parasite. In this regard, for the diagnosis of chlamydia, they do not take a smear (mucus and secretions), but scraping (cells of a diseased organ), but the use of non-invasive tests is sometimes more acceptable for patients. The material for analysis on chlamydia can also be blood, urine, and semen in men.

The following laboratory methods are used to detect chlamydia:

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay  (ELISA).  Determination of antibodies (IgG, IgA, IgM) to chlamydia in the blood. These antibodies are produced by the body in response to infection. Chlamydia antibodies are detected when interacting with special preparations containing chlamydial antigens, which form a strong complex with antibodies that can be detected in various ways.

In addition to conventional scrapings, blood is also taken for ELISA. The method not only reveals the causative agent of the disease but also reports at what stage chlamydia is - in acute or chronic. The first antibodies appear on the 10-20th day of the disease. Then other antibodies appear that can indicate to the doctor chronic chlamydia, or re-infection, or the activation of previously poorly treated chlamydia. But the accuracy of this analysis for chlamydia does not exceed 60%. This is due to the fact that antibodies to Chlamydia trachomatis can also be detected in healthy people. The presence of antibodies can be due to both a previous illness (“serological scar”) and cross-reactions with respiratory chlamydia. Less commonly, the cause of false-positive ELISA results is polyclonal activation syndrome.

Polymerase chain reaction  (PCR). 

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. This method today has the highest sensitivity and specificity - up to 100%. For analysis, you need very little material, and the results are ready in a day or two. This method gives false-positive results only in case of violation of the process of collection, transportation, and processing of biomaterial, as well as the analysis itself. Confirmation of a positive result obtained by PCR is not required. This method is recommended as preferred in the diagnosis of chlamydial infection.