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:
- Pain or a burning feeling when urinating
- Itching or irritation in the urethra the tube that urine passes through
For women, symptoms can include:
- 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.
Do I Need To Be Tested Again After Treatment
You do not usually need to have a test to check the treatment worked if you have taken an antibiotic medicine correctly. However, it is advisable to have another test for chlamydia in the following situations:
- If you think you have had sex with a person with chlamydia.
- If your symptoms do not improve after treatment.
- If you had unprotected sex before you finished the treatment.
- If you did not complete the course of treatment.
- If you are pregnant.
Also in England, the national screening programme advises that if you are aged under 25 and have had a positive test for chlamydia, you should have a repeat test three months later. This is to check the infection has cleared completely and that you have not got it back 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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What Is A Chlamydia Infection
Chlamydia is among the most common STDs in the world. Many people have it its estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 has chlamydia.
The main cause for chlamydia is the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis that affects both men and women. The chlamydia infection is easily spread because it often has no symptoms and you can unknowingly pass it to your sexual partner.
Although you dont have outward symptoms in the early stages, its important to be careful. If you dont treat it on time, chlamydia can cause infertility or a risky pregnancy.
Chlamydia Can Live In Your Gut And Reinfect You After Youre Cured
Doctors have known that chlamydia can reappear, but until now theyve been stumped as to how exactly it happens
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. Thankfully, its also curable. But new research suggests that for some people, curing chlamydia doesnt prevent reinfection, even if theyre not exposed to it again. Apparently the disease can live inside your gut, and reinfect you out of the blue.
Apparently doctors have known that chlamydia can reappear in cured patients for about 80 years, but theyve been stumped as to how exactly it happens. This study points out that, in many animals, chlamydia has been found to live in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, if gastrointestinal infection occurs in most hosts, the authors write, then it is very likely that gastrointestinal infection occurs in humans as well.
The study in question doesnt actually test this theory on any human beings. Instead it looks at data in animal models about reinfection, and the failure of certain drugs to treat chlamydia when it lives in the gut. From there, they propose that women who are infected with chlamydia could see the same kind of issues: the drugs theyre given might cure the disease genitally, but not gastrointestinally, leaving the bug to live inside waiting for the right time to strike.
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Should My Partners Be Tested For Chlamydia
If you receive a chlamydia diagnosis, your partners need to be tested, too. Since this bacterial infection is highly contagious, it spreads easily through sexual contact.
You and your partners may need regular testing until the infection fully disappears. In the meantime, its a good idea to use barrier methods during sexual contact, such as using condoms.
What Are The Potential Complications
If treated in time, chlamydia causes no lasting concerns. Untreated chlamydia can lead to complications as the infection spreads to other areas of the body.
Untreated chlamydia may cause sexually-acquired reactive arthritis, which includes skin, eye and joint problems. It is also associated with a higher chance of getting HIV.
In women, complications may include difficulty getting pregnant, ectopic or tubal pregnancy or pelvic inflammatory disease . See HealthLinkBC File #08c Pelvic Inflammatory Disease for more information.
In men, complications may include an infection in the testicles, which can lead to infertility.
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Who Should I Tell About My Sti
You will need to tell your current partner or partners. You should also contact any previous sexual contacts you have had in the previous few months. How far you need to go back will depend on the type of infection, but your doctor or nurse will advise you. If you do not want to contact your partner or a previous partner, the GUM clinics offer a contract tracing service.
Female Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
Infertility is also possible if chlamydia is left untreated because the fallopian tubes may become scarred.
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How Can Men Test For Chlamydia
Men can test for chlamydia by doing a urine or swab test. The most common chlamydia test for men is a urine test, which involves urinating in a sample tube. This sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Test results are usually reliable and should be available within 2 to 3 days. This is the most accurate test.
Men and women can get free chlamydia test from a local sexual health service. If you prefer, you can order a self-test kit for chlamydia from online pharmacies or buy them from high street chemists. Chemist Click offer discreet home-testing chlamydia kits that require a urine sample. Simply send the sample to our partner NHS accredited laboratory using the prepaid envelope provided, and you will receive your results in 2 to 3 days, by your preferred method of communication.
Why Do I Need A Chlamydia Test
Chlamydia is a very common STD, especially in sexually active people ages 15 to 24. But chlamydia usually doesn’t cause symptoms, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations recommend regular screening tests if your risk of getting chlamydia is high.
If you are a woman or a transgender or gender diverse person with a cervix , you should:
- Get tested for chlamydia at least once a year if you are:
- Younger than 25 and having sex
- Age 25 or older and have a higher risk of getting chlamydia because you:
- Have a new sex partner or more than one partner
- Have a sex partner who is having sex with others
- Have a sex partner with an STD
- Don’t use condoms correctly every time
Regular chlamydia testing at least once a year is also recommended if you:
The best testing schedule for you may be different than the recommendations. Ask your provider how often you should get tested.
