Q. Will previous chlamydia cause problems with pregnancy?
A. Unfortunately, there's a high likelihood. Maybe one-fourth of women who have a bout of PID have later difficulties with conception or pregnancy.
A single episode of PID reduces the probability of conceiving a child by an average of 13 per cent. Three incidents of PID reduce fertility by 70 per cent. And having had a single bout of PID causes a six-fold increase in the likelihood of a dangerous ectopic pregnancy. Babies who are exposed to chlamydia as they pass through the birth canal are most likely to show symptoms in the eyes, both eyes, within the first month.
Q. How do individuals contract chlamydia?
A. Since this post concerns PID and chlamydia in women, I'll just mention women's concerns here.
- Women who have multiple male sex partners have increased risk of PID.
- The greatest risk of infection occurs the first day of a woman's period and continues for 2-3 days afterwards.
- Unprotected intercourse during menstruation increases risk of infection for both partners.
- IUDs for contraception increase risk of infection, since the surface of the IUD can host colonies of Trichomonas or gonorrhea.
- Women who smoke have about 70 per cent greater risk of catching the infections that cause PID.
A. In women, symptoms are not likely to be noticeable for 1 to 3 weeks. First symptom is usually an unsual discharge.
Q. Are there any home remedies for chlamydia?
A. The home remedy for chlamydia that works best is Lactobacillus acidophilus, one of the "friendly" symbiotic bacteria that's found in yogurt and other fermented foods. I've been asked on more than one occasion if women should douche with yogurt to get Lactobacillus where it needs to go, and the answer to this question is no. Vaginal suppositories are the most effective delivery system. Brands include CandaClear.
If you take antibiotics for chlamydia, by the way, avoid vitamin C and magnesium supplements while you're on the prescription drugs. Magnesium interfere's with the body's absorption of the antiobiotics, and vitamin C gives bacteria an immune booster the same way it's an immune booster for you.
Q. How can I tell if I have a yeast infection and not chlamydia?
A. Although chlamydia may cause no symptoms at all, in about 50 per cent of infected women there may be bleeding between periods, vague abdominal pain, or fever (with PID) along with a smelly discharge. A yeast infection is more likely to cause increased need to urinate or a "bladder infection." The male sexual partner may also have a more easily identified infection that will give some indication of what the female sexual partner's infection ma be.