What Happens If You Dont Get Treated For Chlamydia
Even though chlamydia is common and doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can become a big deal if its not caught and treated early.
Chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes if it goes untreated for a long time. This can cause you to have pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage that leads to pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. So getting tested regularly for chlamydia really lowers your chances of getting PID.
If you have a penis, a chlamydia infection can spread to your epididymis if its left untreated, and can cause chronic joint pain. Rarely, it can make you infertile.
Having chlamydia may increase your chances of getting or spreading HIV.
If you have chlamydia during your pregnancy and dont treat it, you can pass it to your baby when youre giving birth. Chlamydia can also cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and it also increases the risk of delivering your baby too early.
Testing and treatment for chlamydia is quick, easy, and the best way to avoid all of these problems.
Where Can I Get A Test
There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
A chlamydia test can be done at:
- a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
- your general practice
- contraception and young peoples clinics
- some pharmacies.
Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.
In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.
The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .
If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.
In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk
Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.
Is A Chlamydia Vaccine On The Horizon
MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 — A vaccine against the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia appears safe and potentially effective, an early trial suggests.
The phase 1 study included 35 healthy women. Those who were given injections of two possible vaccines developed antibodies to the chlamydia bacteria, but a lot more testing is needed before the vaccine would be ready for the public, the researchers added.
“An effective vaccine against chlamydia would have enormous public health and economic impact,” said lead researcher Frank Follmann. He is director of infectious disease immunology at the Center for Vaccine Research at Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“This is a promising first step on the road to develop a vaccine,” he said. “The success of the HPV vaccine has shown us how effective vaccination can be against a sexually transmitted infection. We hope to do the same with chlamydia and, in the long term, combine the two vaccines.”
The results of this study are encouraging, and larger trials are planned, Follmann said. “The goal is to vaccinate girls before they become sexually active,” he explained.
One expert said the findings show promise.
In the vaccine trial, the women were randomly assigned to one of two different vaccines or a placebo.
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How To Take It
Azithromycin is taken one time orally and can be taken with or without food. Its important to take it as directed by your doctor.
It takes approximately 1 week for azithromycin to cure chlamydia. Avoid having sex while under treatment, as its still possible to pass or worsen the infection during treatment.
Swab Method If You Have A Penis
You will be asked to remove your pants and underwear and cover with a paper blanket. You may be asked to sit on an exam table.
A medical professional will swab the head of your penis with alcohol or another sterile agent. Next, theyll insert a cotton swab into your urethra at the tip of your penis.
If more than one sample is taken, a new, clean swab will be used for each sample. The swabs are sent to the lab for testing to determine if chlamydia trachomatis bacteria is present.
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How Does A Chlamydia Test Work
The most commonly used type of chlamydia test is called a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test . A NAAT detects the DNA of the bacteria that cause the chlamydia infection. You provide a sample of urine. Or your provider collects a sample of secretions from the vagina or urethra . The lab tests the sample for signs of the bacteria.
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.
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How Does It Work
- Your doctor will give you either the medication Azithromycin, or a prescription for the medication to give to your sexual partner/s
- Its a way to get your sexual partners treated for Chlamydia without them having to see a doctor
- Its not available everywhere in Australia, but is offered by some publicly funded Sexual Health Clinics and Family Planning Clinics in NSW
- Telling sexual partners you have an STI can be difficult, but its the right thing to do
Chlamydial Conjunctivitis In Newborns
A pregnant woman who is infected with chlamydia can infect her newborn baby as he or she passes through the birth canal during delivery. Up to 50 percent of newborn babies can contract chlamydia from an infected mother during delivery, according to research.
Symptoms of chlamydial conjunctivitis in newborns may include swelling, redness or watery discharge. Newborns typically begin experiencing these symptoms around 5 to 7 days after birth.
Chlamydial conjunctivitis in newborns is treated through IV antibiotics, as well as with antibiotic ointment. If the condition is left untreated in newborns, it can lead to further complications, such as lung infections and even blindness.
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What If I’m Pregnant
During delivery, the infection can spread to the newborn from the birth canal. It can cause eye infection or pneumonia. There may also be an association with preterm labour and low birth weight. Screening and treatment of chlamydia during pregnancy can prevent these complications. This is not part of the routine NHS antenatal screening. Doxycycline cannot be taken during pregnancy, but azithromycin is safe and effective.
Why Do Partners Need Treatment For Chlamydia
People who have Chlamydia, especially women, usually have no symptoms, so may have an infection without even knowing. If they dont get medication to treat it they can pass it back to you or onto other people, which isnt good for anyone, right? Sometimes Chlamydia can cause serious health problems, including infertility. So its really important people get the chance to be treated if you think they might have it.
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How Will I Get My Results
It can take a few days to get your results from a swab test, similar to a Pap smear test. If you have a vagina, you may also be able to obtain an at-home kit to do the vaginal testing on your own.
Your doctor will call you with the results of your test. Be sure you give your doctor your preferred phone number where you can have privacy, such as a mobile phone number. If you dont want them to leave you a voicemail, be sure you tell them before you leave your appointment.
A urine test is much faster to analyze. Your doctor should be able to tell you the results on the same day as your appointment. The downside is that urine tests may not be as accurate as traditional swab testing.
