When To See A Doctor
If you are sexually active and displaying symptoms of chlamydia, or you believe you were exposed to the bacterial infection through a sexual partner, see a doctor for evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.
The CDC advises sexually active women under 25 years old get screened for chlamydia every year. Its also a good idea to be tested when beginning a sexual relationship with a new partner.
You Wont Immediately Know If You Or Your Partner Have Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a serious disease, but if you or your partner become infected, you might not know right away. Early-stage infections often dont cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can be easily overlooked.
For most women with chlamydia, the infection doesnt cause any symptoms. About half of men dont experience symptoms, either. This is why its so important to get tested regularly. For sexually active women under 25, yearly testing is recommended. Women who are over 25 should get tested when they have new partners or have other risk factors for chlamydia.
Azithromycin Vs Doxycycline For Chlamydia
Azithromycin and doxycycline are the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat chlamydia.
While azithromycin is prescribed in a single, one-gram dose taken orally, doxycycline is typically prescribed in a 100-milligram dose taken orally twice a day for seven days.
A 2014 meta analysis of 23 studies found that doxycycline had a slightly higher efficacy compared with azithromycin.
However, other research suggests that treatment with a single oral dose of azithromycin appears to be as safe and efficacious as a seven-day course of doxycycline for the treatment of uncomplicated genital chlamydial infection.
Talk to your healthcare provider about which medication is best for you.
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How Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia
Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:
- An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
- Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
- Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.
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Chlamydia Symptoms & Treatment
- Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that is normally passed on through sex without a condom or sharing sex toys with someone who has the infection.
- Using male or female condoms and dental dams during sex will help to protect you from getting chlamydia.
- Chlamydia is often symptomless however if left untreated it can lead to long-term health problems.
- Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics.
- Chlamydia can be passed on from mother to child during pregnancy, so its important for pregnant women to get tested.
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What Happens If You Have Chlamydia For 4 Months
People who have chlamydia for long periods without treatment risk becoming infertile or developing arthritis. For women, chlamydia can spread into the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease. Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to ectopic pregnancies, chronic pelvic pain and infertility.
How Accurate Are The Tests
The accuracy of a chlamydia test depends on the kind of test used and the type of sample thats collected. The recommended tests are over 95% accurate in picking up chlamydia. As no test is 100% accurate theres a small chance that the test will give a negative result when you do have chlamydia. This is known as a false negative result. This can sometimes explain why you might get a different result from another test or why you and a partner might get a different test result.
Its possible for the test to be positive if you havent got chlamydia, but this is rare.
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How Can I Tell My Partner Will They Think I’ve Cheated On Them
You may feel embarrassed, scared or angry. However it is important and respectful to let your partner know as soon as possible so they can get tested and treated. Remember that chlamydia often has no symptoms, so a diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean the infection was caught recently. You may not be sure when you were exposed. Many people are surprised how supportive their partner is, and how they appreciate being confided in.
How Do You Get Gonorrhoea
Gonorrhoea is usually passed on through unprotected vaginal, or oral sex.
Pregnant women can pass the infection onto their babies at birth. If youre pregnant and think you may have gonorrhoea, its important to get tested as soon as possible so you can be treated before the baby is born.
Gonorrhoea cant be passed on through kissing, hugging, sharing towels or using the same toilet as someone with the infection.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
When it comes to chlamydia, its a good idea to be proactive. Speak with your healthcare provider about your risks of infection. Make a plan to get screened regularly for STIs based on your providers recommendations for how often you should be tested. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if your partner tests positive for chlamydia or if you notice any signs or symptoms that you may be infected.
Can Chlamydia Go Away And Come Back
If youve had unprotected intercourse, its likely you may not have chlamydia if your partner is not infected. If treated chlamydia can go away and not come back if you abstain or ensure protected sex.
However, dont assume chlamydia will go away without taking medications. You may not have symptoms immediately and may still have chlamydia long-term problems.
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Why Do You Have To Wait 3 Months To Retest For Chlamydia
In fact, women who become reinfected with chlamydia have an even higher risk for PID and ectopic pregnancy than those with a first infection. Due to these risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that any person who tests positive for chlamydia be retested three months after treatment.
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How Long Does It Take To Test Negative For Chlamydia After Being Treated
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What Does A Chlamydia Test Involve
- You may be asked to provide a urine sample. Before having this test, youre advised not to pass urine for 12 hours.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab from the entrance of the urethra .
- If you have symptoms of conjunctivitis swabs will be used to collect a sample of discharge from your eye.
A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud but is smaller and rounded. It sometimes has a small plastic loop on the end rather than a cotton tip. Its wiped over the parts of the body that could be infected. This only takes a few seconds and isnt painful, though it may be uncomfortable for a moment.
Cervical screening and routine blood tests dont detect chlamydia.
If youre not sure whether youve been tested for chlamydia, just ask.
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What Does A Syphilis Test Involve
A syphilis test may involve blood samples or samples of spinal fluid. These help screen and diagnose the infection.
The rapid plasma reagin test is a syphilis test that looks for antibodies produced by the bodys immune in response to the bacterium. The presence of these antibodies determines the presence of syphilis.
Another syphilis test is the venereal disease research laboratory test. This syphilis test also looks for antibodies to ascertain the presence of the bacterium. Later tests and diagnoses may directly look for the bacterium if required.
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When Will The Signs And Symptoms Go Away
You should notice an improvement quite quickly after having treatment.
- Discharge or pain when you urinate should improve within a week.
- Bleeding between periods or heavier periods should improve by your next period.
- Pelvic pain and pain in the testicles should start to improve quickly but may take up to two weeks to go away.
If you have pelvic pain or painful sex that doesnt improve, see your doctor or nurse as it may be necessary to have some further treatment or investigate other possible causes of the pain.
