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 .
What Happens If I Dont Get Treated
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems.
If you are a woman, untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes . This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease . PID often has no symptoms, however some women may have abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if it doesnt cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, and potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy .
Men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can prevent a man from being able to have children.
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.
If you have unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex, you could get chlamydia. While its possible to get chlamydia through any of these sex acts, the risk varies depending on the type of sex youre having.
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.
If symptoms occur, they usually start one to three weeks after infection. In women, these symptoms may include vaginal discharge, pain during sex, or painful urination. For men, signs of chlamydia may include discharge from the penis or pain in the testicles. Since these symptoms are relatively mild, its easy to overlook them.
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What To Think About
- If a chlamydia infection is suspected, do not have sexual intercourse until the test results have come back. If you have a chlamydia infection, do not have sexual intercourse for 7 days after the start of treatment. Your sex partner should also be treated for a chlamydia infection so that you don’t get reinfected and so that others don’t get infected.
- Only one laboratory test is needed to diagnose chlamydia. Your doctor can choose which test to use.
- Screening for and treating chlamydia can help prevent pelvic inflammatory disease . To learn more about the treatment of a chlamydia infection, see the topic Chlamydia.
- Other sexually transmitted infections may be present at the same time as chlamydia. So it is important to be tested and treated for all STIs. Chlamydia as well as other STIs can also increase the chance of getting human immunodeficiency virus . An HIV test may be offered at the same time as a test for chlamydia or other STIs.
Chlamydia Can Be Prevented
The most effective way to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection is to not have sex. However, if you wish to have sexual contact, you can reduce your risk of infection with these actions:
- Minimizing the number of partners with whom you have intimate contact
- Asking your partners to get screened for STDs before engaging in sexual activity
- Always using latex condoms when having intercourse of any kind
Additional reporting by Ingrid Strauch.
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How Do You Get Tested
There are several different reliable tests for chlamydia. Newer tests, called NAATs , are very accurate and easy to take. Your healthcare provider can explain what testing options are available . If you dont have a regular healthcare provider, you can search here for a clinic near you.
People infected with chlamydia are often also infected with gonorrhea, so patients with chlamydia are often treated for gonorrhea at the same time, since the cost of treatment is generally less than the cost of testing.
If you live in Alaska, Maryland, or Washington, D.C., you can have a free at-home chlamydia test. Visit iwantthekit.org for more information.
Chlamydia Signs And Symptoms
Many people with chlamydia have few or no symptoms. In fact, 75% of women and 50% of men do not experience symptoms. If symptoms do show up, itâs 1-3 weeks after infection.
In men, the following symptoms can indicate a chlamydia infection:* Pain and/or swelling in your testes* Pain or burning whenever you pee* Increased amount of clear or cloudy discharge from the penis* Itching in or around your urethra
In women, the following chlamydia symptoms may appear:* Pain or burning when you pee* A change in color, odor, or consistency of your discharge from your normal* Pain or discomfort during sex or after sex* Bleeding after sex or outside of your normal menstrual cycle* Lower abdominal pain or discomfort
The most common and serious complications occur in women. Chlamydia in women can lead to serious consequences like pelvic inflammatory disease , ectopic pregnancy, tubal factor infertility, and chronic pelvic pain.
Symptoms of chlamydia in the throat are caused by having oral sex with someone with the infection. Chlamydia in the throat is considered a mouth infection and may look a lot like pharyngitis.and swallowing can be painful.
Throat symptoms donât show up very often, but if they do, youâll notice them a week or several months after the initial infection.
If you think you contracted the virus through oral sex, let your provider know so they can do a throat swab and test for the infection that way.
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How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
If youve had intercourse with an infected man or woman, chlamydia symptoms may appear between 1 3 weeks after contact.
However, you may still be asymptomatic after a chlamydia infection. This is because chlamydia can be silent or dormant for months and years without showing symptoms.
In men, about 50 70 percent will show symptoms of chlamydia while only 30 50 percent of women will be symptomatic. Absent symptoms of chlamydia do not mean absent infection. You should take chlamydia test to confirm if you have the infection or not.
How Is Chlamydia Spread
You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia.
If your sex partner is male you can still get chlamydia even if he does not ejaculate .
If youve had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can still get infected again. This can happen if you have unprotected sex with someone who has chlamydia.
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How Do You Know If You Have Gonorrhea
You could have: Evidence of gonorrhea can show up outside the genital tract. You might have symptoms in any of these areas: Rectum. You may itch or be sore, have discharge, pain during bowel movements, or even bleed from your anus. If youre a woman, your rectum can be infected even if you havent had anal sex.
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.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis can all be treated, and often cured, with antibiotics. While it’s important that you find treatment for your STD, having your STD treated is not a guarantee that it will never come back. You have to use your medication as directed, and you also have to be careful about prevention so you won’t get re-infected.
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How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing Years Or
- People with chlamydia usually dont have symptoms, so most people dont know they have it. If you do notice signs of chlamydia, get tested. Heres what to look for. Chlamydia can be sneaky, because you probably wont have any symptoms you can see or feel. Sometimes the signs of chlamydia are.
- g oral sex on someone. If you know you have it genitally, and theres a chance you also have it orally , you should tell the guy
- And you may never even know you have an STD, either because the symptoms are so subtle or because there are no symptoms at all. The CDC notes that each year, Chlamydia can also cause.
