What Complications Can Result From Chlamydial Infection
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydial infections can lead to serious health problems with both short- and long-term consequences.
In women, untreated chlamydia can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease . Symptomatic PID occurs in about 10 to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia.30,31 However, chlamydia can also cause subclinical inflammation of the upper genital tract . Both acute and subclinical PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, tubal factor infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.32,33
Some patients with chlamydial PID develop perihepatitis, or Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome, an inflammation of the liver capsule and surrounding peritoneum, which is associated with right upper quadrant pain.
In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia has been associated with pre-term delivery,34 as well as ophthalmia neonatorum and pneumonia in the newborn.
Reactive arthritis can occur in men and women following symptomatic or asymptomatic chlamydial infection, sometimes as part of a triad of symptoms formerly referred to as Reiters Syndrome.35
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Chlamydia Naturally
Symptoms Of Throat Chlamydia
Where symptoms do appear in cases of throat chlamydia. People may experience:
- A sore or swollen throat
- Sores around the lips and mouth
- Mouth sores that do not heal
It is common for people living with chlamydia in the throat to believe that they are living with a common cold or flu virus.
It is possible to have oral and genital chlamydia infection at the same time, therefore it is important to look out for the symptoms of both.
How Is Chlamydia Infection Diagnosed
Doctors have several tests they can use to screen for chlamydia. Note that screening for chlamydia in the throat isnt a part of usual STI testing.
If youve had a sore throat that doesnt seem to go away or have a partner that youve had oral sex with who tested positive for chlamydia, you might want to ask your doctor about pharyngeal chlamydia screening.
Doctors can use urine samples to diagnose chlamydia, but that doesnt help them diagnose chlamydia in the throat.
As a result, a doctor may swab your throat to test for chlamydia there. They send this swab to a laboratory, which tests the specimen for the presence of DNA from the bacteria that cause chlamydia.
This test is a little tricky because the Food and Drug Administration hasnt approved a swab test for pharyngeal chlamydia. Your throat contains a lot of bacteria, and this can make it hard to pinpoint chlamydia bacteria.
When a doctor uses a swab to test for chlamydia in the throat, its possible theyre doing so in an off-label fashion. This means the FDA hasnt specifically given the OK to use the test for pharyngeal chlamydia, but some doctors think swabs can help in detection.
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How Chlamydia Is Treated
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
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.
When Should I Call My Doctor About A Chlamydia Test
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A chlamydia test is essential to limiting the spread of this sexually transmitted infection. Its especially important to get screened for chlamydia regularly if youre at a higher risk of this STI. Untreated, the infection can cause health problems and you can spread it to your partner. While youre waiting for results and during treatment, avoid having sex. Wait until your provider says its safe to have sex again. Be sure to use a condom and practice safe sex to avoid getting an STI.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/28/2022.
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How To Treat Oral And Nose Chlamydia
Testing of the nose and oral chlamydia is usually done by swabbing the affected area. If you have developed some sores around the nose or in the throat region, doctors will swab them to collect samples for an oral chlamydia test. These samples are tested to know about the presence of the virus. The great news is that it is possible to treat this STD with the help of some antibiotics. However, if you are infected, it is important to follow some expert rules for your sexual life until the virus is completely out of your body.
In case if you keep on ignoring the disease symptoms so long, the chlamydia infection may go from mild to severe condition, and it may cause a huge impact on your life. With time it starts causing more damage to the body, and it may be irreversible as well. Hence, it is important to start oral chlamydia medication on time.
When To Seek Medical Advice
If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.
You should also get tested if you dont have any symptoms but are concerned you could have a sexually transmitted infection .
If youre a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If youre a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
Read more about chlamydia diagnosis.
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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.
Chlamydia In The Throat: Causes Symptoms And More
Medically reviewed by Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD on January 31, 2020. Written by Karen Eisenbraun. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Can you get chlamydia in the throat? The answer to that question is âyesâ: although chlamydiaâone of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United Statesâoften affects parts of the body like the genitals or rectum, it can also infect oneâs throat .
Read on for key information about the chlamydia bacterium in the throatâincluding causes, possible symptoms, and more.
If you think you may have contracted chlamydia from unprotected sex with an infected partner, consider taking our at-home Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test. Our testing kit is discreet and easy to use, making it a convenient way to check for these STDs from the privacy of home.
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How Common Is Pharyngeal Chlamydia
You may think about cold sores on the mouth caused by the herpes simplex virus , but for the most part, you probably associate other STIs with genital infections. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause burning while urinating and discharge syphilis can cause ulcers HSV can cause blisters human papillomavirus can cause warts, and so on. However, many of these STIs can also cause symptoms in other parts of the body, called extragenital infections.
Common parts of the body that are susceptible to extragenital infections are the rectum and mouth or throat since these parts of the body may also be involved in sexual contact. Being aware of infections outside the genital area is important for your sexual health, especially if you want to be screened for STIs. To truly make sure you dont have certain STIs, you cant just rely on a urine sample or vaginal swab. Instead, you need to check everywhere that may be at risk for infection.
