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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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December 2001

Q. Recently I was diagnosed with Chlamydia, got treated and the situation was remedied. I never took a test for it but the doctor diagnosed me through just hearing my symptoms. I am monogamous with my girlfriend and she tested negative for the disease. She is my only partner; I've not been with anyone else. Now we are both baffled: if it was chlamydia, where did I get it? And if it wasn't chlamydia, what was it? I have been doing some reading on Penile Yeast infections. I am circumsized. Is it possible I got a yeast infection?

A. Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacteria that can be transmitted via intimate or sexual contact. In men it usually causes symptoms such as burning or discomfort with urination, and sometimes a slight urethral discharge. This same bacteria in women may be a "silent" infection, but can turn into the more serious condition called P.I.D., pelvic inflammatory disease. P.I.D. requires antibiotic treatment and can result in infertility problems in women. Testing can be done when symptoms appear or simply on a screening exam by taking a small Q-tip sample from the male urethra or female cervix. A culture can then be done, but in many areas a DNA test is done on the sample which is more accurate. Since no such test was done in your case, the doctor was speculating on the cause. To be on the safe side, you and your partner could request the DNA test to assure that no problem remains.



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