Heres What Happens If Gonorrhea Is Left Untreated
As repugnant as STDs are, ignoring them is the worst thing any sexually active person can do. Thats because untreated STDs can lead to a host of problems most of which are avoidable with early diagnosis and treatment. Indeed, though STDs are a major problem in this country, they are in many instances manageable. However, if you dont get tested or seek treatment, STDs become much more dangerous. To underline that point, today well take a look at what happens if gonorrhea is left untreated. Plus, well explain how you can avoid these STD worst-case scenarios in the future:
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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.
The information on this page is adapted from the CDC and Planned Parenthood.
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Complications Of Chlamydia In Men
People rarely develop consequences from a chlamydia infection if they receive therapy. Chlamydia in males, on the other hand, can cause or raise the risk of:
- The inflammation of the prostate gland is known as prostatitis.
- Scarring of the urethra is a condition in which the urethra is scarred.
- Epididymitis is an infection of the testicles tube.
Chlamydia infections can potentially induce reactive arthritis, according to the American College of Rheumatology. The pain in a persons heels, toes, fingers, lower back, or joints is a symptom of reactive arthritis.
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How Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia
Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:
- An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
- Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
- Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.
Untreated Chlamydia In Women
The greatest complication of untreated Chlamydia in women is infertility. It is defined as the inability to get pregnant despite trying to conceive for over a period of one year. Chlamydia is one of the causes of infertility worldwide. If left untreated, Chlamydia can spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries leading to pelvic inflammatory disease . It can also cause ectopic pregnancies .
Infertility due to Chlamydia is caused after the spread of infection further into the fallopian tubes that causes blockage of the fallopian tubes, known as hydrosalpinx. Fallopian tubes can also develop scar tissue due to which an egg is unable to travel to the uterus for implantation leading to ectopic pregnancy. The classic symptoms of ectopic pregnancy can be pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, lightheadedness, positive pregnancy test. A doctor should be immediately contacted when these symptoms are noticed.
The spread of infection to other parts of female reproductive system, particularly to the uterus and fallopian tube may also cause pelvic inflammatory disease leading to scarring and blocking of the fallopian tubes. PID also on occasions develops without any symptoms and sometimes can be diagnosed too late which might lead to ectopic pregnancy. There is also a higher chance of miscarriage, preterm birth and still birth due to this.
The treatment of infertility in women due to Chlamydia is simple and that is treatment with antibiotics.
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Does Chlamydia Have A Smell
In some cases, chlamydia can cause unusual vaginal discharge, which could have a strong or pungent smell.
However, this could also be a sign of several other STIs, including bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. It could also be caused by many other factors, including sweat, changes in pH, or shifts in hormone levels.
Consider talking with a healthcare professional to address any concerns regarding abnormal discharge or odor, especially if its accompanied by other symptoms like pain, bleeding, itching, or burning.
How Long Does Chlamydia Last
If you believe youve been exposed to chlamydia, even if you dont have any symptoms, the first thing you should do is get tested. And if your chlamydia test is positive, be confident that you are doing the right thing.
Being tested means that you can be treated, and the proper treatment will help clear up a chlamydial infection in a matter of weeks.
On the other hand, if you dont get tested or dont see a healthcare provider for treatment, chlamydia can live in the body for weeks, months, or even years without being detected.
This can lead to long-term complications, including infertility.
Read on to learn what chlamydia is, how it spreads, the symptoms, and when symptoms typically show.
Ill also explain how long chlamydia lasts, what happens if it goes untreated, how long you have to wait to have sex after an infection, and if you can become immune to chlamydia.
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Chlamydia: Symptoms & Treatment Options
This is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Although its curable, people who are infected with it become more likely to contract HIV.
Symptoms: Most people who have chlamydia arent aware of it, because it rarely has any symptoms. However, the people who have reported symptoms have complained about painful sexual intercourse, unusual discharge from their genitals, and burning while urinating
Treatment: Chlamydia can also be cured with antibiotics.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chlamydia
Yes! It is curable for both men and women and it is one of the common diseases to be passed on sexually. The hardest thing is noticing the infection itself as it remains symptomless so it can be difficult to realise you have it in the first place.
Most people dont show signs of the infection and it rare for people to recognise symptoms as the infection. If you do get symptoms of the sexually transmitted disease then they usually appear one to three weeks after having unprotected sex with an infected person. It is possible for symptoms to develop months after the initial infection and symptoms can come and go.
Yes! Chlamydial conjunctivitis is redness and swelling of the clear membrane that lines the inside of your eyelids and covers the white of your eyes. In some cases the infection when in the eye is known as pink eye. Although relatively harmless in adults, eye infection in newborn babies can lead to blindness.
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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.
How To Help Partners Get Treatment
If you are not sure whether your sexual partner will seek treatment, ask your doctor for extra chlamydia medication . You can give it to them so they can be treated as soon as possible.
This is known as patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia. Talk to your doctor to see if PDPT is right for you and your sexual partner.
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What Causes Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is caused by a different strain of the virus, Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 , and infects the genital area. However, HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes if the virus is transmitted from sores around the mouth of one person to the genital area of another during oral sex. Treatment is available for both types of herpes.
What Should Someone Do If They Suspect They May Have Chlamydia Or Gonorrhea
The first step is to get tested. Lifeline offers no-cost testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea in a friendly environment, free of judgment. The urine test is not painful, and results come in just a couple of days. We will inform you of the next steps if your test comes back positive. Lifeline is not a substitute for medical care. We advise that anyone who has been confirmed for an STI schedule a follow-up with their doctor. Its also recommended to avoid any sexual activity during treatment, as well as to inform any sexual partners so that they can get tested as well. To learn more about what to expect during an STI testing appointment at Lifeline, please visit our service page.
