Chlamydia in men
- Causative agent of chlamydia
- The mechanism of development of chlamydia in men
- Types of disease
- Ways of Chlamydia Infection
- Symptoms of chlamydia in men
- Possible complications
- Diagnosis of chlamydia in men
- Treatment of chlamydia in men
- Chlamydia Prevention
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Among the well-known medicine of genital infections, this ailment is in the leading positions: up to 100 million people fall ill with it every year in the world! This is almost 3 times more than the incidence of gonorrhea.
Such a wide distribution of chlamydia is associated with features of the development and course of the disease:
- long incubation period;
- mild symptoms (and often their absence).
Causative agent of chlamydia
The causative agent of the disease is chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) - an immobile coccoid (spherical) microorganism, which cannot be counted either as bacteria or as viruses. Getting into the body of a man, chlamydia, like viruses, infect epithelial cells of various organs from the inside:
- in the urethra;
- in the seminal ducts;
- in the mouth;
- in the mucous membrane of the eyes.
However, the device and the vital activity of chlamydia is much more complicated than that of viruses. Under adverse conditions, they are capable of hibernating, waiting for their time and activating during a decrease in immunity in humans.
The mechanism of development of chlamydia in men
When a man enters the body, chlamydia, like a virus, penetrates into the epithelial cells of tissues and adheres to their shells. Since they are practically unable to move, the implementation process is rather slow. It would be more correct to say that the epithelial cell itself absorbs the pathogenic organism in contact with it. Once inside, chlamydia becomes invulnerable to external factors that are unfavorable to it, and begins its destructive effect by sharing its genetic information with the affected cell. After such an introduction, it is almost impossible to influence it with the help of drugs - it is in this that chlamydia is similar to viruses.
Microorganisms “settled” in human tissues make each “enslaved” cell create new chlamydia. Their number is growing steadily and over time becomes too large - the affected cell is destroyed. After this, the newly formed chlamydia go outside and begin to look for another refuge for themselves, to invade other, healthy cells. The cycle of development of the pathogenic microbe repeats again.
Thus, in the human body, chlamydia exist in two forms:
Types of disease
There are several types of chlamydia that cause different ages of the disease:
- Chlamydia trachomatis;
- Chlamydia pneumonie;
- Chlamydia pecorum;
- Chlamydia psittaci.
The first two types of chlamydia are most dangerous for humans - they have the ability to cause serious consequences. In most cases, chlamydial infection affects the urinary and genital systems in men, but it often leads to the development of a whole spectrum of serious diseases affecting various organs:
- internal and external genitalia;
- heart tissue and blood vessels;
- organs of vision (in severe cases, even blindness);
- organs of hearing;
- mucous membrane of the upper and lower respiratory tract;
- lymphatic system;
- joints, teeth.
Among the diseases caused by these microorganisms are trachoma, infections of the urogenital system, chlamydial conjunctivitis, and venereal lymphogranuloma. Among homosexual men and heterosexual women is often a lesion of the rectum. At the same time possible discharge from the anus, itching and pain, although in most cases the disease is asymptomatic.
Ways of Chlamydia Infection
Chlamydia infection in the vast majority of cases occurs during unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse. There is a possibility, although minimal, of infection with oral sex. The same can be said about the infection in the home through common objects:
- dishes, towels;
- toilet seat;
- when swimming in the pool or visiting the bath;
- through contaminated hands.
The pathogenic properties of chlamydia outside the human body, but at room temperature that is favorable for them, can persist on tissues and household items for up to 2 days. Thus, chlamydia can affect entire families - medicine has known cases of the so-called “familial chlamydia.”
The possibility of infection during unprotected sexual contact with a female partner with chlamydia is approximately 50 percent - that is, not in all cases. The incubation period of the disease can vary from 2 to 4 weeks. Chlamydia is often found in couples undergoing examination and treatment for infertility, although both symptoms are absent. Interestingly, women are more sensitive to this disease than men.
Symptoms of chlamydia in men
The presence of symptoms of chlamydia and their severity depends on the ability of the pathogen to cause inflammation and the state of the human immune system. In about half of cases, chlamydia is asymptomatic. It is this feature that is most dangerous for the health of a man, since the absence of any sensations causes late diagnosis and late treatment. The risk of developing complications in such cases naturally increases substantially.
The clinical manifestations of chlamydia in men are mild and similar to the symptoms of nonspecific urethritis:
- the appearance of discharge from the urethra (most often scanty and transparent);
- mild pain when urinating;
- intermittent pain in the urethra, lower back, scrotum and testicles;
- in some cases, the temperature rises to 37.5 degrees;
- weakness due to intoxication of the body, decreased performance;
- may turbid urine, the appearance of particles of pus and blood in it.
