Who Is At Risk For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Anyone with genital symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination, unusual sores, or rash should refrain from having sex until they are able to see a health care provider about their symptoms.
Also, anyone with an oral, anal or vaginal sex partner who has been recently diagnosed with an STD should see a health care provider for evaluation.
Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs have been demonstrated to reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women. CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women age 25 or younger and older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections . Pregnant women should be screened during their first prenatal care visit. Pregnant women younger than 25 or at increased risk for chlamydia should be screened again in their third trimester. Any woman who is sexually active should discuss her risk factors with a health care provider who can then determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not recommended for men. However, the screening of sexually active young men should be considered in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.
What are the symptoms?
What kinds of complications can the infection cause?
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 If I Dont Get It Treated
If chlamydia is left untreated it can become a serious threat to your health.
Chlamydia can spread from your cervix to your uterus and fallopian tubes. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease , which can damage and block your tubes. You may not be able to get pregnant if both tubes are blocked because sperm are unable to reach the egg. If you have had PID you are more at risk of having an ectopic pregnancy or long-term pelvic pain.
Chlamydia can spread from your penis to your testicles and cause painful swelling. You can become infertile.
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How Is It Treated
Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia. Itâs important to take all of the medicine as directed. Otherwise the medicine may not work. Both sex partners need treatment to keep from passing the infection back and forth.
As soon as you find out you have chlamydia, be sure to let your sex partners know. Experts recommend that you notify everyone youâve had sex with in the past 2 months. If you have not had sex in the past 2 months, contact the last person you had sex with.
Having a chlamydia infection that was cured does not protect you from getting it again. If you are treated and your sex partner is not, you probably will get it again.
Some people who have chlamydia also have other STIs, such as gonorrhea.
Finding out that you have an STI may make you feel bad about yourself or about sex. Counseling or a support group may help you feel better.
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Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
The only sure way to prevent chlamydia is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading chlamydia. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Whats Chlamydia And What Are The Symptoms
The bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, is the organism which causes chlamydia infection. It can affect the eyes , the joints, the mouth and the genitals of males and females. Chlamydia discharge with severe discomfort while urinating may be an early sign of illness.
It can also be contacted through the sharing of infected towels. Pregnant women with poorly treated infection may transmit chlamydia to their babies during delivery.
Chlamydia can be a silent disease because you can get infected without showing any signs. About 30 70 percent of infected men and women will not have common symptoms at all.
However, this does not rule out complication of chlamydia infection in the long-term. If left for a long time without treatment, chlamydia may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal pregnancy, and difficulty conceiving.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is the upward spread of chlamydia affecting the womb, abdominal area, and Fallopian tubes. PID could potentially cause permanent damage to the Fallopian tubes ultimately causing infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
Short-term adverse effects of chlamydia in men include inflammation of the epididymis, with testes that are hurtful and swollen. This occurs very early after an infection and can contribute to infertility in men.
If youve had unprotected anal, oral, vaginal intercourse or got in real contact with someone genital fluid, you can have chlamydia.
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Being Exposed To Another Std
Being successfully treated for chlamydia, gonorrhea, or another STD does not protect you from other STDs In fact, many people become infected with STDs over and over again because they continue to have unprotected sex with partners who have untreated STDs.
If youve been treated for an STD and dont want to get another one, the best thing that you can do is change your behaviors to decrease your risk. That means consistently practicing safe sex and always talking to new partners about STD risk before having sex.
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What Increases Your Risk
Risk factors for getting chlamydia include:
- Having unprotected sex .
- Having more than one sex partner.
- Having a high-risk partner or partners. This includes people who have more than one sex partner or sex partners who have chlamydia.
- Starting sexual activity before age 18.
Any child with chlamydia needs to be seen by a doctor to determine the cause and to assess for possible sexual abuse. For more information, see the topic Child Abuse and Neglect.
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.
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Chlamydia Symptoms In Females
Chlamydia symptoms in females are rare. Roughly 7 in 10 women dont experience any symptoms. The infection may be asymptomatic, meaning that people dont know they have it.
If signs and symptoms occur, they usually happen one to three weeks after the exposure, but could start much later. The symptoms are often mild and passing, and easy to overlook.
Some of the potential signs and symptoms of chlamydia include:
- lower abdominal pain
What Happens If Chlamydia Isn’t Treated
Only some people who have chlamydia will have complications. If chlamydia is treated early, its unlikely to cause any long-term problems. But, without proper treatment, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. The more times you have chlamydia the more likely you are to get complications.
- If you have a vulva, chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease . This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy .
- In people with a vulva, chlamydia can also cause pain and inflammation around the liver, though this is rare. This usually gets better with the correct antibiotic treatment.
- If you have a penis, chlamydia can lead to infection in the testicles. If this isnt treated, theres a possibility it could affect your fertility but more research is needed to understand how likely this is.
