How Long Does It Take To Show Signs Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is the most prevalent bacteria on the planet. Based on 2018 statistics, around 2.86 million are infected annually, and more than two-thirds of those infected are young teenagers and adults between the ages of 15 and 24. Every sexually active individual is exposed to chlamydia and can get infected no matter how many or how few partners theyve changed.
Here, we will help you answer some of the most common questions you might have about this infection. We will talk about when you can expect the infection to turn up, how to recognize it, and why you need to get tested.
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What Causes Chlamydia
The main cause of a chlamydia infection is the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacterium affects men and women and all age groups, although its most common among young women. The chlamydia bacterium can live in the cervix and urethra, as well as in the throat or rectum.
Chlamydia trachomatis can cause an infection of the reproductive tracts. Once you know you have it, chlamydia isnt hard to treat. However, if you dont treat the infection, it can lead to more serious health problems.
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.
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What Can Be Done To Prevent The Spread Of Chlamydia
- Limit your number of sex partners
- Use a male or female condom
- If you think you are infected or have been exposed, avoid any sexual contact and visit a local sexually transmitted disease clinic, a hospital or your doctor. Either bring your sex partners with you when you are treated or notify them immediately so they can obtain examination and treatment.
How To Tell Your Partner You Have Chlamydia
The first thing you need to do when your test comes back positive is to tell your partner. Your sexual partner should know about the infection so that they too can be tested and treated. If you dont tell them about your condition, youre risking getting reinfected.
Here are some tips for handling the conversation:
- Educate yourself about the STD youve contracted so you can thoroughly explain to your partner what exactly you have, the treatment, and how you plan on keeping them safe.
- Inform your current or most recent sexual partner about a positive STD test by telling them face-to-face, or by calling them. Sending them a message is not the most respectful way.
- When telling them the news, stay calm and collected. Sit them down and tell them youve been tested. Tell them that the results are positive and discuss the next steps.
- Make sure you keep your partner from getting infected. Use condoms at all times, take antibiotics, and abstain from intercourse during your treatment.
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How To Test For Std At Home
Although this option may seem like the optimal one, is not often as perfect as it looks like. First of all, you need to know that there is a lot of STD testing products that dont actually work how they seem to appear.
Its understandable that some persons prefer to do all kind of test in their own home privacy instead of visiting any medical building but not everyone presents the conditions to take this trip to the needed place the lack of money and time are the main reasons why people consider this alternative.
For those who desire to take care of themselves in their own houses comfort, I recommend to check out the STDCheck.com kits, essential for the control of your sexual life and health.
Why do I recommend it? STDCheck.com offers one of the easiest to use, cheapest to buy and effective of all testing systems. Receive an almost immediate result of over 10 different types of possible sexually transmitted disease with discretion No exposure between the company and any other entity as your insurance.
You are able to test one of the following infections individually:
- HIV Type 1
But the 10 Test Panel package takes another step and for only $198.00 you can test all of them at the same time.
What Should I Do If Symptoms Of Chlamydia Appear
If you experience symptoms of Chlamydia after sexual activity, you should see your doctor or visit a sexual health clinic as soon as you can to get tested. For guys who have sex guys, you should get tested for HIV and STIs once every three months.
Not sure where to get tested? There are sexual health clinics across Sydney and regional NSW that all offer confidential STI testing and treatment. HIV and STI tests at clinics across the state are free, though if you get tested with a general practitioner this may vary depending on your access to Medicare, and whether or not your doctor offers a bulk billing service. You can find your closest sexual health testing site using our where to get tested tool.
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Deterrence And Patient Education
Asymptomatic infection with Chlamydia trachomatis is very common, whereas the consequences of undiagnosed or untreated infection can be far-reaching. It is for these reasons that screening is recommended. All pregnant women are recommended to be screened for C. trachomatis. All sexually active females younger than 25 should be screened annually. Women older than 25 should be screened if they have risk factors for sexually transmitted infections. Risk factors include sexual partners with multiple concurrent partners, new or multiple sexual partners, inconsistent use of condoms if the relationship is not monogamous, exchanging sex for money or drugs, or previous/coexisting STI. Men who have sex with men should also be screened for chlamydial infection. In individuals with HIV, screening should be done at the initial presentation and annually. For individuals entering a correctional facility, it is recommended to screen for chlamydia in women 35 years old or younger and men thirty years old or younger.
