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Potential Preventable Burden. Chlamydial and gonococcal infections are often asymptomatic in men but may result in urethritis, epididymitis, and proctitis. Uncommon complications include reactive arthritis and disseminated gonococcal infection. Infections at extragenital sites are typically asymptomatic. Chlamydial and gonococcal infections may facilitate HIV transmission in men and women.1,4,5 Median prevalence rates among men who have sex with men who were tested in STD Surveillance Network clinics in 2012 were 16% for gonorrhea and 12% for chlamydia.1
Potential Harms. Potential harms of screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea include false-positive or false-negative results as well as labeling and anxiety associated with positive results.
Costs. According to the CDC, STIs in the United States are associated with an annual cost of almost $16 billion.8 Among nonviral STIs, chlamydia is the most costly, with total associated costs of $516.7 million . Gonococcal infections are associated with total costs of $162.1 million .9
In 2008, estimated direct lifetime costs per case of chlamydial infection were $30 in men and $364 in women. Similarly, gonococcal infections were associated with direct costs of $79 in men and $354 in women.9
Can Chlamydia Affect My Fertility
A chlamydia or gonorrhea infection may cause inflammation or scarring of the reproductive organs. Sometimes, this may lead to infertility . Both men and women can experience fertility problems after a chlamydia infection. Your risk of infertility increases if you delay treatment.
Women with untreated gonorrhea or chlamydia can also develop a condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease . PID sometimes causes your reproductive organs to swell, triggering chronic pelvic pain and making it difficult to conceive.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea can also trigger early laborâand pregnant women with chlamydia can spread the infection to their babies during delivery .
Prompt treatment reduces your risk of complications, as undiagnosed chlamydia may put your health at risk. Regular STI testing can help with early diagnosis of the infection, and most people who receive treatment for chlamydia make a full recovery.
Learning more about the different types of STDs someone can getâlike chlamydiaâcan help you care for your sexual health. To easily check for chlamydia from the comfort of home, simply collect a urine sample and send it to a lab with prepaid shipping using the Everlywell at-home Gonorrhea and Chlamydia test kit.
How Chlamydia Is Transmitted
Sexual fluids like semen and vaginal fluids carry the chlamydia bacteria. Anyone can get chlamydia through sex without a condom, which includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
Mothers who have chlamydia can pass it on to infants during childbirth.
Chlamydia does NOT spread through everyday contact like touching, hugging, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on toilet seats. The bacteria cannot live outside the body, and needs wet contact.
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Can Chlamydia Be Cured
Yes, chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. You should not share medication for chlamydia with anyone.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner was treated.
The Health Risks Of Chlamydia
For up to 40 percent of infected women, untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease . PID effects include abdominal pain, fever, internal abscesses and long-lasting pelvic pain effects also include scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility and increase the chance of potentially life-threatening ectopic or tubal pregnancies.
Men can develop scarring of the urethra, making urination difficult and occasionally causing infertility. Although rare, both sexes are at risk of a type of arthritis known as Reiter’s Syndrome that causes inflammation and swelling of the joints.
If a pregnant woman has chlamydia, her baby may be born prematurely, have eye infections or develop pneumonia.
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Do I Need To Get Tested Even Without Symptoms
If you are sexually active you should still get tested for chlamydia regularly even if you dont have symptoms. Passing on chlamydia can make any relationship or sexual encounter extremely awkward and can also have serious repercussions for the other persons health.
Even without symptoms chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women which can seriously hard reproductive health. It can also cause fertility problems for men. Testing regularly is the most straightforward way to protect both your health and the health of your future sexual partners.
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.
The Right Time To Test For Chlamydia
If you suspect the possibility of Chlamydia infection, then the right time to take the Chlamydia test is at least within 1 to 5 days of exposure. To ensure that you have got rid of the Chlamydia bacterium, get the test done again after 1 month of antibiotic treatment.
Younger people who are sexually active and older women having multiple sex partners are advised to take the Chlamydia test at least once in a year.
