How Bad Is Chlamydia
Chlamydia does not cause problems if you treat it right away. But left untreated, it can lead to serious problems, especially for women: If it spreads, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This serious infection can make it hard or impossible for a woman to get pregnant.
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How To Know If You Have An Std
Plain and simple: Getting tested is the only way to know for sure. Again, the majority of STIs are completely symptom-free. And, unfortunately, even when you feel like something is off, those symptoms are often subtle and can be easily explained away by other common issues such as a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, or a urinary tract infection , says Dr. Ross.
“You can’t rely on symptoms to tell you if you have an infection. Only getting a full STI screening done by your doctor can tell you if you have an infection,” notes Dr. Ross. But trust, the whole shebang is pretty quick and painless. “It usually involves some combination of peeing in a cup or getting your blood drawn or cultures taken,” says Michael Ingber, M.D., a board-certified urologist and female pelvic medicine specialist with the Center for Specialized Women’s Health in New Jersey.
Who Is Required To Report
All STD cases diagnosed or treated in New Mexico are required by law to be reported to the STD Program in Santa Fe by using the STD Case Reporting Form.
Additionally, any medical laboratory anywhere in the United States performing testing for New Mexico must report positive results to the New Mexico STD Prgram in Santa Fe. This includes all clinicians seeing patients, laboratories doing testing, and administrators or Infection Control Staff at any medical facility. Medical facilities include all Private, Public, Tribal, Indian Health Service, Military, Veteranâs Affairs, Employee Health, Detention Centers, Jails, Prisons, and all other Medical Clinics, Hospitals, Emergency Wards or Urgent Care Centers.
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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.
Essential Facts About Chlamydia
Chlamydia often causes no symptoms in the short term, but it can have serious health consequences if it goes untreated.
If youre sexually active, you should know about chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted bacterial infection. These 10 facts will bring you up to speed on whos at risk, why regular screening is so important, and how to avoid getting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections .
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Why Early Detection Is Necessary
When symptoms reach a stage that patients end up in the emergency room, those with undiagnosed STIs are often misdiagnosed. In fact, studies show that almost two thirds of them are diagnosed with and treated for a UTI. This will not clear up chlamydia, since its a short course of antibiotics that are typically used.
- Pain and inflammation in the sexual organs, as well as in the prostate in men
- Damage to the tear ducts and the cornea
- Infertility in both men and women
Do Stis Go Away On Their Own
Not usually. Itâs very unlikely that an STI will go away by itself, and if you delay seeking treatment thereâs a risk that the infection could cause long-term problems. Even if you donât have any symptoms, thereâs also a risk of passing the infection on to partners.
If you think you might have an STI, see your healthcare provider and get it checked out. If STIs are left untreated, they can pose a long-term risk to your health and fertility, so itâs important to get tested regularly. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can both lead to pelvic inflammatory disease if they are not treated. This can result in long-term pelvic pain, blocked Fallopian tubes, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy.
Human papillomavirus is a very common STI that is often transmitted during sexual intercourse. The majority of HPV infections clear up within two years, and do not cause any diseases or symptoms . However, this is not always the case, as some type of HPV may have long term consequences. Two strands in particular, HPV 16 and HPV 18, are responsible for 7 in 10 cases of cervical cancers and precancerous changes . These strands of HPV have also been associated with cancers of the anogenital region and oropharynx cancers . Other strands, such as HPV 6 and HPV 11, are responsible for genital warts .
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How Long Does Chlamydia Of The Throat Take To Show Up
Most people who have chlamydia of the throat will not experience any symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they typically appear 13 weeks after sexual contact with the individual who has the infection.
It is important to note that chlamydia can still transmit from a person who does not experience any symptoms of the disease.
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
The most common test for chlamydia is called a nucleic acid amplification test . Your provider takes a sample of fluid by doing a vaginal/cervical swab or collecting a urine sample. Then, they send the sample off to a lab to check for the bacteria that causes chlamydia. Your provider may do the test in an office, or they may ask you to do an at-home chlamydia test. Follow your providers instructions carefully to ensure you get accurate test results.