- Rarely, chlamydia can lead to inflammation of the joints. This is known as Sexually Acquired Reactive Arthritis and is sometimes accompanied by inflammation of the urethra and the eye. This is more likely to occur in people with a penis than people with a vulva.
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How Long Before Chlamydia Does 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.
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Is Treatment Always Necessary For Chlamydia
Yes, treatment is necessary for chlamydia, particularly in women of childbearing age, because it reduces the risk of chlamydia-associated ectopic pregnancy, fertility problems, and the transmission of chlamydia to neonates during birth. In women, of all ages, chlamydia treatment reduces the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
In men, treatment for chlamydia stops them from infecting or reinfecting sexual partners with the bacteria.
Treat any person testing positive for chlamydia with a recommended course of antibiotics promptly. Delays in treatment have been associated with complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.
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Why Is Treatment Of Chlamydia Important
When treated early, chlamydia does not cause any long-term complications. Left untreated, serious and permanent damage can occur.
It may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease . This is when female reproductive organs, found in your pelvis, become inflamed. PID may cause ectopic pregnancies , infertility or chronic pelvic pain.
If not treated, chlamydia can spread to testicles, leading to pain and swelling. Chlamydia may occasionally cause infertility in men. Sometimes chlamydia may trigger a condition called Reiter’s disease which causes inflammation of your eyes, skin and joints.
Chlamydia can be passed from mother to baby during birth. The baby may subsequently develop eye and/or ear infections or pneumonia.
Can You Still Get Chlamydia If You Use A Condom
Can you still get chlamydia if you use a condom? This is a very common STD-related question. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacteria known as chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. No matter what type of sexual forms you used, be it vaginal, anal, or oral sex, you may contract chlamydia if your partner is positive. So, can you still get chlamydia if you use a condom?
Condoms have a high chance of preventing chlamydia and other STDs like gonorrhea. But it may not be as effective for other STDs like herpes and syphilis. Chlamydia is a very common STD that is highly prevalent in the US. One of the reasons why it is so common is that it causes few to no symptoms. Even if symptoms do appear, it may resemble other conditions as common as the flu. So it can easily be misunderstood.
Can you still get chlamydia if you use a condom? Since chlamydia is primarily spread through sexual contact, condoms can act as a barrier to the infection from spreading.
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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.
How Can I Prevent Getting Chlamydia
Anyone who is sexually active can catch chlamydia. Youâre most at risk if you have a new sexual partner or donât use a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom, when having sex. You can help to prevent the spread of chlamydia by:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex
- using a condom to cover the penis during oral sex
- using a dam to cover the female genitals during oral sex or when rubbing female genitals together
- not sharing sex toys. If you do share sex toys, wash them or cover them with a new condom between each person who uses them.
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What Exactly Causes Chlamydia
A type of bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatiscauses chlamydia. This bacterium can take hold in the tissues of your genitals, anus, eyes, or throat.
Its usually transmitted from one person to another during penetrative vaginal or anal sex or oral sex, although sex without penetration can also transmit it.
Chlamydia can also be transmitted to a baby during vaginal delivery if the person giving birth has an untreated chlamydia infection.
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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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Stds That Can Be Contracted While Using A Condom Include:
- HPVis the most common STI there are over 100 strains of the virus. Some strains of HPV go unnoticed and seem to cause no symptoms at all, while others can cause genital warts or various cancers. Because genital warts can be on parts of the genitals that are not covered by a condom, especially female condoms, HPV can be spread via skin-to-skin contact. Whats worse there is no male STD test for HPV and many cases show no symptoms, so it is often passed on unknowingly to partners.
- Genital herpes is a viral STD that typically results in sores or lesions on the genitals, anus or upper thighs. A case of either HSV-1 or HSV-2 is called genital herpes when it affects the genitals or the genital area. Since lesions or sores can occur on parts of the genital region that is exposed during condom use, it can be spread from partner to partner.
- Syphilis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that spreads through sexual contact, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Syphilis sores occur at the infection site, and can be contracted by a partner via skin-to-skin contact regardless of condom use.
- Pubic lice, also known as crabs, are Pthirus pubis that infect the genitals. These lice are most common among teens and are typically spread during sexual, skin-to-skin contact. Pubic lice can live among pubic hair and can spread whether a condom is used or not.
Chlamydia Cdc Fact Sheet
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that can be easily cured. If left untreated, chlamydia can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.
Basic Fact Sheet | Detailed Version
Basic fact sheets are presented in plain language for individuals with general questions about sexually transmitted diseases. The content here can be syndicated .
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Could I Get Chlamydia
Anyone who is sexually active, including people who experience sexual violence, can get chlamydia.
Chlamydia is most easily passed on during sex without a condom this includes vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse.
Although less common, chlamydia can also be passed on:
- when a person with the infection in their mouth or throat gives oral sex to another person
- when a person gives oral sex to a person with an infection of the genitals
- through oral-anal contact
- through sharing sex toys or during a hand job or fingering if infected fluids get onto the toy or hand