How Do People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected partner. Ejaculation does not have to occur for chlamydia to be transmitted or acquired. Chlamydia can also be spread perinatally from an untreated mother to her baby during childbirth, resulting in ophthalmia neonatorum or pneumonia in some exposed infants. 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 While rectal or genital chlamydial infection has been shown to persist one year or longer in infants infected at birth,13 the possibility of sexual abuse should be considered in prepubertal children beyond the neonatal period with vaginal, urethral, or rectal chlamydial infection.
People who have had chlamydia and have been treated may get infected again if they have sexual contact with a person infected with chlamydia.14
Chlamydia And Gonorrhea: The Similarities
Adding to the confusion between the two diseases is a considerable number of similarities between the two. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are both sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria. They can be contracted through oral, genital, or anal sex, says Healthline. The symptoms of these two STIs overlap, so if you have one of these conditions, its sometimes hard to be sure which one it is without having a diagnostic test at a doctors office.
Other similarities include:
Also, note that these are not one or the other diseases. You can absolutely have both at once, so its critical that you dont dismiss any symptoms. That said, here are some of the differences between the two diseases.
In Both Males And Females
Complications that may be seen in anyone include:
- Other STIs. Chlamydia and gonorrhea both make you more susceptible to other STIs, including human immunodeficiency virus . Having chlamydia can also increase your risk of developing gonorrhea, and vice versa.
- Reactive arthritis . Also called Reiters syndrome, this condition results from an infection in your urinary tract or intestines. Symptoms of this condition cause pain, swelling, or tightness in your joints and eyes, and a variety of other symptoms.
- Infertility. Damage to reproductive organs or to sperm can make it more challenging or, in some cases, impossible to become pregnant or to impregnate your partner.
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How Common Is Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the United States. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received reports of approximately 1.76 million new cases of chlamydia. However, as some people do not know symptoms, its estimated that the actual number of new annual cases is closer to 2.86 million. Gonorrhea isnt quite as common, with the CDC estimating there are approximately 820,000 new infections in the United States every year.
Can Trichomoniasis Be Confused With Chlamydia
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Chlamydia + Gonorrhea are 2 of the top 4 new STIs.
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How Does A Home Test Kit Work
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Gonorrhea Chlamydia And Syphilis: Causes Symptoms And Treatment Options
When it comes to freaking out worthy events, being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease comes pretty close to the top.
What will happen to your nether regions ? Do they have a cure? How are you going to share this information with future sex partners? Youve got questions, weve got answers.
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Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Symptoms
The symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea overlap, so it can be difficult to differentiate between the two unless you visit your healthcare provider or take a test for chlamydia or gonorrhea.
The overlapping symptoms for chlamydia and gonorrhea in men and women include:
- A burning sensation during urination
- Abnormal genital or rectal discharge
- Pain in the rectum
- Sore throat
With both chlamydia or gonococcal infections , men might also experience swelling and pain in the testicles and/or scrotum.
In women, both a gonorrhea and chlamydia infection might be mistaken for a yeast infection. Women may also experience painful periods, bleeding between periods, pain during sex, or abdominal pain.
Although the symptoms overlap, the discharge caused by chlamydia vs. gonorrhea can vary slightly. For a chlamydia infection, a womanâs vaginal discharge might have a strong odor and yellowish tint. Men might have a cloudy or clear discharge. With gonorrhea, both women and men may experience green, yellow, or white discharge.
If you’re a woman experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge or a man with abnormal penile discharge, be sure to consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible as this is a common sign of an infection.
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
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Syphilis: Symptoms & Treatment Options
Symptoms: The symptoms of syphilis will vary depending on the stage the disease is in: Primary, secondary, latent, or tertiary.
During its primary stage, you may get painless sores in the affected area: genitals, anus, or mouth. They usually will go away within a couple of weeks. However, the person will still be infected with the virus unless they receive treatment.
During the secondary stage, you may get flu-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, fever, headaches, and being tired all the time.
During the latent stage, the person wont have any symptoms. If left untreated, the illness will reach its tertiary stage.
During the tertiary stage, the disease will start to affect internal organs, including your central nervous system and your brain.
Treatment: Syphilis can be treated with Penicillin. The dosage and length of treatment will depend on the stage of the disease. You should also follow up within 6 to 12 months after treatment has ended to make sure youre cured.
When It Isnt A Yeast Infection: Stds & Other Health Issues
Yeast infections can resemble other vaginal health issues. If you are treating your symptoms and arent experiencing any relief for weeks, then you likely need a doctor to prescribe stronger medication or you need to get tested or examined for other vaginal health issues. Here are some other things you could be experiencing:
How Do I Know If I Have Gonorrhea
Some men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all. However, men who do have symptoms, may have:
- A burning sensation when urinating
- A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
- Painful or swollen testicles .
Most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, even if they dont have any symptoms.Symptoms in women can include:
- Painful or burning sensation when urinating
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding between periods.
Rectal infections may either cause no symptoms or cause symptoms in both men and women that may include:
- Painful bowel movements.
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD, such as an unusual sore, a smelly discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
When To Contact A Doctor
If you have any of the symptoms described, you should go see a doctor. In general, if you are sexually active and have any usual discharge, burning sensations, or pain while having sex you may have an STD and should get tested.
Additionally, if you are a woman, you should contact a doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms as they can be a sign of a serious complication of chlamydia called pelvic inflammatory disease:
- Fainting or signs of shock
- Serious lower abdominal pain
- Temperature that is higher than 101 F
Should any of these symptoms arise or if you suspect you may have an STD, it is very important to get tested.