Many men, not paying attention to the mild symptoms characteristic of chlamydia (which, moreover, may soon disappear), do not rush to consult a doctor. Although this does not mean that the body has won the disease itself. On the contrary, it only means that it has passed into the next, chronic form, which is much more difficult to cure.
In men, chlamydia primarily affects the urinary tract and the reproductive system. In most cases, the symptoms of the disease are similar to signs of inflammation of the urogenital system - urethritis, so the initial stage of chlamydia is called primary chlamydial urethritis. In the absence of a prescribed treatment in time, the infection spreads further, causing inflammation of the prostate gland, testicular appendages, testicles.
In the future, the disease becomes chronic, sluggish form and can occur for years, causing severe complications. The development of a number of other ills in the presence of an acute form of prostatitis in an infected man. The most common complications of chlamydia are:
- Chronic pyelonephritis - inflammation of the kidneys.
- Orchoepididymitis, or inflammation of the epididymis. It is characterized by narrowing of the sperm tract and the death of cells responsible for the production of sperm. As a result, the negative impact of chlamydia can lead to infertility, as the quality of sperm significantly deteriorates.
- Urethritis (lesion of the urethra - urethra). Accompanied by a violation of urination and the appearance of purulent discharge.
- Vesiculitis - defeat of the seminal vesicles, characterized by impaired erection and accompanied by weakness, headache, fever. Possible discharge from the urethra mucus mixed with blood.
- The narrowing of the urethra caused by scar changes in the mucous membrane. The only method of treatment is surgery.
- Reiter's syndrome. This is a systemic disease that can cause serious consequences, including disability. It is characterized by the development of 3 diseases at once - urethritis, arthritis and conjunctivitis, affecting the urogenital organs, joints and eyes. In some cases, balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans penis) and skin lesions of various types are also added to them.
- Chronic prostatitis. It leads to the defeat of the prostate gland, to the narrowing of its ducts and reducing the quality of sperm, and accordingly, to infertility. Characterized by the appearance of discomfort in the perineum, rectum and sacrum, the process of urination becomes frequent and painful. The sexual function is also disturbed - the erection weakens, premature ejaculation appears, orgasm is lost.
The role of chlamydia in the development of prostatitis is currently not fully proven, although it is believed that chlamydia is one of the causes of this disease. It should be noted that reinfection significantly increases the risk of complications.
Diagnosis of chlamydia in men
Diagnosing chlamydia is quite complicated because chlamydia is an intracellular parasite. Therefore, the results of a general smear test taken from the urethra do not usually make it possible to diagnose the disease. In most cases, they only allow to suspect its presence, since the number of leukocytes may not exceed the norm at all or exceed it only slightly. Therefore, the ability to detect the presence of infection in this case does not exceed 15%.
Cheap mini-tests that are sold in pharmacies allow you to quickly test for chlamydia yourself, but you shouldn’t rely on the result either - their accuracy is also low, no more than 20%.
For better diagnostics in case of suspected chlamydia in men, other, more accurate methods are used, for which a scraping from the surface of tissues of the diseased organ, semen, blood and urine are taken for analysis.
Laboratory methods used to diagnose chlamydia
The following laboratory methods allow to detect the presence of chlamydia in the body:
. - Polymerase chain reaction - PCR . Today it is the most preferred method for the diagnosis of chlamydia, as it is the most sensitive and therefore almost 100% reliable.
. - Fluorescence reaction - REEF . The material taken for analysis is examined under a special fluorescence microscope. The disadvantage of the method in low accuracy is about 50%. In many ways, the result depends on the professionalism of the doctor who collects the material and examines its laboratory technician. There are other disadvantages:
- the disease must be in an active stage;
- a large amount of material is required;
- the possibility of a false positive result, when chlamydia is taken, for example, staphylococcus.
. - ELISA - ELISA . For the study taken blood and scraping. The method is based on the detection of antibodies to chlamydia, which produces the body in response to the appearance of infection. It allows not only to detect the presence of the pathogen, but also to determine at what stage (acute or chronic) the disease is. The disadvantage of this method, like the previous one, is that it allows you to diagnose chlamydia with an accuracy of no more than 60% for the following reasons:
- antibodies to chlamydia can also be detected in a healthy person;
- the presence of such antibodies may be associated with other diseases.
. - Sowing on chlamydia with the determination of their sensitivity to antibiotics . This is the most expensive and time-consuming method to find out which antibiotic will be the most destructive for “your” chlamydia. The accuracy of this method is 70-90%.
