In Both Males & Females
The following complications can occur:
- Disseminated gonococcal infection : An infection causedwhen gonorrhea spreads to the blood. It can lead to arthritis, tenosynovitis , or dermatitis. DGI can be life-threatening.
- Reactive arthritis: When symptomatic or asymptomatic chlamydia is left untreated, reactive arthritis can occur in both males and females.
- Infertility: In some cases, complications of untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to infertility.
How To Get Tested
A person can meet with a doctor to get a diagnosis for either of these infections.
Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, cover sexually transmitted infection testing completely. If a person does not have health insurance, they can go to a free clinic, their local health departments STI clinic, a student health center, or an urgent care clinic.
Because both chlamydia and gonorrhea can present with no symptoms, it is important that people who are sexually active get tested regularly.
After a doctor has determined which infection a person has contracted, they will prescribe an antibiotic.
People should take the full course of antibiotics and wait an additional 7 days before having sex again. This helps prevent a person from spreading the infection to another person and possibly reinfecting themselves later.
A person can contract both chlamydia and gonorrhea again, even if they have already experienced and treated the STI before.
Parents Have A Role In Chlamydia Prevention
Parents can do two main things to help their kids avoid getting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections , says Dombrowski. These two things are:
New Guidelines For Chlamydia Gonorrhoea And Syphilis
Growing antibiotic resistance forces updates to recommended treatment for sexually transmitted infections
30 AUGUST 2016 | GENEVA New guidelines for the treatment of three common sexually transmitted infections have been issued by the World Health Organization in response to the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.
Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are all caused by bacteria and they are generally curable with antibiotics. However, these STIs often go undiagnosed and they are becoming more difficult to treat, with some antibiotics now failing as a result of misuse and overuse. It is estimated that, each year, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhoea, and 5.6 million with syphilis.
Resistance of these STIs to the effect of antibiotics has increased rapidly in recent years and has reduced treatment options. Of the three STIs, gonorrhoea has developed the strongest resistance to antibiotics. Strains of multidrug-resistant gonorrhoea that do not respond to any available antibiotics have already been detected. Antibiotic resistance in chlamydia and syphilis, though less common, also exists, making prevention and prompt treatment critical.
The new recommendations are based on the latest available evidence on the most effective treatments for these three sexually transmitted infections.
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
Also Check: Chances Of Getting Chlamydia And Hiv
Chlamydia Symptoms In Women
Chlamydia is often known as the silent infection. Thats because people with chlamydia may not experience symptoms at all.
If a woman contracts the STI, it may take several weeks before any symptoms appear.
Some of the most common symptoms of chlamydia in women include:
- painful sexual intercourse
The symptoms of PID are:
- abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods
Chlamydia can also infect the rectum. Women may not experience symptoms if they have a chlamydia infection in the rectum. If symptoms of a rectal infection do occur, however, they may include rectal pain, discharge, and bleeding.
Additionally, women can develop a throat infection if they have oral sex with someone with the infection. Though its possible to contract it without knowing it, symptoms of a chlamydia infection in your throat include cough, fever, and sore throat.
How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
Chlamydia is sometimes called a silent infection because the majority of people who have chlamydia regardless of gender never notice symptoms. People who do notice symptoms often dont recognize the signs that they have chlamydia until a few weeks after theyve been infected. Because chlamydia cases are often asymptomatic, its easy to spread chlamydia to someone else without realizing it. And its easy to miss out on receiving the treatment needed to prevent the serious complications that can result from chlamydia.
What Causes Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
Both infections are caused by bacteria. Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium while Chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium.
Any sexually active person can become infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia, but there are some factors that can increase the risk of contracting the infection.
- Having unprotected sex with new or multiple partners
- Having a sex partner with confirmed chlamydia, gonorrhea, or another STI
- If youre young and sexually active
- If you currently have another STI
- If youve recently had another STI
Just Diagnosed Next Steps After Testing Positive For Gonorrhea Or Chlamydia
If youve just found out that you have gonorrhea or chlamydia, you may be trying to figure out what to do next. Here are the three most important steps that you can take:
WHY?Many people with gonorrhea and chlamydia dont have symptoms. Why does this matter? Because an untreated infection can lead to serious and permanent health problems, even if you never have symptoms. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be cured with the right medicine from your doctor. Just make sure you take all of your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to.