However, urine testing may be more suitable for people assigned male at birth. Its also used for more advanced signs of chlamydia, as your body will have a greater number of bacteria to detect at this stage.
What Are The Symptoms
Often people with chlamydia will have no symptoms and will not know that they have the infection.
For men, symptoms can include:
- Clear or mucous-like fluid from the penis
- Pain or a burning feeling when urinating
- Itching or irritation in the urethra the tube that urine passes through
For women, symptoms can include:
- Change in amount and/or colour of fluid from the vagina
- Pain or a burning feeling when urinating
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods or after sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain during vaginal sex
Chlamydia infection may occur in the throat but does not usually cause symptoms.
Symptoms may appear 2 to 3 weeks after exposure to the bacteria. Sometimes it can take as long as 6 weeks for the symptoms to appear, if at all.
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What Do I Need To Do
- In NSW, PDPT is being offered at some Publicly Funded Sexual Health Clinics and some Family Planning Clinics call 1800 451 624 to find out where in NSW. If you live outside of NSW check with your doctor as its not available everywhere in Australia
- Make sure you read or print off these fact sheets for you and your partner/s. This one is for you and this one is for your partners
Does The Treatment Work
Usually, yes. You can infect another sex partner as soon as you get chlamydia. Most women and some men do not have early signs of the disease.
A pregnant women can also pass on the infection to her baby as it is being born. This can lead to infection of the eyes and lungs in the infant. It is important to inform people you have had sex with during the past 3 months because they may have the disease and not know they need treatment. Your public health nurse will contact your partner if you prefer. Your name will be kept confidential.
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What’s The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. If you take the treatment according to instructions, its over 95% effective at treating chlamydia.
- Youll be given a course of antibiotics for 3 or 7 days or sometimes up to two weeks.
- If theres a high chance you have chlamydia, treatment may be started before the results of the test are back. Youll always be given treatment if a sexual partner is found to have chlamydia.
- You may also need other treatment if complications have occurred.
- Tell the doctor or nurse if youre pregnant, or think you might be, or youre breastfeeding. This may affect the type of antibiotic youre given.
- Complementary therapies cant cure chlamydia.
When To See A Healthcare Professional
If you suspect you have chlamydia, see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Abstain from allsexual activity until your appointment.
If you arent comfortable getting tested for STIs with your usual provider, you can find a clinic in your area.
There are many free or low-cost clinics. Heres how to find one near you.
You can also visit GetTested or call CDC Info at 800-232-4636 to find local clinics.
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Symptoms Of Chlamydial Urethritis In Men
Men with chlamydial urethritis may not show symptoms at all, or they may only start to show symptoms several weeks after exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms of chlamydia and the related inflammation of the urethra usually occur between one and three weeks after exposure to the bacteria.
The signs of infection include:
- painful, swollen testicles
The urethra becomes inflamed during infection, making urinating more difficult. Discomfort in the penis is generally limited to the tip, where the urethra ends.
Symptoms of chlamydial urethritis in men can mimic the symptoms of gonorrhea. Gonorrhea and chlamydia infections often occur at the same time, and anyone infected may require treatment for both STDs.
Does Chlamydia Cause Cervical Cancer
No, chlamydia doesn’t cause cervical cancer.
It’s possible to get a sexually transmitted infection by having sex with someone who has an STI, even if they have no symptoms.
If you have an STI, they’ll also help prevent you from passing it on to someone:
- Avoid sharing sex toys. If you do share them, wash them or cover them with a new condom before anyone else uses them.
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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:
How Long Does Azithromycin Take To Cure Chlamydia
It usually takes approximately 7 days for azithromycin to cure chlamydia. However, it can take up to 2 weeks for the infection to go away completely.
Avoid having sex during treatment or until the infection has cleared. Youll want to make sure its completely cured, or else youll risk passing it to someone else.
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Why Is A Chlamydia Vaccine Important
Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs, with an estimated 131 million people infected worldwide each year. In the United States, its the most frequently reported STI caused by bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately four million cases occurred in 2018most infections go unreported because of vague or nonexistent symptoms .
Chlamydia is particularly common in younger people. According to the CDC, 1 in 20 sexually active young women between the ages of 14 and 24 are infected with the bacterium. Because chlamydia often has no symptoms, many men and women with chlamydia may not know it, passing the infection to new partners or failing to get the necessary treatment. Antibiotics can easily cure chlamydia .
2030% of genital chlamydia infections in women lead to symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease . Some women with PID will develop infertility, pelvic pain, and potentially dangerous ectopic pregnancies .
Chlamydia can cause complications in men, although theyre far less frequent. Complications can include prostatitis or inflammation of the urethra . Around 1% of biological males who have urethritis may develop reactive arthritis. In some cases, urethritis and reactive arthritis also occur with eye inflammation. This triad of symptoms is called Reiters syndrome .
What If Im Pregnant And Have Chlamydia
It is important to be tested for chlamydia if you are pregnant as untreated chlamydia can lead to complications such as premature labour and birth or your baby being born with a low birthweight. You can also pass the infection on to your baby. If this happens, your baby could develop an eye infection or a lung infection .
With the right treatment during pregnancy, these complications can be avoided. If your baby develops symptoms then they should also be tested to check for chlamydia. Antibiotics can be used to treat them.
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