In the United States, C. trachomatis is considered a notifiable infection. Local and state laws regarding disease reporting apply. Sexual partners should be notified, examined, and treated if an STI is found in the index patient. Expedited partner therapy may also be available in certain settings. Expedited partner therapy allows providers to prescribe antibiotics to sexual contacts without establishing a physician-patient relationship.
Testing And Treating Sexual Partners
If you test positive for chlamydia, itÃ¢s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners youÃ¢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
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Effects Of The Disease
Chlamydia can cause infertility if it is not treated. It damages sperm and scars the reproductive tract. It also damages your sperm in ways that can make birth defects prevalent.
Chlamydia can also affect you in non-sexual ways. You can get recurring pink eye, reactive arthritis and rheumatological conditions.
Are Instant Tests Reliable
You can certainly find instant tests on the market, but these are not reliable. Being able to see results in minutes is worthless if they arent lab-certified. Many of the home STI testing kits you see on the market are just smoke and mirrors. These services may claim instant results but most of them use subpar testing methods. It is illegal to sell these within the United States.
On the other hand, at-home testing offers trustworthy and accurate results. These tests require that you provide a sample that will then be sent to a lab for, you guessed it, lab-certified results. The only difference from a clinic test is that you can screen for these infections from the comfort of your own home.
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When Should You See A Doctor About Chlamydia Symptoms
There are a few reasons its a good idea to see your doctor for STI screening. Dr. Soper says if you have had a high-risk exposure, had unprotected sex with multiple partners, or had sex with someone who has had multiple partners, its best to rule out any infections. Seek out screening even before symptoms occur since so much of chlamydia infection is asymptomatic, he says.
If it turns out you do have chlamydia, know that it is easily treatable with either a single dose or a seven-day course of antibiotics, according to the CDC. Unlike, say, herpes, which is a virus and can live in your nerve roots and reappear, chlamydia doesnt do that, but it can be present for a long period of time, Dr. Soper says. If you treat it effectively, it doesnt come back unless you get exposed again. And dont forget to inform your partner if youve been infected. After all, wouldnt you want your partner to let you know? Its the responsible thing to do.
Its also a good idea to get retested in three months, Dr. Reno says, as you are at an increased risk of another STI. But not for the reasons you might think. Chlamydia doesnt actually make you more prone to getting another STI, Dr. Grifo says, but rather the person or people youre having sex with could have multiple exposures to STIs that then put you at risk, including someone you may think is monogamous.
What Tests Diagnose Stds In Men
Many STDs are diagnosed based on clinical history and characteristic physical findings. Herpes and syphilis are two conditions that can produce identifiable signs and symptoms.
Often the diagnosis of an infection depends upon the identification of the organism. A number of different tests are available for STDs in men that are based either on the detection of the surface proteins of the organism or of the genetic material of the organism. These methods are more commonly used than the culture to identify sexually transmitted infections.
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Who Is Most Likely To Be Infected By Chlamydia
Studies have shown chlamydia infections to be the highest among women aged 15 to 24 years. Infection rates are highest in men at a slightly higher age range from 20 to 24 years old.
Population studies have tried to estimate what percent of the overall population is infected by Chlamydia. One extensive study of individuals between the age of 18 and 26 years found 4.2% to have Chlamydia infections.
Another national survey found 1.7% of people between 14 and 39 years had the infection. Out of all states, Alaska had the highest rates of Chlamydia.
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Does Chlamydia Test Detect Lgv
Lymphogranuloma venereum infection can be detected by chlamydia urine or swab testing. Hence a negative chlamydia test typically signifies no LGV infection. A specialized test should be conducted on the same sample if a person tests positive for chlamydia and has either LGV-like symptoms or has had sexual contact with someone who has LGV.