Treatment of chlamydia in men
The treatment of chlamydial infection in men is a long and rather complicated process, unlike conventional bacterial infections. The choice of drugs is limited to antibiotics, which have the ability to penetrate into the cell and destroy the pathogen. The main groups of drugs used in this case are:
- tetracyclines (doxycycline, metacycline);
- fluoroquinolones (ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin);
- macrolides (josamycin, rovamycin, midekamitsin).
Due to the nature of chlamydia and their ability to develop drug resistance, the use of a single antibiotic does not always give one hundred percent result. Therefore, the treatment regimen usually includes antibiotics belonging to different pharmacological groups. Often they are supplemented with antifungal drugs (for example, fluconazole).
To increase the body's resistance, the doctor prescribes the patient immunomodulators (interferon), diet, multivitamins. In the presence of secretions, topical antimicrobials are used. In order to protect the liver functions while taking a large amount of drugs, it is necessary to take hepatoprotectors.
Antibiotics in each case are selected individually, and their choice depends on many factors:
- on the characteristics of the patient;
- on the stage of the disease and its severity;
- on which organs are affected.
Improper treatment contributes to the transition of the disease to the chronic stage, since chlamydia produces resistance to incorrectly chosen drugs. At the time of treatment, the patient must give up sex life. Alcohol is prohibited at this time; dairy products are also restricted.
The course of treatment is on average 25 days. However, in some cases, a complete cure occurs only after repeated courses of taking the prescribed drugs and procedures. Self-medication with the help of home remedies is absolutely excluded, since they can be used only in addition to the main, antibacterial therapy, the absence of which threatens to turn the disease into a chronic form.
Considerable importance in the treatment of chlamydia in men have the following methods:
- massage of the prostate gland;
- physiotherapy (electrophoresis, ultrasound, iontophoresis, magnetic field, quantum therapy);
- instillation of the urethra, baths, enemas.
All sexual partners of the patient are subject to mandatory examination, and if necessary - individually selected treatment.
Chronic Chlamydia Treatment
In the chronic course of the disease, and even more so in the presence of complications, longer antibiotic therapy is used. Often used several drugs with the appointment of the above methods.
A good addition to the main course of treatment (but only a supplement!) Is also the use of traditional medicine with the use of medicinal plants: the sequence, chamomile, licorice root, alder, Levzey, oak, rosehip, calendula and others. Infusions and decoctions made from these herbs are ingested in accordance with the recommendations of the doctor.
At the end of the course of treatment, control tests are taken. But even when receiving a negative result (absence of chlamydia), repeated tests are carried out twice more - after 21 days and after 2 months. All this period the patient’s condition is carefully monitored. Only after all the studies performed show a negative result, can we assume that the treatment was successful.
As you know, the best way to protect yourself from any sexually transmitted disease (including chlamydia) is to have a permanent, proven sexual partner. It is important to avoid casual sexual relationships, or at least to use barrier contraception - high-quality condoms. It should, however, be remembered that they do not provide a 100% guarantee, so the risk of being infected, although extremely small, still exists.
But what if, due to some circumstances, you had an occasional sexual contact - for example, while intoxicated? Or broke a condom?
In this case, you can resort to one of the following options:
- To conduct a course of drug preventive treatment, which will prevent the development of not only chlamydial infection, but also other sexually transmitted diseases. Most drugs used in such cases are taken once. For example, you can do this by once ingesting 1 g of the drug Azithromycin. Side effects from taking an antibiotic ( dysbacteriosis , candidiasis) occur only with long-term treatment - they do not have time to take a single pill of the drug. The only exception is an allergy to this antibiotic.
- After 3-4 weeks, be examined by a venereologist. It makes no sense to do this earlier for the following reason: in the first few weeks, most of the sexually transmitted infections are in the incubation period, so it is impossible to identify them.
Additional means of prevention
In addition, after unprotected sex (especially with a casual partner), other special measures should be taken to avoid infection:
- обмывание с мылом наружных половых органов;
- введение в уретру раствора антисептика (Гибитан, Мирамистин);
- после анального секса – промывание прямой кишки водой также с добавлением антисептиков (с помощью спринцовки или клизмы).
Из всего написанного выше можно сделать вывод, что избежать заражения хламидиями легче, чем проводить длительное и сложное лечение. Поэтому лучшим средством профилактики данной половой инфекции является наличие проверенного полового партнера. Если возможность заражения все же существует, необходимо пройти профилактический медицинский осмотр. Это либо развеет ваши сомнения, либо выявит хламидиоз еще на ранней стадии. Помните, что примерно в половине случаев это коварное заболевание протекает без каких-либо заметных признаков.
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