Because most chlamydia cases are asymptomatic, its important to get screened for chlamydia even if you dont notice any signs of infection. The CDC recommends that sexually active cisgender women who are high-risk for chlamydia get screened regularly. Women, more so than men, experience the most severe complications from chlamydia. Transgender men and nonbinary individuals with vaginas should be screened regularly, too, as they can experience the same complications of chlamydia.
Youre considered high-risk if you:
- Have had chlamydia infections previously.
Cisgender men, or trans and nonbinary individuals with penises, should be screened for chlamydia if:
- They live in a setting where chlamydia spreads frequently, like correctional facilities, adolescent clinics and sexual health clinics.
- They have sex with other men.
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How Common Is Chlamydia
CDC estimates that there were four million chlamydial infections in 2018.3 Chlamydia is also the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the United States.4 However, a large number of cases are not reported because most people with chlamydia are asymptomatic and do not seek testing. Chlamydia is most common among young people. Two-thirds of new chlamydial infections occur among youth aged 15-24 years.3 It is estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 years has chlamydia.5
Disparities persist among racial and ethnic minority groups. In 2019, reported chlamydia rates for African Americans/Blacks were nearly six times that of Whites.4 Chlamydia is also common among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men . Among MSM screened for rectal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 3.0% to 10.5%.6,7 Among MSM screened for pharyngeal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 0.5% to 2.3%.7.8
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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
If you do notice symptoms, youll likely experience them differently based on your reproductive anatomy. Many of the symptoms that cisgender women experience can also affect transgender men and nonbinary individuals with vaginas. Many of the symptoms that cisgender men notice can affect transgender women and nonbinary individuals with penises, too.
- Pus in your urine .
- Increased need to pee.
- Dull pain in the lower part of your abdomen.
Chlamydia bacteria most often infect your urethra, causing symptoms that are similar to nongonococcal urethritis. You may notice:
- Pain or a burning sensation when you pee .
Signs of chlamydia that all genders may notice
Chlamydia can affect parts of your body other than your reproductive organs, such as your:
- You may notice pain, discomfort, bleeding or a mucus-like discharge from your bottom.
- Throat. You may have a sore throat, but you usually wont notice symptoms if the bacterias in your throat.
- Eyes. You may notice symptoms of conjunctivitis if C. trachomatis bacteria gets in your eye. Symptoms include redness, pain and discharge.
See your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
How Can I Tell If I Have An Sti
Get tested! Often, STIs have no obvious symptoms. This means itâs not possible to tell if someone else has an STI or not, and often the person with the STI doesnât know eitherâbut they can still pass the infection to someone else. The only way to know is to get tested. This is why itâs important to have safer sex, if you want to prevent STIs being passed on.
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Who Should Get Tested
- All sexually active women younger than 25 years should get tested every year for chlamydia, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
- At risk Pregnant women should get tested for chlamydia and other STIs early in the pregnancy, with repeat testing as needed, to protect the health of the mother and baby.
- All sexually active gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men should get tested every year. MSM with multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STIs such as at 3-to-6 month intervals.
Click here to find a testing location near you.
Whats The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. If you take the treatment according to instructions, its over 95% effective at treating chlamydia.
- Youll be given a course of antibiotics for 3 or 7 days or sometimes up to two weeks.
- If theres a high chance you have chlamydia, treatment may be started before the results of the test are back. Youll always be given treatment if a sexual partner is found to have chlamydia.
- You may also need other treatment if complications have occurred.
- Tell the doctor or nurse if youre pregnant, or think you might be, or youre breastfeeding. This may affect the type of antibiotic youre given.
- Complementary therapies cant cure chlamydia.
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Is It Possible To Get Chlamydia From A Toilet Seat
Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacteria that causes chlamydia infection, cannot survive outside the human body. Thus, you cannot get chlamydia from a toilet seat. Chlamydia can also not be transmitted through other means of casual contact, such as hugging, kissing, or by sharing towels, bed linen, swimming pools, or cutlery.
Some people are concerned about what will happen if they come in contact with a fresh droplet of the body fluid containing chlamydia left on a towel, bed linen, or toilet seat. However, merely coming in contact with the droplet just because it touched your skin or buttocks is not sufficient for you to get the infection. The bacteria need to come in contact with a suitable body tissue such as the cervix, urethra, or cornea of the eye to survive.