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When To See A Doctor
If a person has symptoms of chlamydia after testing and treatment or thinks that they have come into contact with chlamydia again, they should see their doctor.
Females are less likely than males to have symptoms of chlamydia, so testing is especially important for them.
The recommend chlamydia testing every year for the following groups of people:
- sexually active females under the age of 25 years
- females over the age of 25 years who have new or multiple sexual partners
- anyone with a sexual partner who has an STI
- sexually active gay and bisexual males
Pregnant women should have a chlamydia test early on in their pregnancy.
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
There are a number of diagnostic tests for chlamydia, including nucleic acid amplification tests , cell culture, and others. NAATs are the most sensitive tests, and can be performed on easily obtainable specimens such as vaginal swabs or urine.43
Vaginal swabs, either patient- or clinician-collected, are the optimal specimen to screen for genital chlamydia using NAATs in women urine is the specimen of choice for men, and is an effective alternative specimen type for women.43 Self-collected vaginal swab specimens perform at least as well as other approved specimens using NAATs.44 In addition, patients may prefer self-collected vaginal swabs or urine-based screening to the more invasive endocervical or urethral swab specimens.45 Adolescent girls may be particularly good candidates for self-collected vaginal swab- or urine-based screening because pelvic exams are not indicated if they are asymptomatic.
NAATs have demonstrated improved sensitivity and specificity compared with culture for the detection of C. trachomatis at rectal and oropharyngeal sites.40 Certain NAAT test platforms have been cleared by FDA for these non-genital sites and data indicate NAAT performance on self-collected rectal swabs is comparable to clinician-collected rectal swabs. 40
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Signs And Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is known as one of the silent diseases which can produce no symptoms for a long period of time. Approximately 7095 percent of women and 50 percent of men with chlamydia do not observe chlamydia symptoms at all. The symptoms can also be mild and almost unnoticeable.
Another reason why symptoms are not the best way to determine the infection is that it is often confused with gonorrhea as the symptoms are very much alike. Asymptomatic nature of chlamydia makes it difficult to estimate how long a person remains infectious and this period is commonly believed to last until full recovery.
Chlamydia symptoms show up between 1 and 3 weeks after the contraction.
Chlamydia Discharge In Women
Though it is normal to have light vaginal discharge in healthy women as a part of the natural cleansing process of the vaginal cavity, the discharge becomes changed in color, odor, quantity and consistency when you have Chlamydia infection. The excessive vaginal discharge in women is caused due to the infection of the uterine cervix. It is one of the most common manifestations that are connected with Chlamydia in women. When you have Chlamydia infection, your vaginal discharge becomes thick, discolored and smelly.
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Who Should Be Tested For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Anyone with genital symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination, unusual sores, or rash should refrain from having sex until they are able to see a health care provider about their symptoms.
Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs have been demonstrated to reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Rectal chlamydia testing can be considered for females based on sexual behaviors and exposure. 40 Pregnant women under 25 or older pregnant women at increased risk for chlamydia should be screened during their first prenatal visit and again during their third trimester.40 Women diagnosed with chlamydial infection should be retested approximately 3 months after treatment.40 Any woman who is sexually active should discuss her risk factors with a health care provider who can then determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Treatment And Medication Options For Chlamydia
A course of antibiotics is the treatment for chlamydia. Your doctor will decide which drug to prescribe, and at what dose, according to your individual medical needs and other aspects of your situation.
Its important to abstain from having sex until seven days after the start of your antibiotic treatment, to prevent the transmission of chlamydia to a sexual partner. If you have a partner who is being treated for chlamydia, the same recommendation applies to them.
If you have symptoms that persist for more than a few days after you start your treatment, see your doctor again to be reevaluated.
Because the symptoms of chlamydia are similar to those of gonorrhea, you should be treated for both infections if you test positive for chlamydia. Thats because its often faster and cheaper to just treat both infections than to order another test for gonorrhea after a positive test result for chlamydia.
After completing your antibiotic treatment for chlamydia, youll need to get tested again after three to four months or earlier, if recommended to check for reinfection.
While antibiotics can cure chlamydia, they cant reverse any permanent damage caused by the infection.
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