Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection to your baby during delivery. This could cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your newborn. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby too early.
If you are pregnant, you should get tested for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.
Will My Birth Control Work If I Am Taking Antibiotics
There is very little evidence to show that antibiotics make hormonal forms of birth control not work very well. Examples of hormonal birth control include the pill, the patch, the ring or the shot. If you are being treated with antibiotics, it is important to keep using your birth control as you normally would. If you have concerns, use condoms until your next period comes after completing the antibiotics, or speak to your health care provider for more information.
How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be passed on through genital contact. This means you can get chlamydia from someone who has the infection if your genitals touch, even if you dont have sex or ejaculate .
You can also get chlamydia if you come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid, or get them in your eye.
Chlamydia cant be passed on through kissing, hugging, sharing towels or using the same toilet as someone with the infection.
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Chlamydia Treatment And Prevention
Chlamydia is easy to cure. If you test positive for chlamydia, basically you take an antibiotic, says Jill Rabin, MD, cochief in the division of ambulatory care for women’s health programs and prenatal care assistance program services for Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York.
Your partner must take an antibiotic, too, to keep them from reinfecting you, she says.
You have to have your partner treated, and if you have more than one partner, they should all be treated, says Dr. Rabin, regardless of your partners genders.
Even if you dont have chlamydia now, its wise to learn how to protect yourself so you wont develop this common infection in the first place. In women, chlamydia can create serious health problems, including infertility. Besides, no one ever wants to have a sexually transmitted disease and then have to tell other people about it.
The Steadyhealth Team Reacts
Chlamydia often has no symptoms unless left untreated for a long time, and the same also holds true for many other sexually-transmitted diseases. This is why anyone who is sexually active benefits from regular STD testing even if you’re monogamous, there’s a chance your partner may not be. It is, however, especially good to get tested:
- If you have just started a new relationship
- You and your partner would like to ditch the condoms
- You have symptoms that may indicate an STD, such as pelvic pain, abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina, pain during urination, warts, or genital lesions
- You have just found out your partner has had sex with someone else or multiple other people
- You have sex with multiple partners of unknown STD status, even if you use condoms
If, after an STD test, you are positive for Chlamydia, you will be treated with antibiotics.
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Four Curable Sexually Transmitted Infections
Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis are four potential outcomes of sex that wed all like to avoid. However, according to new global estimates, each day there are more than one million new cases of these sexually transmitted infections.
The worrying thing is, even though we have never known more about how to prevent these infections, rates of infection remain very high worldwide.
The good news is, these 4 infections are curable.
How Do I Prevent Chlamydia
Using condoms every time you have sex can greatly reduce the risk of contracting chlamydia. Condoms should be used not just during ejaculation, but before any genital or sexual contact starts. If you are having oral-vaginal sex, use a dental dam to stay protected.
Ask a partner whether theyâve been tested recently for STIs before starting sexual contact. If a partner has sex with multiple people, ask about their STI status and encourage them to also get tested. Limiting the number of sexual partners you are exposed to will also decrease your risk of contracting chlamydia.
For people with female reproductive organs, a yearly gynecologic visit is recommended, even for those in a monogamous longterm relationship. People who are sexually active should always be screened for chlamydia. The screening can easily be performedâon a urine specimen, or as part of a pelvic exam.
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My Symptoms Havent Cleared
There are several possible explanations. The symptoms could have a cause other than chlamydia. You can have more than one sexually transmitted infection at the same time, so you will need to be tested for other infections. There are also non-STI causes such as a lower urinary tract infection or, in women, endometriosis. You may have been re-infected with chlamydia if you had unprotected sex with an infected or partially treated partner. Rarely, the infection is resistant to a particular antibiotic treatment and therefore does not clear. Your GP or local GUM clinic would be able to help work out what is happening.
You may need a repeat chlamydia test .
What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated
If a person is not treated for chlamydia, complications may occur. Women frequently develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, tubal pregnancies, and the continued spread of the disease. In men, untreated chlamydia can cause urethral infection and complications such as swollen and tender testicles. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy may result in premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery and possible tubal pregnancy in a small percent of women. In addition, chlamydia can cause conjunctival and pneumonic infection in the newborn. Persons with a chlamydia infection have an increased chance of getting other infections such as gonorrhea or HIV.
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When Can I Have Unprotected Sex After Chlamydia Treatment
Even if your chlamydia infection has been cured, its not recommended to practice unsafe sex. Having your STD treated doesnt guarantee that the infection will never come back. In fact, many people become infected with STDs multiple times because they continue to have unprotected sex with partners who have untreated STDs.
If you have a regular sexual partner, tell them about your infection so they can get treatment as well. Once youre sure you both got treated, you have to wait until the treatment has had time to be effective before you start having unprotected sex again.
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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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:
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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Who Does Chlamydia Affect
Anyone whos sexually active can get chlamydia. The bacteria that causes chlamydia gets transmitted through vaginal fluid and semen, which means that people of all genders who have sex can become infected with chlamydia and infect their partners, too. If youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass it on to your newborn.
What Happens If I Dont Get Treated
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems.
If you are a woman, untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes . This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease . PID often has no symptoms, however some women may have abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if it doesnt cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, and potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy .
Men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can prevent a man from being able to have children.
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You Cant Catch Chlamydia From A Toilet Seat
Many people believe they can get chlamydia from a toilet seat. This isnt true.
Theres no need to worry about catching chlamydia in a public bathroom. Even if you share a toilet seat with someone who has it, you cant get the infection. You also cant catch chlamydia from sharing items like towels.
Usually, chlamydia spreads through unprotected sex. Its also possible to get the disease if you share sex toys with someone who has the infection. Sex toys should be washed or covered with a condom. If your partner has vaginal fluid or semen on their fingers, it may be possible to spread the infection that way.
How Do You Know When Chlamydia Is Gone
Improvement should occur right after receiving treatment. Some of the changes that you might notice include:
- Pain while urinating will improve within a week.
- Discharge will return to normal.
- There wont be bleeding between periods or heavier periods.
- Pelvic pain will fade away.
- Pain during sexual intercourse will decrease.
To prevent yourself from catching it again, get re-tested three months after treatment. This is essential if you engage in sexual intercourse with a partner who hasnt been tested for chlamydia.
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Does Azithromycin Work For Chlamydia
Azithromycin works to treat genital chlamydia in both men and women by stopping the bacteria from multiplying.
That means that for every 100 people who take azithromycin to treat chlamydia, 97 will be cured and three will not be cured.
In order to effectively treat chlamydial infections, azithromycin should be taken as prescribed and until the dosage is completed.
Ending the medication early increases the chance that the bacteria will not be completely killed off.
Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Chlamydia
Sexual health plays an important role in fertility. Many STDs can cause scarring and inflammation, making it more difficult to conceive, even after the infection has been treated.
In the case of chlamydia, the infection can damage your reproductive health, if left untreated. The bacteria can cause PID which can do permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to inflammation, scarring, and blockage in your reproductive organs. In some cases, it can also cause ectopic pregnancy which can be deadly if the pregnancy isnt removed in time.
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Does Chlamydia Treatment Have Side Effects
An antibiotic called Doxycycline is the most common medicine used to treat chlamydia. Like most medicines, it can cause mild side effects. The most common side effects of Doxycycline are nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, loss of appetite, mild diarrhea, skin rash or itching, change in skin color, vaginal itching, or discharge. These side effects should go away after you finish taking the medicine. Talk to your nurse or doctor about any medicines youre already taking and any medical issues you already have before taking Doxycycline.
Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
The only sure way to prevent chlamydia is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading chlamydia. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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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
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.