- About 50% if men infected with Chlamydia will have no symptoms at all for many years. This is called silent carrier. Indeed even if you tested negative and result in false negative results. Let me know if you have any further query so we can discuss it thoroughly in every aspect
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What Are The Treatments For Chlamydia
Antibiotics will cure the infection. You may get a one-time dose of the antibiotics, or you may need to take medicine every day for 7 days. Antibiotics cannot repair any permanent damage that the disease has caused.
To prevent spreading the disease to your partner, you should not have sex until the infection has cleared up. If you got a one-time dose of antibiotics, you should wait 7 days after taking the medicine to have sex again. If you have to take medicine every day for 7 days, you should not have sex again until you have finished taking all of the doses of your medicine.
It is common to get a repeat infection, so you should get tested again about three months after treatment.
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What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. The recommended antibiotic treatment is doxycycline taken twice a day for seven days or azrithromycin taken in one single dose. Other alternative medications may be used but are not as effective as azrithromycin and doxycycline. Persons being treated for chlamydia should not have sexual intercourse for seven days after single dose therapy or until completion of all seven days of antibiotics . Patients can be re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.
What Other Problems Can Chlamydia Cause
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Men often dont have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis . This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a reaction to an infection in the body.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Chlamydia
The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting chlamydia:
- Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results
- Use latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated
If a person is not treated for chlamydia, complications may occur. Women frequently develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, tubal pregnancies, and the continued spread of the disease. In men, untreated chlamydia can cause urethral infection and complications such as swollen and tender testicles. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy may result in premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery and possible tubal pregnancy in a small percent of women. In addition, chlamydia can cause conjunctival and pneumonic infection in the newborn. Persons with a chlamydia infection have an increased chance of getting other infections such as gonorrhea or HIV.
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How Long Does It Take To Show Up On A Test
There are several tests that you doctor might use to diagnose chlamydia:
- Urine test. Youll pee in a cup thats sent off to a laboratory testing facility to see if any chlamydia bacteria are present in your urine.
- Blood test. Your doctor will use a sterile needle to draw some of your blood and send it to a lab to see if antibodies to the chlamydia bacteria are present in your bloodstream.
- Swab. Your doctor will use a cotton round or stick to take a small sample of tissue or fluid that carries the infection, which is then sent to a lab to be cultured so that lab technicians can see what bacteria grows from the sample.
How long it takes for the results to show up depends on the test and on your specific health insurance plan.
- Urine tests take about 2 to 5 days to show a positive or negative result.
- Blood tests can come back with results in a few minutes if the blood is analyzed on site. But they can take a week or more if sent to an off-site lab.
- Swab results take about 2 to 3 days to show a positive or negative.
1 to 3 weeks to show up in people with vulvas.
Symptoms may take up a few months to show up. This is because bacteria are living creatures and have an incubation period that affects how long it takes them to cluster together and become infectious.
This incubation period is dependent on a variety of factors, including:
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
There are a number of diagnostic tests for chlamydia, including nucleic acid amplification tests , cell culture, and others. NAATs are the most sensitive tests, and can be performed on easily obtainable specimens such as vaginal swabs or urine.43
Vaginal swabs, either patient- or clinician-collected, are the optimal specimen to screen for genital chlamydia using NAATs in women urine is the specimen of choice for men, and is an effective alternative specimen type for women.43 Self-collected vaginal swab specimens perform at least as well as other approved specimens using NAATs.44 In addition, patients may prefer self-collected vaginal swabs or urine-based screening to the more invasive endocervical or urethral swab specimens.45 Adolescent girls may be particularly good candidates for self-collected vaginal swab- or urine-based screening because pelvic exams are not indicated if they are asymptomatic.
NAATs have demonstrated improved sensitivity and specificity compared with culture for the detection of C. trachomatis at rectal and oropharyngeal sites.40 Certain NAAT test platforms have been cleared by FDA for these non-genital sites and data indicate NAAT performance on self-collected rectal swabs is comparable to clinician-collected rectal swabs. 40
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Can Chlamydia Be Cured
Yes, chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. You should not share medication for chlamydia with anyone.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner was treated.
Chlamydia: Symptoms Diagnosis Treatmen
Chlamydia doesnt usually cause any symptoms. So you may not realize that you have it. People with chlamydia who have no symptoms can still pass the disease to others. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. Symptoms in women includ Often, people with chlamydia do not show any signs or symptoms of the infection. Therefore, chlamydia can be spread easily, since chlamydia carriers typically do not realize they have it. Which is why getting tested for chlamydia is so important. If symptoms appear, they typically occur within 2-21 days after exposure
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How Long Until Chlamydia Causes Damage
Symptoms usually appear within one to three weeks after being infected and may be very mild. If not treated, chlamydia can lead to damage to the reproductive system. In women, chlamydial infection can spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease , according to the CDC.
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed And Treated
If you have chlamydia symptoms or had intercourse with someone without protection, you should inform your doctor about testing or take a home chlamydia test.
Chlamydia can be detected at home. You should get a chlamydia test kit and use urine for your test.
However, if you have oral chlamydia symptoms, you may need to see your doctor for throat swab culture. The culture of chlamydia takes about 3 7 days.
If diagnosed with chlamydia, you can easily be treated and cured with azithromycin or doxycycline tablets.
During pregnancy, chlamydia infection can be treated safely with azithromycin.
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