Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
- What is a sexually transmitted infection ?
A sexually transmitted infection is an infection spread by sexual contact. There are many STIs. This FAQ focuses on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. These STIs can cause long-term health problems and problems during pregnancy. Having an STI also increases the risk of getting human immunodeficiency virus if you are exposed to it.
- What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI in the United States. Chlamydia is caused by a type of bacteria, which can be passed from person to person during vaginal sex, oral sex, or anal sex. Infections can occur in the mouth, reproductive organs, urethra, and rectum. In women, the most common place for infection is the cervix .
- What are the risk factors for chlamydia?
The following factors increase the risk of getting chlamydia:
Having a new sex partner
Having more than one sex partner
Having a sex partner who has more than one sex partner
Having sex with someone who has an STI
Having an STI now or in the past
Not using condoms consistently when not in a mutually monogamous relationship
Exchanging sex for money or drugs
Chlamydia usually does not cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may show up between a few days and several weeks after infection. They may be very mild and can be mistaken for a urinary tract or vaginal infection. The most common symptoms in women include
yellow discharge from the vagina or urethra
yellow vaginal discharge
What It Looks Like
Symptoms of oral chlamydia look very similar to tonsillitis or strep throat. The throat will be red, and the tonsils will be swollen. White spots might appear on the back of the throat. In addition, a person might feel swollen lymph nodes on the sides of the neck.
The most accurate way to know whether you have oral chlamydia is through swab testing. Testing for chlamydia outside of the genital area is not a routine part of STD screening, which means that throat infections can go undiagnosed and untreated.
Untreated chlamydia of the throat could be a reason for the ongoing spread of the disease.
Chlamydia Is A Serious Infection
Chlamydia is Americas most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection. Every year, an estimated 2.86 million infections occur. Since its so common, you may assume that its no big deal. However, chlamydia can be a very serious infection.
Chlamydia is very common, but that doesnt mean it cant have a serious impact on your health. The infection can cause a number of long-term complications. In up to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia, the infection spreads to the uterus and uterine tubes, leading to symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease. In addition, some women experience subclinical inflammation of the upper genital tract. This can cause permanent damage to the affected tissues.
Read Also: What Antibiotics To Take For Chlamydia
Early Signs Among Women
- May vary in consistency, or color
Your 7 Home Chlamydia Test Options
There are seven testing options available for people who want to screen for chlamydia from home.
1. Test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
This is the most basic Chlamydia test available. This option is perfect for those have been, and believe to have been, exposed to this specifically one of these two infections.
2. Test for Oral, Rectal and Genital Chlamydia Infections
Contrary to many peoples beliefs, taking a standard chlamydia test does not guarantee a proper diagnosis. In fact, a false diagnosis is actually quite likely. You see, people who practice oral and anal sex need to use a specialized type of chlamydia test. An Extragenital test will screen for the infection in the genitals, mouth and rectum. Luckily, this three-site Extragenital test is one of the seven at-home chlamydia test options available through myLAB Box.
3. Test for Causes of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
4. Test for the Basics
myLAB Boxs Safe Box checks for the five sexually transmitted infections that are vital to test for: HIV , Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Trichomoniasis.
5. Test with myLAB Boxs Most Popular Test
The Uber Box, myLAB Boxs most popular product, screens for eight common infections, including HIV , Hepatitis C, Herpes Simplex Type II, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis.
6. Test with Your Partner
7. Test with myLAB Boxs Most Comprehensive Option
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Chlamydia Is Caused By Sexually Transmitted Bacteria
The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis causes chlamydia infection, which usually occurs in the genital tract, so the cervix in women and the penis in men. In both women and men, the bacteria may also infect the rectum and the throat.
“Infections are spread during any kind of sexual activity: vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse,” says Jonathan Schaffir, MD, an ob-gyn at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
Chlamydia trachomatis can also cause conjunctivitis if the bacteria come into contact with the eyelids or the clear membrane covering the white of the eye.
Because chlamydia infections often cause no symptoms, individuals who have one may not seek medical attention or get treated for it. However, anyone who is infected with chlamydia can pass it to other people, who can, in turn, pass it to others.
Chlamydia In The Rectum Throat Or Eyes
Chlamydia can also infect:
- the rectum if you have unprotected anal sex this can cause discomfort and discharge from your rectum
- the throat if you have unprotected oral sex this is uncommon and usually causes no symptoms
- the eyes if they come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid this can cause eye redness, pain and discharge
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What Antibiotics Do You Get For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs. It can be treated easily if caught early. Some of the most recommended antibiotics used to treat chlamydia are azithromycin and doxycycline. Azithromycin is typically given as 2 tablets one time while doxycycline is given as 2 capsules a day for 7 days. These antibiotics are most effective if both partners have received treatment and have taken their prescription as directed.
Std Awareness: Will Stds Go Away On Their Own
ByAnna C.|April 25, 2016, noon
Can gonorrhea go away without treatment? Does chlamydia eventually clear up? Can trichomoniasis go away on its own? These are the kinds of questions people pose to Google before Google sends them here at least thats what I learned by looking at the blogs stats. Theyre tricky questions to tackle, and for so many reasons.
Some viral STDs stay with you for life, such as herpes and HIV. Others, such as hepatitis B and human papillomavirus , can be prevented with vaccines but cannot be cured. Its also possible for the immune system to defeat hepatitis B virus and HPV but in some cases, these viruses are able to settle in for the long haul, causing chronic infections that can endure for life and even lead to cancer.
Left untreated, syphilis can kill, and gonorrhea can cause infertility.