Chlamydia is one of the STIs that can cause an extragenital infection and is sometimes found in the throat. This is sometimes called oral chlamydia or pharyngeal chlamydia. Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, so when you say you have pharyngeal chlamydia, it means you have an infection with the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis in the throat.
How Will I Know If Ive Got A Sexually Transmitted Infection
Not everyone who has a sexually transmitted infection has signs and/or symptoms. Sometimes these dont appear for months and sometimes they go away but you can still have, and pass on, the infection.
- pain in the testicles or lower abdomen
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C affect the liver, not the genitals. Signs and/or symptoms of hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C may include:
- flu-like illness, such as fever, general aches and headaches
- tiredness and feeling sick, sometimes with vomiting and diarrhoea
- dark coloured urine and/or pale faeces
Even if you dont have any signs and/or symptoms you may wish to seek advice or have a check-up, particularly if:
- you have recently had unprotected sex, including oral sex, with a new partner
- you, or a partner, have sex with other people without using a condom
- a partner has symptoms.
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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 Can Be Screened For Chlamydia
In England there is a National Chlamydia Screening Programme. This offers chlamydial screening for sexually active women and men aged under 25 years. In this age group, screening is undertaken yearly or each time these women and men have a new sexual partner. The aims of this programme are to detect chlamydia early so it can be treated promptly. This should reduce the risk of transmission and also reduce the risk of developing complications. You can find information about screening at your GP surgery or local pharmacy. It is also available through family planning clinics, genitourinary medicine clinics or online.
In countries where there is not a screening programme, testing is still offered regularly to sexually active young people. You can request testing regularly if you are in this category. You can do this through your GP or by attending a GUM clinic. It may be available in other ways depending on the area in which you live.
Certain other groups of people are also recommended to undergo screening for chlamydia. For example:
- If you have a partner with chlamydia.
- If you have another STI.
- If you are having an abortion .
- If you have had two or more sexual partners in the past year.
Read Also: Can Chlamydia Make Men Infertile
How To Avoid Chlamydia From Oral
Unprotected sex is the major culprit for transmitting SDI diseases, among which is Chlamydia. Marketing campaigns which advise you to use preservative dont exist for the sake of getting money exclusively. They can prevent some unexpected outcomes.
Using preservatives should be on top of your How to keep myself safe list. Preservatives are cheap and available to buy in almost every store. Theres no rational excuse for not using condoms. You should also ask your partner for same day chlamydia testing to avoid the confusion.
If youve established confidential relationship with your partner, there should be no secrets between you two, especially those secrets that could endanger the health of your beloved one. Never have sex with partners who are positive to inconclusive Chlamydia test. This is how you can easily prevent chlamydia transmission during oral time.
What Are The Symptoms Of Oral Chlamydia
Chlamydia is an asymptomatic infection, so you could have the STI without knowing about it. However the cellular lining in the throat and mouth can become infected and the most common sign is a painful and severe sore throat. People who notice this sign often dismiss it as a common cold or other viral infections and do not make the connection between the unprotected oral sex that they participated in and this symptom. Along with a sore throat you could notice a low fever, coughing and swollen lymph nodes. Its important to get regularly tested for STIs when you have had unprotected sex, especially if this is with a new partner.
Also Check: Can Chlamydia Cause Prostate Cancer
Where Can I Get A Test
There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
A chlamydia test can be done at:
- a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
- your general practice
- contraception and young peoples clinics
- some pharmacies.
Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.
In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.
The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .
If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.
In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk
Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.
Tips For Safe Kissing
Follow these tips to practice safe kissing and prevent transmission of other conditions:
- Avoid kissing someone if either of you has open sores.
- Avoid kissing someone if either of you has cuts in or around the mouth.
- Avoid kissing someone when youre sick or if theyre sick.
- Dont bite during kissing.
- Find other parts of the body to kiss instead of the lips, such as the cheek or hand.
Kissing doesnt have to be off-limits to prevent the transmission of disease. If you temporarily avoid kissing or change the way you kiss during a bout of illness, you could lower your chances for getting the condition.
Read Also: Which Is An Effect Of Chlamydia
How Can You Tell If You Have Gotten Chlamydia From Oral Sex
Its not always easy to tell if youve gotten chlamydia from oral sex symptoms of chlamydia vary slightly between the different types , but the main symptoms are:
- Pain when you go to the toilet
- Unusual discharge from the vagina/penis/anus
- Painful or swollen testicles
Chlamydia is an STI that often doesnt display symptoms many people have or carry chlamydia without knowing about it at all. However, this can be incredibly dangerous in the long-run, especially in terms of your fertility.
The only way to check if you are STI-free is to have an STI test you can get this done in-person, at most local GP surgeries, sexual health clinics, or by ordering a chlamydia test kit online.
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