Health Department

Joel Strasz - Public Health Director
Kathy Janer - Public Health Nursing Manager
Melissa Maillette - Emergency Preparedness & Health Education Manager
Amy Revette - WIC Manager
Mark Pickell - Business Services Manager
Joel Kwiatkowski - Environmental Health Manager
Dr. Kirk Herrick - Medical Director
Dr. Howard Hurt - Medical Examiner
Bay County Health Department
1200 Washington Avenue
Bay City, Michigan 48708
Voice: (989) 895-4009
Fax: (989) 895-4014
TDD/TTL: (989) 895-4049
Health Information Line: (989) 895-4192

Chlamydia

All women have a small amount of discharge from their vagina. It is normal for this discharge to increase for a few days between menstrual periods.

A discharge is not normal when it causes itching, changes color, or has an unpleasant odor. If you have symptoms, call your doctor or the clinic for an infection check.

One type of vaginal infection is a Chlamydia infection. It has become one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and is often found with Gonorrhea. Many women with Chlamydia have no symptoms until complications set in.

SYMPTOMS

In women, symptoms may be genital itching and burning, a vaginal discharge, and dull chronic pelvic pain, bleeding between menstrual periods and a low-grade fever.

In men, symptoms may be a discharge from the penis and/or painful urination, burning and itching around the opening of the penis.

Chlamydia is a major cause of PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) and, if not treated may cause sterility (inability to have children). The risk of tubal pregnancy, miscarriage and stillbirth is much higher in pregnant women with Chlamydia. Newborns may develop eye and lung infections if the mother has Chlamydia.

Remember most women and some men with Chlamydia have NO SYMPTOMS!

TRANSMISSION

Chlamydia infections are most often spread by direct sexual contact. Babies can get Chlamydia during birth if the mother has the infection.

DIAGNOSIS

A laboratory test is needed to diagnose a Chlamydia infection. The test (a culture) is taken from the cervix or the end of the penis with a small cotton swab and sent to the lab. This test may be done even when there are no symptoms.

PREVENTION

Use of a condom (rubber) during sexual intercourse is the best way to help prevent some sexually transmitted diseases (infection). There is evidence to conclude condoms prevent HIV transmission in males and females, and that they could reduce the risk of Gonorrhea for men. Additional studies are needed to determine effectiveness for other STDs, including Chlamydia.

The more sexual partners you have, the greater your chance of getting an infection.

Do not have intercourse with anyone who has an infection or is being treated for an infection.

Do not use feminine sprays or douches. They can change the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina and increase your chances of getting a vaginal infection.