What Is Chlamydia What Do I Need To Know
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is brought about by bacterial infections caused by unprotected sexual activities. Chlamydia trachomatis, as well as Chlamydia suis, are the leading kinds of bacteria that can cause a Chlamydia infection. Bacteria of this kind are unable to sustain life without a living host hence it is very convenient for them to move from one body to another through the exchange of some bodily fluids. This sexually transmitted disease can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to a newborn baby. The baby will pick up the infection during childbirth due to fluids inside the birth canal.
A large percentage of patients infected with Chlamydia are clueless that they are infected, hence why they will leave the disease untreated for long periods. If left untreated, other serious health consequences can happen. These include problems such as infertility, inflammation of the testicles in men, and inflammation of the pelvis in women.
When To Consult Your Doctor
You must consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms while taking doxycycline:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, face, or throat
These symptoms indicate that you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to doxycycline. Do not hesitate to seek medical attention if you experience any of these highlighted symptoms.
Doxycycline is a safe and effective medication for treating chlamydia. However, as is typical with any drug, specific risks and side effects are associated with its use. Ensure to inform your doctor about these before starting treatment. Nevertheless, with proper care, doxycycline can help you clear your chlamydial infection and get back to enjoying your life.
Is Doxycycline For Chlamydia Safe
Doxycycline is safe to take provided that you are not over 15 weeks pregnant, you do not have any existing medical conditions, you are not taking any other medicines and you are over 12 years old. You should talk with your doctor before taking this medicine if you have diabetes or any disease or disorder affecting your kidneys or liver. Diabetes, Stevens-Johnson syndrome , systemic lupus erythematosus , kidney and liver problems may be exasperated if you take doxycycline. This antibiotic may be naturally removed from your body and processed by the liver and kidneys. If your kidney or liver function is impaired, doxycycline may on rare occasions build up and cause toxicity. You should therefore consult your doctor before taking this medication if you suffer from diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, myasthenia gravis or any disease or disorder of the kidney or liver.
Rarely, you may be allergic to this medicine and commonly you may experience some side effects when taking Doxycycline .
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How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
The most common test for chlamydia is called a nucleic acid amplification test . Your provider takes a sample of fluid by doing a vaginal/cervical swab or collecting a urine sample. Then, they send the sample off to a lab to check for the bacteria that causes chlamydia. Your provider may do the test in an office, or they may ask you to do an at-home chlamydia test. Follow your providers instructions carefully to ensure you get accurate test results.
Because most chlamydia cases are asymptomatic, its important to get screened for chlamydia even if you dont notice any signs of infection. The CDC recommends that sexually active cisgender women who are high-risk for chlamydia get screened regularly. Women, more so than men, experience the most severe complications from chlamydia. Transgender men and nonbinary individuals with vaginas should be screened regularly, too, as they can experience the same complications of chlamydia.
Youre considered high-risk if you:
- Have had chlamydia infections previously.
Cisgender men, or trans and nonbinary individuals with penises, should be screened for chlamydia if:
- They live in a setting where chlamydia spreads frequently, like correctional facilities, adolescent clinics and sexual health clinics.
- They have sex with other men.
How Accurate Are The Tests
The accuracy of a chlamydia test depends on the kind of test used and the type of sample thats collected. The recommended tests are over 95% accurate in picking up chlamydia. As no test is 100% accurate theres a small chance that the test will give a negative result when you do have chlamydia. This is known as a false negative result. This can sometimes explain why you might get a different result from another test or why you and a partner might get a different test result.
Its possible for the test to be positive if you havent got chlamydia, but this is rare.
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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.
Chlamydial Infection Among Adolescents And Adults
Chlamydial infection is the most frequently reported bacterial infectious disease in the United States, and prevalence is highest among persons aged 24 years . Multiple sequelae can result from C. trachomatis infection among women, the most serious of which include PID, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Certain women who receive a diagnosis of uncomplicated cervical infection already have subclinical upper genital tract infection.
Asymptomatic infection is common among both men and women. To detect chlamydial infection, health care providers frequently rely on screening tests. Annual screening of all sexually active women aged < 25 years is recommended, as is screening of older women at increased risk for infection . In a community-based cohort of female college students, incident chlamydial infection was also associated with BV and high-risk HPV infection . Although chlamydia incidence might be higher among certain women aged 25 years in certain communities, overall, the largest proportion of infection is among women aged < 25 years .
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What Happens When You Mix Doxycycline With A Medication
Medicines that interact with doxycycline may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works for, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with doxycycline. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications however, sometimes it does.
What Happens If I Get Chlamydia When Im Pregnant
- Chlamydia during pregnancy has been associated in very rare cases with problems such as premature birth, and infection of the uterus lining after the birth.
- It can be passed to the baby during the birth and before the baby is born. This can cause inflammation and discharge in the babys eye and/or pneumonia.
- You may be offered a chlamydia test as part of your antenatal care.
- Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics when youre pregnant and when youre breastfeeding. The antibiotics wont harm the baby, but do tell the doctor or nurse that youre pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Youll be advised to have another test after you complete your treatment.
