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Definition: Chlamydia

Chlamydia - is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in North America. If it is not diagnosed and treated, it can cause infertility in males and females, ectopic pregnancies or infected Fallopian tubes and ovaries in women or pneumonia in babies born to infected women.

Usually spread by sexual intercourse, in a female, the bacteria travels up through the cervix, uterus and into the Fallopian tubes. It may develop into an abscess which generally heals and goes away, but can leave scar tissue which can block the tubes. There are no signs or symptoms - the woman will still ovulate, still menstruate, and can easily spread the disease to other partners.

In males, the bacteria enters through his urethra in the penis and travels down to the Vas leading into the testicles. Here an abscess will form with no pain and no visible problem, but the resulting scar tissue will block the Vas. This prevents sperm from traveling from his testicles and being ejaculated.

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