WHERE?Your regular doctor can prescribe antibiotics to cure the STD. But if you dont have insurance or want to see someone else for treatment, there are other low-cost or free options. You can get tested and treated at your local health departments STD clinic, a family planning clinic, a student health center, or an urgent care clinic. You can also find a clinic using GetTested and ask if they offer treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- In women, untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to health problems like ectopic pregnancy or infertility .
- In men, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may prevent him from being able to have children.
- Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV the virus that causes AIDS.
How Is Chlamydia Transmitted
Newborn babies can acquire chlamydia from their mother during birth. Most prenatal testing includes a chlamydia test, but it doesnt hurt to double-check with an OB-GYN during the first prenatal checkup.
A chlamydia infection in the eye can occur through oral or genital contact with the eyes, but this isnt common.
- bleeding from this area
Having oral sex with someone who has the infection raises the risk of getting chlamydia in the throat. Symptoms can include a sore throat, cough, or fever. Its also possible to carry bacteria in the throat and not know it.
Infant Pneumonia Caused By C Trachomatis
Chlamydial pneumonia among infants typically occurs at age 13 months and is a subacute pneumonia. Characteristic signs of chlamydial pneumonia among infants include a repetitive staccato cough with tachypnea and hyperinflation and bilateral diffuse infiltrates on a chest radiograph. In addition, peripheral eosinophilia occurs frequently. Because clinical presentations differ, all infants aged 13 months suspected of having pneumonia, especially those whose mothers have a history of, are at risk for , or suspected of having a chlamydial infection should be tested for C. trachomatis and treated if infected.
Specimens for chlamydial testing should be collected from the nasopharynx. Tissue culture is the definitive standard diagnostic test for chlamydial pneumonia. Nonculture tests can be used. DFA is the only nonculture FDA-cleared test for detecting C. trachomatis from nasopharyngeal specimens however, DFA of nasopharyngeal specimens has a lower sensitivity and specificity than culture. NAATs are not cleared by FDA for detecting chlamydia from nasopharyngeal specimens, and clinical laboratories should verify the procedure according to CLIA regulations . Tracheal aspirates and lung biopsy specimens, if collected, should be tested for C. trachomatis.
Erythromycin base or ethylsuccinate 50 mg/kg body weight/day orally divided into 4 doses daily for 14 days
Azithromycin suspension 20 mg/kg body weight/day orally, 1 dose daily for 3 days
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Rates Of Chlamydia And Gonorrhea In The Us
Chlamydia infections in the United States are much more common than gonorrhea. According to a 2019 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, there were:
- 1.8 million reported cases of chlamydia, with rates of infection up 19% since 2015
- 616,192 cases of gonorrhea, with rates up by 56% since 2015
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.
Recommended Reading: How Long It Take To Get Rid Of Chlamydia
How Can I Protect Myself From Chlamydia
Its not always possible to know if a current or potential partner has chlamydia, though, especially since many people with chlamydia never notice symptoms. With prevention in mind, its a good idea to make safer sex practices a regular part of your sex life:
- Dont share sex toys, but if you do, wash them after each use and cover toys used for penetration with a condom.
- Have sex with only one partner, who only has sex with you.
What Can Happen If Chlamydia Isnt Treated
Untreated chlamydia can put your health at risk. Make an appointment with your provider immediately if you notice any symptoms of chlamydia, and get regular STI screenings to avoid complications later.
Complications of chlamydia for people with vaginas
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a serious condition that requires hospitalization. It can occur when an untreated STI, like chlamydia, damages your reproductive organs. PID can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain. It can also cause an ectopic pregnancy, which is life-threatening for the fetus and potentially deadly for the mother or gestational parent, too.
- Pregnancy complications. An untreated infection can lead to pre-term delivery. Also, if youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection on to your newborn. Babies born with chlamydia may have pneumonia or conjunctivitis that could lead to blindness if not treated.
