How Common Is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is the most common STI caused by bacteria. Nearly 2 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the CDC in 2019. The number of infections is likely even higher. When compared to previous years, 2019 infection rates increased among people of all genders, all races and ethnicities, and in every region of the U.S. Most cases of chlamydia are asymptomatic, which means there are no signs or symptoms of an infection. Many of these cases likely go unreported.
Certain demographic characteristics may make you more likely to get diagnosed with chlamydia. Youre more likely to get diagnosed if youre:
- A teen or young adult aged 15 to 24. More than half of all diagnosed chlamydia cases in the U.S. occur in this age group.
- A cisgender woman aged 15 to 24. Young women in this age group are targeted for chlamydia screenings, and the rate of infection among those who are tested is high.
- A man who has sex with men . Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect men who have sex with men.
- Black and non-Hispanic. Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect non-Hispanic Black populations.
Major Symptoms Of Chlamydia And Related Complications
Medical history says that Chlamydia disease does not report any symptom so people often think about does chlamydia go away forever. Almost 80% females and 50% males stay infected without any related symptom. And in case if the symptoms start appearing, they will be observable only after 2 to 3 weeks of exposure.
Due to this trouble, sufferers are not able to receive right treatment and it leads to several issues that are more dangerous ahead. Studies reveal that almost 40% of the untreated women face pelvic inflammatory disease as the next stage of Chlamydia and this state is highly painful. The untreated female patients can face trouble in pregnancy or in some more critical cases, they can have infertility issues.
In case of males, Chlamydia generally starts from urethra and its symptoms may come or go with time. Some people can feel its symptoms during the first urination of day you can identify them as:
- Painful burning at the time of urination.
- Some people may face scrotal pain.
- It can also appear in form of Reiters Syndrome that is a kind of arthritis and usually cause major damage to eyes and body joints.
- Prostate inflammation issues.
- Infertility is one more dangerous issue when infection gets spread from urethra to testicles.
In case of women as well as men, the major complications due to Chlamydia Bacterium are:
- Reiters syndrome that is a kind of reactive arthritis.
- Genital Lymphogranuloma.
Treatment For Chlamydia Is Quick And Easy
Two antibiotics are most often used for treating chlamydia:
- Azithromycin The main treatment for chlamydia is one gram of azithromycin, taken one time, says , deputy director of clinical services for public health with the Seattle and King County HIV and STD Program in Washington. That one gram comes as either two pills or four pills. It is not expensive.
- Doxycycline If your doctor prescribes doxycycline, you will take two pills daily for one week. It costs somewhat more than azithromycin.
Antibiotics can also cure chlamydia in infants, who can get the infection from their mothers, and treatment is essential for them. Without treatment, infants infected with chlamydia can develop conjunctivitis, which can cause blindness, or pneumonia, which can be fatal.
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How Quickly Do Symptoms Show
In many cases, chlamydia symptoms do not show up at all, making it possible for the infection to lie dormant in the body and cause long-term side effects when not treated.
If someone with chlamydia does experience symptoms, the time it takes for them to show up may vary.
For most people, though, it takes about 7-21 days after having unprotected sex with an infected partner. However, it can take longer.
Causes And Risk Factors
Chlamydia is an STI caused by a specific strain of bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.
Chlamydia is more common in women than in men. In fact, its estimated that the overall rate of infection is for women than men in the United States.
Some of the other risk factors for infection include:
- not using barrier methods like condoms consistently with new sexual partners
- having a sexual partner who is having sex with other people
- having a history of chlamydia or other STIs
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How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. The bacteria are usually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids .
You can get chlamydia through:
- sharing sex toys that are not washed or covered with a new condom each time they’re used
It can also be passed by a pregnant woman to her baby.
Chlamydia cannot be passed on through casual contact, such as kissing and hugging, or from sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or cutlery.
How Is Chlamydia Treated
Chlamydia can be cleared up with antibiotics in about a week or two. But dont stop taking your medication just because your symptoms improve. Ask your provider about what follow-up is needed to be sure your infection is gone after youve finished taking your medicine.
Part of your treatment should also include avoiding sexual activities that could cause you to get re-infected and ensuring that any sexual partners who may be infected also get treatment. You should:
- Abstain from sex until your infection has cleared up. Starting treatment doesnt mean that youre in the clear. Take all your medication as your provider directs, and avoid all sexual contact in the meantime.
- Contact all sexual partners. Tell any sexual partners from the last 3 months that youre infected so that they can get tested, too.
- Get tested for other STIs . Its common to have multiple STIs, and its important to receive treatment thats tailored to each infection.
Antibiotics can get rid of your infection, but they cant reverse any harm the bacteria may have caused to your body before treatment. This is why its so important to get screened regularly for chlamydia, to see your provider at the first sign of symptoms, and get treatment immediately if youre infected.
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What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV-negative.
Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual activity for 7 days after single dose antibiotics or until completion of a 7-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners. It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure chlamydia. Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. If a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a womans risk of serious reproductive health complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. Women and men with chlamydia should be retested about three months after treatment of an initial infection, regardless of whether they believe that their sex partners were successfully treated.
Infants infected with chlamydia may develop ophthalmia neonatorum and/or pneumonia. Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
Male Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
These are just some of the most common complications of untreated chlamydia, which is why its important to get medical attention right away. Most people who get treatment quickly have no long-term medical problems.