How Does Chlamydia Affect A Pregnant Woman
Chlamydia in pregnant women can be passed on to the baby causing serious complications in the newborn such as ophthalmia neonatorum and pneumonia. Untreated chlamydia in pregnant women is also likely to cause preterm labor . Chlamydia infection is also associated with a high risk of ectopic pregnancy .
Pregnant women should get tested for chlamydia at their first prenatal visit because testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent complications.
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Parents Have A Role In Chlamydia Prevention
Parents can do two main things to help their kids avoid getting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections , says Dombrowski. These two things are:
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What Are The Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to several complications in men and women.
In men, chlamydia can infect the prostate and the epididymis, leading to pain. It can also be a cause of urethral strictures , can lead to issues in the rectum , and can trigger an immune response known as reactive arthritis or Reiters syndrome.
In women, untreated chlamydia can spread to the reproductive organs causing PID, which can lead to infertility, pelvic pain, and increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. It can also spread to the lining of the liver, causing perihepatitis and adhesions and scarring around the organs in the abdomen.
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What Causes Chlamydia
Its caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis.
In people with chlamydia, the bacteria are most commonly found in the cervix and urethra . The bacteria can also infect the throat and rectum .
Anyone whos sexually active can get chlamydia and pass it on. You dont need to have lots of sexual partners.
How Long Does It Take
It takes about one week for azithromycin to completely cure a chlamydial infection, and in some cases it can take up to two weeks for the infection to clear.
If you are sexually active during this time, you can pass the infection to your partner, even if you have no symptoms. For these reasons, you should avoid having sex of any kind during treatment.
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What If Im Pregnant
During delivery, the infection can spread to the newborn from the birth canal. It can cause eye infection or pneumonia. There may also be an association with preterm labour and low birth weight. Screening and treatment of chlamydia during pregnancy can prevent these complications. This is not part of the routine NHS antenatal screening. Doxycycline cannot be taken during pregnancy, but azithromycin is safe and effective.
What Happens If You Dont Seek Treatment
If you take your antibiotics as directed, chlamydia is likely to go away. But if its left untreated, it can cause a few complications.
For example, if you have a vulva, you could develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a painful infection that could damage your uterus, cervix, and ovaries.
Untreated chlamydia can also lead to scarred fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility.
If youre pregnant, untreated chlamydia can be transmitted to the baby during vaginal delivery. Chlamydia can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns.
Untreated chlamydia can lead to epididymitis, which is when the epididymis becomes inflamed, causing pain.
Chlamydia can also spread to the prostate gland, which can lead to painful sex, lower back pain, and a fever.
Fortunately, treatment for chlamydia is relatively straightforward. And if its treated quickly, youre unlikely to experience any long-term complications.
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If Youre Taking The Medication Incorrectly
Chlamydia is relatively easy to treat with antibiotics once it has been detected. The actual course, however, can vary from person to person. Sometimes a healthcare provider will prescribe one large dose, while other cases may require you to take antibiotics over the course of seven days.
Your healthcare provider will determine the best treatment regimen for you, but regardless, make sure you take the antibiotics as instructed and complete the full course. It can be tempting to stop early once you notice your symptoms getting better, but that can leave some lingering bacteria. Any remaining chlamydia bacteria can replicate and potentially even become resistant to the initial antibioticsâmeaning you may require even more powerful medication to treat the infection.
Itâs also important not to have sex while you are getting treated. While the antibiotics are usually quite effective, the infection stays in your body until the antibiotics have fully run their course. If you receive medication to treat a chlamydia infection, be sure to ask your healthcare provider how long to wait before having sex again.
How Can I Prevent Chlamydia
Its easier to prevent an STI like chlamydia than it is to treat it:
- Dont have more than one sex partner at a time. The safest sex is with one partner who has sex only with you. Every time you add a new sex partner, you are being exposed to all of the infections that all of their partners may have.
- Use a condom every time you have sex. Latex and polyurethane condoms keep out the viruses and bacteria that cause STIs.
- Be responsible. Dont have sex if you have symptoms of an infection or if you are being treated for an STI.
- Wait to have sex with a new partner until both of you have been tested for STIs.
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Can A Treated Std Come Back
Monique Rainford, MD, is board-certified in obstetrics-gynecology, and currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Medicine. She is the former chief of obstetrics-gynecology at Yale Health.
You may be familiar with some of the more common sexually transmitted diseases . Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis can all be treated, and often cured, with antibiotics.
It’s important that you find treatment for your STD if you think or know you have one. It’s also important to know that having your STD treated is not a guarantee that it will never come back.
This article explains why an STD can return, why taking the wrong medication can hurt you, and the risk of reinfection if you are not careful about safe sex practices.
How Chlamydia Is Treated
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
You may be given a course of doxycycline to take for a week or azithromycin to take once a day for 3 days.
If you have doxycycline, you should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
If you have azithromycin, you should wait 7 days after treatment before having sex .
It’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.
Under-25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated.
This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.
Sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinics can help you contact your sexual partners.
Either you or the clinic can speak to them, or they can be sent a note advising them to get tested.
The note will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
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Getting Treated For Chlamydia And Often Gonorrhea
If you have your own doctor, he will prescribe the antibiotics you need to treat chlamydia. If you dont have your own doctor, you can often find free or low-cost care at either a Planned Parenthood site or a community health clinic.
Listen carefully to the instructions for taking the medicine that you are given by the doctor or other healthcare provider, and follow them closely.
Ask questions if you dont understand something. Also, if you have other questions as you take your medicine, you can always call the pharmacist for help. They are often easier to reach than the doctor.
If you test positive for chlamydia, your healthcare provider is likely to also recommend that you be treated for gonorrhea. This is because the cost of treating gonorrhea is less than the cost of testing for the infection.