What Can You Do To Relieve Your Symptoms
No home remedy for chlamydia can replace antibiotics. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, so you need to take antibiotics to cure it.
However, there are a few ways you can soothe symptoms while you wait for the antibiotics to get to work. For example:
- Use pain medications, such as ibuprofen to reduce pain
- Use a cold pack to soothe inflammation.
- A herb called goldenseal might reduce inflammation and other symptoms.
- Use an echinacea supplement aid your immune system.
Remember that these home remedies might soothe the symptoms of chlamydia, but they dont actually cure chlamydia in itself. The best way to soothe the symptoms is to use antibiotics.
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Sexually Transmitted Diseases Program
The New Mexico Sexually Transmitted Diseases Prevention Program has as its primary goal the reduction and prevention of the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV infection.
The STD Program provides statewide consultation and technical assistance, partner services, screening, surveillance, health care provider education, case management, and partner notification for reportable STDs in the state.
Chlamydia Can Harm Your Pregnancy Or Reproductive Health
Can chlamydia harm your unborn baby or your future reproductive health? Many people will say no, but thats not true. The infection can cause complications for both pregnancy and fertility.
Chlamydia can cause many complications for pregnant women and their babies. When the infection is left untreated, it can cause preterm delivery. Babies who are born prematurely can have problems with their lungs, hearts, or brains. The infection can spread to the baby, resulting in pneumonia, eye infections, and other complications. Due to these risks, pregnant women are routinely screened for chlamydia.
Chlamydia can cause many complications for pregnant women and their babies. When the infection is left untreated, it can cause preterm delivery.
Chlamydia can also cause complications for women who want to get pregnant. If untreated chlamydia spreads to other parts of the reproductive system, like the uterus, those tissues can be damaged. This can cause infertility. Damage to the uterine tubes could also result in an ectopic pregnancy. This means a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, usually inside the uterine tube. These pregnancies arent sustainable and may put the mothers life at risk.
There are many myths that are circulating about this common sexually transmitted infection. If youre concerned about chlamydia, see your doctor to get tested.
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How Can I Protect Myself From Chlamydia
Its not always possible to know if a current or potential partner has chlamydia, though, especially since many people with chlamydia never notice symptoms. With prevention in mind, its a good idea to make safer sex practices a regular part of your sex life:
- Dont share sex toys, but if you do, wash them after each use and cover toys used for penetration with a condom.
- Have sex with only one partner, who only has sex with you.
Who To Test For Chlamydia
Anyone with the following genital symptoms should not have sex until they see a healthcare provider:
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Unusual sores, or a rash
Because chlamydia usually has no symptoms, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs can reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25. CDC also recommends screening for older women with risk factors, such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Screen and treat those who are pregnant as noted in How does chlamydia affect a pregnant person and their baby? Women who are sexually active should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not necessary for men. However, consider screening sexually active young men in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia. This can include adolescent clinics, correctional facilities, and STD clinics. Consider this when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.40
At the initial HIV care visit, providers should test all sexually active people for chlamydia. Test at least each year during HIV care. A patients healthcare provider might determine more frequent screening is necessary, based on the patients risk factors.42
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Chlamydia Can Sometimes Go Away On Its Own
Some diseases and infections can go away on their own, so its not surprising that people wonder: does chlamydia go away on its own? The truth is, it sometimes does. In about 20% of people who have no symptoms, chlamydia may resolve spontaneously without treatment. It means that under certain circumstances host immune responses can control chlamydia naturally.
Untreated chlamydia can go on without any symptoms for a long period of time. Thats why its so important to get tested and catch it early. When chlamydia isnt treated, it can cause a number of serious complications. In women, the infection can spread to the uterus and uterine tubes, while in men, it can spread to the prostate gland. Chlamydia can also cause reactive arthritis, which affects your joints and eyes.
When chlamydia isnt treated, it can cause a number of serious complications.
Some people claim that chlamydia can be treated with home remedies like garlic and turmeric, but these methods are unproven and should be avoided. The only proven cure for chlamydia is treatment with antibiotics, which usually clear up the infection in a week or two.