Even if you have no symptoms as do the vast majority of those with chlamydia but are sexually active, you should be getting tested regularly, so you do not unknowingly spread the disease.
You can make an appointment with your primary care physician or order STD testing online here.
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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.
Gonorrhea Versus Chlamydia: Differences And Similarities
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How Are Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Treated
Since they are caused by different bacteria, chlamydia and gonorrhea require different treatment plans. Chlamydia is usually treated with one of the following medications:
- Azithromycin : a single pill or course of daily pills taken over approximately one week.
- Doxycycline : Two pills daily for approximately one week.
Since gonorrhea invades the cells, it requires a more aggressive treatment approach. You will usually receive both of the following treatments:
- Ceftriaxon injection.
- Azithromycin : a single pill or course of daily pills taken over approximately one week.
No matter which condition you have, you should follow your medical teams advice carefully to resolve it. Take the full course of medications prescribed, even if you start feeling better, to ensure the infection is totally gone. If you dont complete the antibiotics you may also develop an antibiotic resistance. This can make treating the condition difficult if you catch it again in the future.
You should also postpone sex until your infection has totally cleared up as you can still pass it on to your sexual partners, even if you arent showing symptoms anymore. They can then pass it back to you. If you follow your medical teams treatment plan, both gonorrhea and chlamydia should clear up in one to two weeks.
I Was Treated For Gonorrhea When Can I Have Sex Again
You should wait seven days after finishing all medications before having sex. To avoid getting infected with gonorrhea again or spreading gonorrhea to your partner, you and your sex partner should avoid having sex until you have each completed treatment. If youve had gonorrhea and took medicine in the past, you can still get infected again if you have unprotected sex with a person who has gonorrhea.
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Always Practice Safe Sex
Notice how this is under a section titled How can you reduce your risk. Reduce being the operative word. Even if you always wear a condom or a dental dam, theres a risk of infection. This is because some diseases are spread from skin to skin contact, from bodily fluids touching a part of your body, or from defective prophylactics.
This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. So if youre in high school and think that by going down on someone youre safe, hopefully youre reading this before going to that party.
Complications From Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
Because these two diseases often have no symptoms, some people go untreated.
Even with those who have symptoms, stigma, access, or other reasons get in the way of getting medical attention.
Not receiving prompt and proper treatment can create serious health problems.
For women, chlamydia and gonorrhea that goes untreated can spread through your uterus to your fallopian tubes.
Fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus and transport fertilized eggs during pregnancy. If untreated bacteria that cause gonorrhea and chlamydia spread to this area, the result is pelvic inflammatory disease , affecting around 5% of women in the US.
Pelvic inflammatory disease, similar to chlamydia and gonorrhea, can have no symptoms or just some pelvic or abdominal pain initially.
Unfortunately, PID can do permanent damage to a womens reproductive system, including:
For men, gonorrhea and chlamydia can also lead to serious health problems.
It is uncommon for either to cause infertility in men, but sometimes the infection can spread past the penis causing fever or pain.
One difference is that chlamydia can also spread to the urethra, causing Non-Gonococcal urethritis, which is an infection of the tube that carries urine resulting in inflammation, pain, and fever.
This cannot be caused by the bacteria that causes gonorrhea. However, for both diseases, it is possible for either to cause:
For both women and men, chlamydia and gonorrhea can develop into a form of arthritis:
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Gonorrhea
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 gonorrhea:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results
- Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
How Can I Know If I Have Chlamydia
If you think you have chlamydia, or any STI, contact your healthcare provider. He or she will examine you and perform tests, if necessary, to determine if you have an STI.
To check for chlamydia, a woman is given a pelvic exam. A sample of fluid is taken from the vagina. In men, a sample of fluid may be taken from the penis. The fluid is sent to a laboratory for testing. The cultures can also be taken from a urine test. Your provider will discuss which way is the best way to check for an infection in your particular situation.
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How To Get Tested
A person can meet with a doctor to get a diagnosis for either of these infections.
The doctor will collect bodily fluids to test for the infection. The test can use either a urine sample or a sample from the vagina or penis, which a doctor will collect with a cotton swab.
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.
Comparing Trichomoniasis And Chlamydia
Differentiating between trichomoniasis and chlamydia can be difficult because they present many of the same symptoms or show no symptoms at all. Can trichomoniasis be confused with chlamydia? Yes, it is possible to confuse the two. If you are worried you may have contracted an STD, whether chlamydia or trichomoniasis, you should get tested as soon as possible. MyLAB Box offersSafe Box, an at home STD test kit that will test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and trichomoniasis.
Remember, being symptom-free does not mean that you are not infected.
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Gonorrhea Chlamydia And Syphilis
What are gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis?Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are sexually transmitted diseases . These three STDs can cause serious, long-term problems if they are not treated, especially for teenagers and young women.What causes gonorrhea and chlamydia?Both gonorrhea and chlamydia are caused by bacteria. The bacteria are passed from one person to another through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Gonorrhea and chlamydia often occur together.Where do these infections occur?Gonorrhea and chlamydia infections can occur in the mouth, reproductive organs, urethra, and rectum. In women, the most common place is the cervix .At what age do these infections most commonly occur?Although gonorrhea and chlamydia can occur at any age, women 25 years and younger are at greater risk of both infections.What are the symptoms of gonorrhea and chlamydia?Women with gonorrhea or chlamydia often have no symptoms. When symptoms from either infection do occur, they may show up 2 days to 3 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 the following:
- A yellow vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods
- Rectal bleeding, discharge, or pain
Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are sexually transmitted diseases . These three STDs can cause serious, long-term problems if they are not treated, especially for teenagers and young women.