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How Long After Treatment Can I Have Sex Again
You should avoid being sexually active during treatment for chlamydia because you can still pass the infection to your sex partner during this time, even if you have no symptoms.
How long you should wait to have sex depends on the antibiotic you take.
If your doctor prescribes a single dose of antibiotics, wait until seven days after taking it. If you take a multi-dose antibiotic, wait until youve taken the full course of medication .
Because it is somewhat common to get a repeat infection of chlamydia, its a good idea to be tested for it again about three months after treatment.
How To Avoid Catching Chlamydia
Anyone who has unprotected sex is at risk of contracting chlamydia. As many people with chlamydia donât notice symptoms, you may not always know if a current or potential sexual partner is carrying the infection. It is therefore recommended to practice safe sex using barrier contraceptive methods, and test regularly. If you have a new sexual partner or do not use barrier contraception, such as a condom, when having sex, you are at a higher risk of catching chlamydia.
To try to avoid catching chlamydia you should:
- use a dam to cover the female genitals during oral sex or when female genitals rub together
- not share sex toys. If you do share sex toys, wash them after each use or cover them with a new condom each time they are used.
Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.
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Increased Chance Of Other Infections
Untreated chlamydia can increase a persons chances of contracting another sexually transmitted infection. According to the CDC, when a chlamydia infection doesnt receive the correct treatment, it can potentially increase a persons chance of acquiring or transmitting the human immunodeficiency virus .
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Chlamydia: Frequently Asked Questions
What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, which results in substantial morbidity and economic cost worldwide. It is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection worldwide. Different strains of C. trachomatis cause genital infections , lymphogranuloma venereum a genital ulcer disease that affects lymphoid tissue-, and trachoma .
How common is chlamydia?
The World Health Organization estimates that in 2012, 131 million new cases of chlamydia infections happened among adults and youth aged 1549 years worldwide, with around 128 million cases already present. The highest number of cases are found in WHO Region of the Americas and the WHO Western Pacific Region.
In the region of the Americas there were around 17.8 million new cases for females and 7 million for men in 2012, adding to the already around 18.8 million existing cases for females and 4.5 million existing cases for males. In many countries, the number of chlamydia is highest among girls aged 1519 years, followed by young women aged 20-24 years.
10-40% of people infected with gonorrhea is also infected with chlamydia.
How is chlamydia spread?
How chlamydia can be prevented?
What are the symptoms of chlamydia?
What are the problems of chlamydia?
In men health problems are less common, but the most common one is inflammation of the tube that stores and carries sperm. Rarely this can lead to inability to have a baby.
How is chlamydia diagnosed?
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Pid Or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Due To Untreated Chlamydia:
Chlamydia causes PID or pelvic inflammatory disease. PID is a serious problem that can damage the fallopian tubes and uterus of the woman. About 40% of all women who have chlamydia get pelvic inflammatory disease. If you have PID, your fallopian tubes and uterus becomes scarred, swollen and filled with pus.
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How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
Chlamydia often has no symptoms, but it can cause serious health problems, even without symptoms. If symptoms occur, they may not appear until several weeks after having sex with a partner who has chlamydia.
Even when chlamydia has no symptoms, it can damage a womans reproductive system. Women with symptoms may notice
- An abnormal vaginal discharge and
- A burning sensation when peeing.
Symptoms in men can include
- A burning sensation when peeing and
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles .
See a healthcare provider if you notice any of these symptoms. You should also see a provider if your partner has an STD or symptoms of one. Symptoms can include
- An unusual sore
How Chlamydia Can Cause Male Infertility
Chlamydia can cause male infertility when the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria infects the testis and prostrate. When the testis and prostate are infected, it reduces sperm quality, affecting fertility.
Aside from causing harm to male reproductive organs, chlamydia infection can also damage the sperm directly.
According to a study, chlamydia infection impairs sperm parameters and acrosome reaction capacity.
The acrosome is a membraneous organelle located in the front of the sperm nucleus. It contains some hydrolytic enzymes. These hydrolytic enzymes, when secreted, help the sperm to penetrate the egg coats).
Therefore, when chlamydia affects acrosomal reaction capacity, the sperm can no longer penetrate the egg coat smoothly, leading to infertility.
Furthermore, chlamydia infection can cause inflammation of the pelvis and the reproductive system organs . This leads to epididymitis and, by extension, orchitis and prostatitis .
These are all different ways that chlamydia infection can cause fertility issues in males.
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Risk Factors And Demographic Factors For Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection
The most common demographic correlate of infection with chlamydial infection in women is young age . This could be explained by the anatomic differences in the cervix of the younger women, wherein the squamo-columnar junction, a primary host target for C. trachomatis, is everted and thus more exposed. Other factors associated with chlamydial infection include unmarried status, nulliparity, black race and poor socio-economic condition. A large number of sexual partners, a new sexual partner, lack of use of barrier contraceptive devices and concurrent gonococcal infection are also known to be associated with chlamydial infection. Cervical chlamydial infections are also found to be associated with the use of oral contraceptives.
What Should I Do If I Have Chlamydia
Chlamydia is easy to treat. But you need to be tested and treated as soon as possible.
If you have chlamydia:
- See a doctor or nurse as soon as possible. Antibiotics will treat chlamydia, but they will not fix any permanent damage to your reproductive organs.
- Take all of your medicine. Even if symptoms go away, you need to finish all of the antibiotics.
- Tell your sex partner so they can be tested and treated. If they are not tested and treated you could get chlamydia again.
- Avoid sexual contact until you and your partner have been treated and cured. Even after you finish your antibiotics, you can get chlamydia again if you have sex with someone who has chlamydia.
- See your doctor or nurse again if you have symptoms that dont go away within a few days after finishing the antibiotics.
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