Non-viral STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be cured. However, they usually dont have symptoms, or symptoms can come and go, making it seem like an infection went away when it actually didnt. You cant know your STD status without getting tested, and you cant self-diagnose an STD based on symptoms and then assume the infection went away when symptoms subside. Getting tested can uncover a problem and clear the way for treatment.
Gonorrhea and Chlamydia
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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.
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How Does Chlamydia Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby
In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia has been associated with pre-term delivery,34 as well as ophthalmia neonatorum and pneumonia in the newborn. In published prospective studies, chlamydial conjunctivitis has been identified in 18-44% and chlamydial pneumonia in 3-16% of infants born to women with untreated chlamydial cervical infection at the time of delivery.9-12 Neonatal prophylaxis against gonococcal conjunctivitis routinely performed at birth does not effectively prevent chlamydial conjunctivitis.37-39
Screening and treatment of chlamydia in pregnant women is the best method for preventing neonatal chlamydial disease. All pregnant women should be screened for chlamydia at their first prenatal visit. Pregnant women under 25 and those at increased risk for chlamydia should be screened again in their third trimester. Pregnant women with chlamydial infection should be retested 3 weeks and 3 months after completion of recommended therapy.40
Read Also: Can A Urinalysis Detect Chlamydia
Chlamydia Symptoms In Women:
- testicular pain and/or swelling
- swollen skin around the anus
Depending on the localization of the infection, women, men and children may experience inflamed rectum, urethra or eyelids. The symptoms of mouth and throat infections are rare although a person can suffer a sore throat. Eyes infected with chlamydia can be itchy, swelled, cause painful sensations or produce discharge similar to conjunctivitis. Infection in the rectum results in bleeding, chlamydia discharge and pain.
What To Think About
Some people who have chlamydia may also have gonorrhea. In that case, treatment includes antibiotics that kill both chlamydia and gonorrhea. For more information, see the topic Gonorrhea.
Reinfection can occur. Symptoms that continue after treatment are probably caused by another chlamydia infection rather than treatment failure. To prevent reinfection, sex partners need to be evaluated and treated.
Repeated chlamydia infections increase the risk for pelvic inflammatory disease . Even one infection can lead to PID without proper treatment. Make sure to take your antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Take the full course of medicine, even if you feel better in a couple of days.
Some doctors recommend retesting 3 to 12 months after treatment to reduce the risk of complications from reinfection.footnote 4
If you have chlamydia, your doctor will send a report to the state health department. Your personal information is kept confidential. The health department may contact you about telling your sex partner or partners that they may need treatment.
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How Is It Treated
Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia. It’s 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 you’ve 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.
How Common Is It
Oral chlamydia is not as common as genital chlamydia. Research shows that approximately 10% of people who visited a sexually transmitted disease clinic had genital chlamydia, but only 1.5% also had an infection in the throat.
Genital gonorrhea is not as common as genital chlamydia, but oral gonorrhea is more common than oral chlamydia.
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Do I Need To Be Tested Again After Treatment
You do not usually need to have a test to check the treatment worked if you have taken an antibiotic medicine correctly. However, it is advisable to have another test for chlamydia in the following situations:
- If you think you have had sex with a person with chlamydia.
- If your symptoms do not improve after treatment.
- If you had unprotected sex before you finished the treatment.
- If you did not complete the course of treatment.
- If you are pregnant.
Also in England, the national screening programme advises that if you are aged under 25 and have had a positive test for chlamydia, you should have a repeat test three months later. This is to check the infection has cleared completely and that you have not got it back again.
How Will I Know If I Have Chlamydia
You can only be certain you have chlamydia if you have a test.
Anyone can get chlamydia. Youre more likely to have it if youre under 25, have a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner in the last year, and if you havent used condoms.
You should have a test if:
- you, or a partner, have or think you might have symptoms
- youve recently had sex without a condom with a new partner
- you, or a partner, have had sex without a condom with other partners
- during a vaginal examination, your doctor or nurse says that the cervix is inflamed and/or theres an unusual discharge
- a sexual partner tells you they have a sexually transmitted infection
- you have another STI.
If you live in England, and youre a woman who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test when you change sexual partner and once a year.
If youre a man who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
You could still have chlamydia even if a partner has tested negative. The only way to make sure you dont have chlamydia is to get tested yourself.
If you have chlamydia, youll be encouraged to be tested for other STIs as you can have more than one STI at the same time.
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Symptoms In The Throat
Chlamydia symptoms can sometimes appear in the throat, although this is uncommon. When it does occur, the time frame is likely to be similar to that of chlamydia infections of the genitals.
In people who experience symptoms, the main one is a persistent sore throat. A doctor may refer to a chlamydia infection in the throat as pharyngeal chlamydia.
Testing for chlamydia in the throat is not a common practice in STI testing, as it does not have approval from the Food and Drug Administration . However, if a person suspects that they have pharyngeal chlamydia, a doctor may take a swab from the throat.
A person can undergo testing for chlamydia at their:
- doctors office
- local health department
- local planned parenthood center
A person can also order a chlamydia test online, take it at home, and then send it off for testing.
If people are at high risk of chlamydia, they may need screening for all types of chlamydia every 36 months.
At risk groups include people who have:
- multiple or unknown sexual partners
- sex in combination with illegal drug use
- sexual partners who use illegal drugs or have multiple partners
7 days .
People should avoid having sex until their treatment is complete. If a person is experiencing symptoms even after the treatment, they should see a doctor.
People who menstruate should notice that their periods return to normal or that bleeding between periods stops by their next period.
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.
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Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
Anyone who has sex can get chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.
Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman younger than 25 years, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as pregnant women should also get tested for chlamydia.
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.
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