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Get Retested Following Treatment
Many people have more than one chlamydia infection. If youre a girl or woman and your sex partners are not treated for the infection, you will be at high risk for reinfection. Repeated infections with chlamydia make it much more likely that your ability to have children will be affected. Repeated infections also raise your risk of painful complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.
Both women and men with chlamydia should be retested about three months after they are first diagnosed and treated. Go to be retested even if you think your sex partners were successfully treated.
Testing And Treating Sexual Partners
If you test positive for chlamydia, it’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you’ve had are also tested and treated.
A specialist sexual health adviser can help you contact your recent sexual partners, or the clinic can contact them for you if you prefer.
Either you or someone from the clinic can speak to them, or the clinic can send them a note to let them know they may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection .
The note will suggest that they go for a check-up. It will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024
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Treatment Of Chlamydia Is There A Cure For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be cured easily and effectively with simple antibiotics once it has been diagnosed. The treatment can consist of a single dose or last up to 2 weeks depending on the type of chlamydia. The infected person should not have penetrative sex until receiving a negative Chlamydia test at an after-treatment check-up. Both partners must be treated for chlamydia and undergo re-testing after 34 months.
Do Past Infections Mean Im Immune
At this point, it seems you cannot become immune to chlamydia after having it. To avoid future infections, its important to practice safe sex and get tested regularlyespecially if you are sexually active with multiple partners.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Isn`t Treated
Not all people with Chlamydia will experience any complications. If the infection gets treatment early, it won`t probably cause any long-term damages. Still, with no treatment Chlamydia will spread to other body parts. The more times you get infected with it, the more like it is for you to experience complications.
- In men this condition may lead to an infection of the testicles and maybe even infertility.
- In women this infection may lead to inflammation and pain around the liver. With proper treatment, this usually gets better in time.
- In women this medical condition may spread to other important body organs leading to PID. In turn, this may lead to long-term damages, such as ectopic pregnancy, pelvic pain, infertility and blocked fallopian tubes.
- In both man and women More rarely, this infection may lead to joint inflammation. This is also known as SARA and it`s on occasion accompanied by eye and urethral inflammation. It occurs more rarely in women than men.
Will Chlamydia Go Away After Treatment
Chlamydia is easily cured with antibiotics. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection , which means that once youve been treated and tested negative for it , its gone.
How long do Chlamydia symptoms last after treatment?
Generally, most symptoms should resolve completely within 24 weeks. If any symptoms persist, such as pelvic pain or pain during sex, please return to the clinic as further treatment or investigations may be necessary.
How long does it take to cure chlamydia naturally?
You should abstain from having sex until the infection resolves usually within one to two weeks.
Does chlamydia have a smell?
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Female Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
Infertility is also possible if chlamydia is left untreated because the fallopian tubes may become scarred.
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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Do I Need To Have A Test To Check That The Chlamydia Has Gone
If you take the treatment according to the instructions, you wont usually need a test to check the chlamydia has gone.
If youre aged under 25, you should be offered a repeat test 3 months after finishing the treatment. This is because youre at a higher risk of getting chlamydia again.
Whatever your age, you may need a repeat test or more treatment if:
- you think youve come into contact with chlamydia again
- you had sex without a condom with a partner before the treatment for both of you was finished
- you didnt complete the treatment or didnt take it according to the instructions
- the signs and symptoms dont go away
- your test was negative but you develop signs or symptoms of chlamydia
- youre pregnant.
A repeat test can be done 56 weeks after the first test.
If the chlamydia was in your rectum , you may need another test around 3 weeks after finishing the treatment. Your doctor, nurse or clinic will let you know if you need another test.
You can go back to the doctor, nurse or clinic if you have any questions or need advice on how to protect yourself from infection in the future.
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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Treating Toddlers And Children
Chlamydia in toddlers and children may occur as a result of sexual abuse and should be investigated. With that said, chlamydia transmitted during childbirth can sometimes take up to three years before symptoms develop in the child’s throat, rectum, or genitals.
If chlamydia is confirmed, either erythromycin, azithromycin, or doxycycline may be used depending on the child’s age and/or weight.
|Treatment Recommendations for Children|
|100 mg taken by mouth twice daily for 7 days|
What Happens If Chlamydia Is Not Treated
Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Women with PID may not realize they have it, but left untreated it can cause pain, infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
Pregnant women with untreated chlamydia can pass it to their babies during childbirth. It can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and also increase the risk of delivering your baby too early.
In men, chlamydia can spread to the epididymis , and can cause chronic joint pain and infertility for some.
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How Chlamydia’s Passed On
Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
Chlamydia is most commonly spread through:
- sharing sex toys that arent washed or covered with a new condom each time theyre used.
It can be spread by giving or receiving oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. The risk can be lowered by using a condom or a dam to cover the genitals.
If youre pregnant its possible to pass chlamydia to the baby .
You cant get chlamydia from kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or from sharing cups, plates or cutlery.
When Can I Have Sex Again
If you were diagnosed with chlamydia, wait to have sex again until you have finished your treatment.
For some antibiotics, such as doxycycline, this means may need to wait 1 week to have sex, or until you have completed your prescribed course of treatment.
If you were prescribed a single dose of medication, like azithromycin, wait 7 days after taking the medication before having sex.
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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.