Your provider will order a test if your sex partner has been diagnosed with chlamydia or if you have symptoms. Symptoms of chlamydia may include:
- An unusual discharge from your genitals or rectum
- Irritation or itching around your genitals
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Rectal pain or bleeding if chlamydia infects the rectum
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How Is Chlamydia Treated
If detected early, chlamydia can be treated with a single dose of antibiotic.
If complications from chlamydia infection are present such as pelvic inflammatory disease in women a longer course of antibiotics will be required.
Do not have sex for 7 days after you and your current partner have completed treatment. This includes all kinds of sex with or without a condom.
You can get reinfected with chlamydia if you have sex within the 7 days.
After you have completed treatment, have another test for chlamydia in 3 months time to make sure you have not been re-infected.
What Are The Treatments For Chlamydia
Antibiotics will cure the infection. You may get a one-time dose of the antibiotics, or you may need to take medicine every day for 7 days. Antibiotics cannot repair any permanent damage that the disease has caused.
To prevent spreading the disease to your partner, you should not have sex until the infection has cleared up. If you got a one-time dose of antibiotics, you should wait 7 days after taking the medicine to have sex again. If you have to take medicine every day for 7 days, you should not have sex again until you have finished taking all of the doses of your medicine.
It is common to get a repeat infection, so you should get tested again about three months after treatment.
What It Can Do To You
If you let it go untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility in both men and women.
In women, chlamydia can seriously infect the womb and fallopian tubes. This is called pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause long-term pelvic pain and affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Sometimes, it can lead to miscarriages or an ectopic pregnancy, which can be very dangerous.
Without treatment, chlamydia can also be passed onto a baby during childbirth, causing pneumonia or eye infections.
In men, untreated chlamydia can lead to swelling and pain in the testicles. This condition is called epididymitis. It can also cause sterility if scar tissue blocks the tubes that carry the sperm.
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:
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Nucleic Acid Amplification Test
The most common test for chlamydia, this is a simple, non-invasive test during which you collect a swab or urine sample yourself . A doctor can assist in taking a swab if you prefer.
The sample is then sent to be tested to see if there is genetic material that indicates the presence of chlamydia bacteria. Results come back quicker than the traditional culture test.
How Chlamydias Passed On
Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
Chlamydia is most commonly spread through:
- sharing sex toys that arent washed or covered with a new condom each time theyre used.
It can be spread by giving or receiving oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. The risk can be lowered by using a condom or a dam to cover the genitals.
If youre pregnant its possible to pass chlamydia to the baby .
You cant get chlamydia from kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or from sharing cups, plates or cutlery.
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How To Avoid Catching Chlamydia
Anyone who has unprotected sex is at risk of contracting chlamydia. As many people with chlamydia donât notice symptoms, you may not always know if a current or potential sexual partner is carrying the infection. It is therefore recommended to practice safe sex using barrier contraceptive methods, and test regularly. If you have a new sexual partner or do not use barrier contraception, such as a condom, when having sex, you are at a higher risk of catching chlamydia.
To try to avoid catching chlamydia you should:
- use a dam to cover the female genitals during oral sex or when female genitals rub together
- not share sex toys. If you do share sex toys, wash them after each use or cover them with a new condom each time they are used.
Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.
How Can I Tell My Partner Will They Think Ive Cheated On Them
You may feel embarrassed, scared or angry. However it is important and respectful to let your partner know as soon as possible so they can get tested and treated. Remember that chlamydia often has no symptoms, so a diagnosis doesnt necessarily mean the infection was caught recently. You may not be sure when you were exposed. Many people are surprised how supportive their partner is, and how they appreciate being confided in.
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Chlamydia Is Common But Many People Dont Realize They Have It
About 1.7 million chlamydia infections were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017, but the real number is likely higher because chlamydia is considered an underreported infection.
“The number of reported cases is substantially lower than the true estimated incidence,” says Bradley Stoner, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and former president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.
The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System relies on state and local public health departments to collect and report data on chlamydia to the CDC. Those public health departments depend on individual physicians, hospitals, and laboratories to report cases of chlamydia to them. Accurate statistics require all parties to routinely comply with disease-reporting mandates.
When Will The Signs And Symptoms Go Away
You should notice an improvement quite quickly after having treatment.
- Discharge or pain when you urinate should improve within a week.
- Bleeding between periods or heavier periods should improve by your next period.
- Pelvic pain and pain in the testicles should start to improve quickly but may take up to two weeks to go away.
If you have pelvic pain or painful sex that doesnt improve, see your doctor or nurse as it may be necessary to have some further treatment or investigate other possible causes of the pain.
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Can You Prevent Chlamydia
You can lower your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs by:
- not having sex with someone with chlamydia, even with a condom, until theyve finished treatment and 1 week has passed since their last dose of antibiotics
- regularly getting tested for STIs, especially if you are under 30 and sexually active
Remember that most people with chlamydia dont show any symptoms and dont know they have it, so feeling ‘well’ does not mean that you or your partner are not infected. If in doubt, get tested.
If you have chlamydia, you can help reduce the spread by letting your recent sexual partners know so they can get tested and treated.
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.
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