Complications of chlamydia for people with penises
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Epididymitis. Infection can spread to the testicles and the tube that carries sperm to your testicles , causing symptoms like pain, swelling and tenderness in your testicles.
- Reduced fertility. Chlamydia can harm your sperm, negatively impacting your ability to conceive.
Complications of chlamydia that can affect all genders
Untreated chlamydia can:
Also Check: What Is The Test For Gonorrhea And Chlamydia
Southeast Aetc Participant And Event Registration Systems For Internet Explorer 11 And Microsoft Edge Legacy Users
In order to maintain the latest browser security standards, the Southeast AETC participant and event registration systems will be ending support of Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge Legacy browsers, following Microsofts announcement to stop supporting these browsers in the coming months.
Beginning on August 16, 2021, the Southeast AETCs participant and event registration systems will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge Legacy browsers. After this date, users on these browsers may see a message stating that: Your browser is not fully supported. Please use a recent version of a mainstream browser .
It is important for IE 11 and Edge Legacy users to upgrade to the latest version of supported browsers, as older versions do not utilize the latest security standards. As a result, any users accessing Southeast AETC registration systems with unsupported browsers may experience unexpected results.
When To See A Doctor
If youre sexually active and experiencing symptoms of chlamydia, gonorrhea, or another STI, speak with a provider as soon as possible.
These symptoms can include unusual discharge, burning sensations in the groin, and unexpected sores or rashes. If youre sexually active and have not yet been tested for STIs, reach out to your provider to find out where you can get tested.
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Growing Antibiotic Resistance Forces Updates To Recommended Treatment For Sexually Transmitted Infections
WHO releases new treatment guidelines for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis
Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are all caused by bacteria and are generally curable with antibiotics. However, these STIs often go undiagnosed and are becoming more difficult to treat, with some antibiotics now failing as a result of misuse and overuse. It is estimated that, each year, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhoea, and 5.6 million with syphilis.
Resistance of these STIs to the effect of antibiotics has increased rapidly in recent years and has reduced treatment options. Of the 3 STIs, gonorrhoea has developed the strongest resistance to antibiotics. Strains of multidrug-resistant gonorrhoea that do not respond to any available antibiotics have already been detected. Antibiotic resistance in chlamydia and syphilis, though less common, also exists, making prevention and prompt treatment critical.
When left undiagnosed and untreated, these STIs can result in serious complications and long-term health problems for women, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage, and untreated gonorrhoea and chlamydia can cause infertility in both men and women. Infection with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis can also increase a persons risk of being infected with HIV two- to three-fold. An untreated STI in a pregnant woman increases the chances of stillbirth and newborn death.
Treatment For Gonorrhea Is Quick And Easy Too
The CDC currently recommends a shot of the antibiotic Rocephin and an oral dose of the antibiotic azithromycin, given at the same time, to treat gonorrhea.
Treatment recommendations for gonorrhea have changed over the years as the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, has become resistant to a growing number of antibiotics.
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Ophthalmia Neonatorum Caused By C Trachomatis
A chlamydial etiology should be considered for all infants aged 30 days who experience conjunctivitis, especially if the mother has a history of chlamydial infection. These infants should receive evaluation and age-appropriate care and treatment.
Preventing Ophthalmia Neonatorum Caused by C. trachomatis
Neonatal ocular prophylaxis with erythromycin, the only agent available in the United States for this purpose, is ineffective against chlamydial ophthalmia neonatorum . As an alternative, prevention efforts should focus on prenatal screening for C. trachomatis, including
Neonates born to mothers for whom prenatal chlamydia screening has been confirmed and the results are negative are not at high risk for infection.
Erythromycin base or ethylsuccinate 50 mg/kg body weight/day orally, divided into 4 doses daily for 14 days*
* An association between oral erythromycin and azithromycin and infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis has been reported among infants aged < 6 weeks. Infants treated with either of these antimicrobials should be followed for IHPS signs and symptoms.
Although data regarding use of azithromycin for treating neonatal chlamydial infection are limited, available data demonstrate that a short therapy course might be effective . Topical antibiotic therapy alone is inadequate for treating ophthalmia neonatorum caused by chlamydia and is unnecessary when systemic treatment is administered.
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.
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