Other Approaches To Prevention
The USPSTF has issued recommendations on screening for other STIs, including hepatitis B, genital herpes, HIV, and syphilis. The USPSTF has also issued recommendations on behavioral counseling for all sexually active adolescents and for adults who are at increased risk for STIs. These recommendations are available at .
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Chlamydia In Men: Scientific Overview
In 30 seconds
One of the most common STIs in the UK, chlamydia is a bacterial infection thats passed on through contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid.
Symptoms of chlamydia in men include pain when you urinate, unusual discharge from the penis, and painful swollen testicles. However, up to 50% of men will have no symptoms at all.
Its quick and easy to get tested for chlamydia, and the infection is usually simple to treat in its early stages, with a course of antibiotics.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection , transmitted by the bacterium chlamydia trachomatis. Its the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection across the world, and its also one of the most common STIs in the UK. In 2018, nearly half the new STI diagnoses at sexual health services in England were diagnoses of chlamydia.
Chlamydia is most common among young people , but you can become infected at any age. The long-term health implications of untreated chlamydia are particularly severe for women, because their fertility can be affected and it can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. However, chlamydia can cause serious health problems for men too, if its not treated quickly.
Read on to find out more about how chlamydia affects men: How do men get chlamydia, what are the symptoms, how do you get tested, and how can chlamydia be treated? Well also look at the best ways to protect yourself from chlamydia.
Complications Of Chlamydia In Male Patients
Chlamydia is an infection that is far more prevalent among women, particularly during young adulthood, compared to the prevalence of the condition in men. Still, men do need to understand that the condition can affect them and will often not yield any symptoms. This, however, does not mean the bacterial infection poses no harm.
In cases where symptoms do develop in a male patient, the individual may experience the following signs of chlamydia:
- There may be a discharge from the mans penis
- The testicles may become painful
- There may be pain during urination
- The lower abdominal might also develop pain conditions
Since chlamydia is a bacterial infection in nature, men do need to understand that there are certain complications that can develop. These complications can sometimes be serious and require medical attention.
Urethritis is a common complication of chlamydia in men. The condition causes a bacterial infection to develop in the urethra. This is a tube that runs throughout the patients penis it is used to expel both urine and semen from the body.
Urethritis causes irritation in the tip of the patients penis and can make the inside of the penis feel itchy. There may also be a burning or stinging sensation within the penis this is the urethra showing signs of the infection. A discharge can also occur from the penis.
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What Complications Can Result From Chlamydial Infection
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydial infections can lead to serious health problems with both short- and long-term consequences.
In women, untreated chlamydia can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease . Symptomatic PID occurs in about 10 to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia.30,31 However, chlamydia can also cause subclinical inflammation of the upper genital tract . Both acute and subclinical PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, tubal factor infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.32,33
Some patients with chlamydial PID develop perihepatitis, or Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome, an inflammation of the liver capsule and surrounding peritoneum, which is associated with right upper quadrant pain.
In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia has been associated with pre-term delivery,34 as well as ophthalmia neonatorum and pneumonia in the newborn.
Reactive arthritis can occur in men and women following symptomatic or asymptomatic chlamydial infection, sometimes as part of a triad of symptoms formerly referred to as Reiters Syndrome.35
How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
Most people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system.
Women with symptoms may notice
- An abnormal vaginal discharge
- A burning sensation when urinating.
Symptoms in men can include
- A discharge from their penis
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles .
Men and women can also get infected with chlamydia in their rectum. This happens either by having receptive anal sex, or by spread from another infected site . While these infections often cause no symptoms, they can cause
- Rectal pain
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. STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
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What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Since its a bacterial infection, chlamydia is treated with oral antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, youll need to take your prescription for 5 to 10 days. Be sure to finish the entire prescription. Just because your symptoms improve, doesnt mean the infection has fully cleared.
Youll also need to avoid all sexual activity during the course of your treatment until the infection clears up. This will reduce the risk of reinfection or transmitting the infection.
Due to the prevalence of chlamydia, its important to get annual tests if you:
- are under the age of 25 and are also sexually active, especially if youre female
- have sex with multiple partners
- have a history of STIs, or are treating another type of STI
- dont use condoms regularly
- are male and you have sex with other men
- have a partner who has told you theyve recently tested positive for chlamydia
You may need to get tested more often than once a year.