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Determinants For Uptake Of Testing
Table shows the univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses of determinants associated with chlamydia retesting through 35 weeks after assigned date. In multivariable analysis, retesting was significantly associated with the female sex , older age , Dutch ethnicity , and earlier assigned retest interval .
Does Your Partner Need To Get Treated Too
If you have a sexual partner, or if youve recently had sex with someone, talk with them about your chlamydia diagnosis. Theyll need to get tested and treated, too.
If your sexual partner doesnt seek treatment, theres a risk that they can transmit it back to you, even after your infection has been cured.
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If I Have Chlamydia Am I At Risk Of Other Sexually Transmitted Infections
Yes. By definition, having unprotected sex means risk of STI. As well as chlamydia, there are also genital warts, genital herpes, gonorrhoea, HIV, pubic lice, and syphilis. Like with chlamydia, gonorrhoea may well cause no symptoms, so being tested is the only way to really know. This can be done at your local sexual health clinic.
How Do I Take Doxycycline
Take two doses a day for one week. Gullet irritation is a risk with doxycycline. To avoid this swallow the capsules whole, taking them with water. This ensures they go straight into the stomach without sticking in the gullet. Taking them whilst upright, sitting or standing, will also help. For this reason don’t take doxycycline just before bed.
There is evidence that unlike some other tetracycline antibiotics, doxycycline absorption is not significantly slowed when taken with a meal. If nausea and tummy upset is a problem when taken on an empty stomach, the advice is to take with food.
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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.
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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Does Past Infection With Chlamydia Make A Person Immune
No, past infection with chlamydia does not make a person immune. In fact, people who have had chlamydia are at an increased risk of contracting the disease again. This is because the bacteria that cause chlamydia can live in the body for months or even years without causing symptoms. This means that you could have genital chlamydia and not even know it.
Sometimes, the symptoms of chlamydia do not manifest at all, and you will only know you have the infection when you are tested for it. This is why it is so important to get tested regularly, especially if you are sexually active.
What Happens If Chlamydia Isn`t Treated
Not all people with Chlamydia will experience any complications. If the infection gets treatment early, it won`t probably cause any long-term damages. Still, with no treatment Chlamydia will spread to other body parts. The more times you get infected with it, the more like it is for you to experience complications.
- In men this condition may lead to an infection of the testicles and maybe even infertility.
- In women this infection may lead to inflammation and pain around the liver. With proper treatment, this usually gets better in time.
- In women this medical condition may spread to other important body organs leading to PID. In turn, this may lead to long-term damages, such as ectopic pregnancy, pelvic pain, infertility and blocked fallopian tubes.
- In both man and women More rarely, this infection may lead to joint inflammation. This is also known as SARA and it`s on occasion accompanied by eye and urethral inflammation. It occurs more rarely in women than men.
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Testing And Treating Sexual Partners
If you test positive for chlamydia, it’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you’ve had are also tested and treated.
A specialist sexual health adviser can help you contact your recent sexual partners, or the clinic can contact them for you if you prefer.
Either you or someone from the clinic can speak to them, or the clinic can send them a note to let them know they may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection .
The note will suggest that they go for a check-up. It will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024
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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Does Azithromycin Also Cure Chlamydia
Azithromycin was the first choice antibiotic to treat chlamydia until February 2019 when BASHH guidance was issued recommending a 7-day course of doxycycline as the first choice treatment based on recent data. Azithromycin is now recommended only for pregnant women and those with an allergy to doxycycline.
What Do Clinicians Think
Pierre-Cédric Crouch, nursing director of the sexual health clinic Magnet at San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said that this method has some promise, but that its definitely not a perfect solution and that more research is needed on the effectiveness of STI prophylaxis before it can be recommended.
Syphilis can cause a lot of harm and anything to help reduce the increasing rates would be helpful, he said. We dont know the impact this would have on drug resistance and I would be concerned people would get complacent and not get tested for STIs as often. Gonorrhea is not covered by this strategy so its definitely not perfect. If someone came in to the clinic asking for it, I would counsel that this is still being studied and we would need more data before STI PEP can be recommended.
Jared Baeten, MD, PhD, director of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of Washington shared a similar view. I absolutely would at least consider prescribing now, but Id love to see some strong science to help me know if I should set aside my reasons to give pause. There isnt a perfectly right answer right now.
Keith Henry, MD, from Hennepin County Medical Center shared a more conservative view. I dont think prophylactic doxycycline is ready for prime time. Regularly testing for all STDs every three months and treatment for STDs diagnosed is my recommendation for sexually active men .
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How Does Doxycycline Work
When you take a seven to ten day course of twice daily Doxycycline tablets, the active ingredient in Doxycycline prevents the growth of chlamydia trachomatis bacteria in your urethra. If you take the tablets exactly as instructed by your online Doctor, the chlamydia infection will be cured and any symptoms will disappear. Studies have shown that Doxycycline may have a 100% success rate when used to treat chlamydia. Doctors consider it to be an effective first line treatment against the disease.