If youre pregnant, youll need to get a chlamydia test during your first prenatal appointment. Your gynecologist or midwife may also recommend another test later in your pregnancy if you have any of the above risk factors.
Chlamydia can cause complications in pregnant women, but also lead to problems at birth, such as pneumonia and eye infections.
After youve had chlamydia, you should get retested
Where Can I Get Tested For Chlamydia
You can get tested for chlamydia and other STDs at your doctors office, a community health clinic, the health department, or your local Planned Parenthood health center. In some states, you can do an online visit and take a chlamydia test at home.
STD testing isnt always part of your regular checkup or gynecologist exam you have to ask for it. Be open and honest with your nurse or doctor so they can help you figure out which tests you may need. Dont be embarrassed: Your doctor is there to help, not to judge.
Where Can I Get More Information
Health care providers with STD consultation requests can contact the STD Clinical Consultation Network . This service is provided by the National Network of STD Clinical Prevention Training Centers and operates five days a week. STDCCN is convenient, simple, and free to health care providers and clinicians. More information is available at www.stdccn.orgexternal icon.
Division of STD Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-38271-800-783-987
1. OFarrell N, Morison L, Moodley P, et al. Genital ulcers and concomitant complaints in men attending a sexually transmitted infections clinic: implications for sexually transmitted infections management. Sexually transmitted diseases 2008 35:545-9.
2. White JA. Manifestations and management of lymphogranuloma venereum. Current opinion in infectious diseases 2009 22:57-66.
3. Kreisel KM, Spicknall IH, Gargano JW, Lewis FM, Lewis RM, Markowitz LE, Roberts H, Satcher Johnson A, Song R, St. Cyr SB, Weston EJ, Torrone EA, Weinstock HS. Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: Prevalence and incidence estimates, 2018. Sex Transm Dis 2021 in press.
4. CDC. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2019. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services April 2021.
5. Torrone E, Papp J, Weinstock H. Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis Genital Infection Among Persons Aged 1439 Years United States, 20072012. MMWR 2014 63:834-8.
How To Prevent Chlamydia In Men
Its very common to become reinfected with chlamydia, as the body doesnt build up immunity after the first infection. There is currently no vaccine for chlamydia, so the only way to protect yourself from becoming infected is to practise safe sex. This is particularly important if you have a new sexual partner and you arent aware of their sexual history.
Best practice is to use a condom during vaginal and anal sex, and while performing oral sex on a male partner. You can also use a dam when you perform oral sex on a female partner. The safest option is to avoid sharing sex toys, but if you do share them you can protect yourself by washing them or covering them with a new condom between uses.
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Possible Treatments For Chlamydia
It is good to stay aware about how to treat Chlamydia. In case of your test is found positive then you have to undergo Chlamydia treatment. Most of the doctors prescribe just a single dose of some antibiotics like azithromycin. But in case if you are allergic to its content then you may have to take other standard antibiotic.Note that if you are infected then let your previous sex partners know about the infection so that they can also undergo tests and treatments at right time. It is also possible to start Chlamydia treatment online because most of the experts are delivering fast and reliable services over internet for complete treatment of this Silent Infection.
If You Have Further Questions Contact Your Ob
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Copyright 2021 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.
This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOGs complete disclaimer.
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When Is It Ordered
Because many infected people do not have any noticeable symptoms, a number of health organizations recommend regular chlamydia screening for certain people:
All sexually active women younger than age 25 and sexually active women age 25 and older who are at increased risk should get yearly screening for chlamydia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommend routine screening for these women .
Examples of risk factors for chlamydia infection include:
For pregnant women, the CDC recommends screening for chlamydia during the first trimester or first prenatal visit. For women younger than age 25 or at increased risk of infection, testing is repeated in the third trimester. Pregnant women diagnosed with chlamydia should be retested about 3 months after completing treatment.
Chlamydia testing may also be done when your sex partner has been diagnosed with chlamydia or when you have signs and symptoms of chlamydia.
For women, if symptoms occur, they may include:
For men, symptoms may include: