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.
Telling A Sexual Partner About A Gonorrhea Diagnosis
If you don’t feel comfortable telling a sexual partner directly, services like Partner Notification Services may help.
This program works with local and state health departments and helps find and notify partners to anonymously advise them of their exposure to STIs. They then help provide testing and referrals to other services.
You can learn more about the program, including how to contact your local health department, here.
What Do I Need To Know If I Get Treated For Gonorrhea
If youre getting treated for gonorrhea:
Take all of your medicine the way your doctor tells you to, even if your symptoms go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you totally finish the antibiotics.
Your partner should also get treated for gonorrhea so you dont re-infect each other or anyone else.
Dont have sex for 7 days. If you only have 1 dose of medication, wait until a week after you take it to have sex. If youre taking medicine for 7 days, dont have sex until youve finished all of your pills.
Get tested again in 3 months to make sure your infection is gone.
Dont share your medicine with anyone. Your doctor may give you a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner. Make sure you both take all of the medicine you get.
If you still have symptoms after you finish your treatment, call your doctor.
Even if you finish your treatment and the gonorrhea is totally gone, its possible to get infected with gonorrhea again. Gonorrhea isnt a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and get tested regularly.
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Side Effects If Left Untreated
If left untreated, gonorrhea in the throat can lead to other issues. This includes:
- Disseminated gonococcal infection. This is when the infection spreads in the body and may cause pain in the joints or a rash.
- Heart infection
- transmitted to other sex partners
A person without gonorrhea can contract the infection by receiving oral sex from someone living with this STI.
This may occur in a number of scenarios:
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.
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How Does Someone Know They Have Chlamydia Or Gonorrhea
Once again, many people dont know they have chlamydia or gonorrhea because they have no symptoms. According to estimates, only 10% of men and 5 to 30% of women have symptoms from chlamydia, and most women and many men are asymptomatic with gonorrhea, although its difficult to get clear numbers.
When someone does experience symptoms, they may include:
- Urinary issues, such as a burning or throbbing sensation when peeing
- Pain in the rectum or an abnormal discharge or bleeding in that area
Symptoms depend on the affected area. This in turn often depends on the type of sex that that person had. For example, someone may also suffer from a sore throat, a cough, or even an eye infection.
Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea is the best way for someone to know for sure. At Lifeline, we understand that asking for an STI test might be embarrassing, but untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can lead to serious health conditions with long-term consequences.
Can Gonorrhea Be Cured
Yes. Prompt treatment can cure gonorrhea. Take all medicine as your healthcare provider instructs, even if your symptoms improve and you start to feel better. Also, never take someone elses medicine to treat your illness. Doing so makes the infection harder to treat.
Taking all antibiotics as prescribed is always important, but its especially important with gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is curable now, but its becoming more resistant to antibiotics. Some forms of gonorrhea that have developed a high level of antibiotic resistance are commonly referred to as super gonorrhea.
To ensure that gonorrhea remains curable, its more important than ever that everyone take medications as prescribed and that everyone takes steps to prevent infection.
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How Are Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Treated
Since they are caused by different bacteria, chlamydia and gonorrhea require different treatment plans.Chlamydia is usually treated with one of the following medications:
- Azithromycin : a single pill or course of daily pills taken over approximately one week.
- Doxycycline : Two pills daily for approximately one week.
Since gonorrhea invades the cells, it requires a more aggressive treatment approach. You will usually receive both of the following treatments:
- Ceftriaxon injection.
- Azithromycin : a single pill or course of daily pills taken over approximately one week.
No matter which condition you have, you should follow your medical teams advice carefully to resolve it. Take the full course of medications prescribed, even if you start feeling better, to ensure the infection is totally gone. If you dont complete the antibiotics you may also develop an antibiotic resistance. This can make treating the condition difficult if you catch it again in the future.
You should also postpone sex until your infection has totally cleared up as you can still pass it on to your sexual partners, even if you arent showing symptoms anymore. They can then pass it back to you. If you follow your medical teams treatment plan, both gonorrhea and chlamydia should clear up in one to two weeks.
Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Symptoms
The symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea overlap, so it can be difficult to differentiate between the two unless you visit your healthcare provider or take a test for chlamydia or gonorrhea.
The overlapping symptoms for chlamydia and gonorrhea in men and women include:
- A burning sensation during urination
- Abnormal genital or rectal discharge
- Pain in the rectum
With both chlamydia or gonococcal infections , men might also experience swelling and pain in the testicles and/or scrotum.
In women, both a gonorrhea and chlamydia infection might be mistaken for a yeast infection. Women may also experience painful periods, bleeding between periods, pain during sex, or abdominal pain.
Although the symptoms overlap, the discharge caused by chlamydia vs. gonorrhea can vary slightly. For a chlamydia infection, a womanâs vaginal discharge might have a strong odor and yellowish tint. Men might have a cloudy or clear discharge. With gonorrhea, both women and men may experience green, yellow, or white discharge.
If you’re a woman experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge or a man with abnormal penile discharge, be sure to consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible as this is a common sign of an infection.
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Chlamydia Symptoms In Women:
- testicular pain and/or swelling
Depending on the localization of the infection, women, men and children may experience inflamed rectum, urethra or eyelids. The symptoms of mouth and throat infections are rare although a person can suffer a sore throat. Eyes infected with chlamydia can be itchy, swelled, cause painful sensations or produce discharge similar to conjunctivitis. Infection in the rectum results in bleeding, chlamydia discharge and pain.
Can You Have Chlamydia For 5 Years Without Knowing
If untreated, chlamydia can develop into serious reproductive and other health problems with both short-term and long-term effects. The damage is often silent.
10 percent to 15 percent women with untreated chlamydia will suffer with pelvic inflammatory disease.
Problems among men are rare. Infection can cause epididymitis, a painful condition of the testicles that can lead to infertility if not treated.
Chlamydia infection can cause reactive arthritis, formerly known as Reiters syndrome, although this is rare. Symptoms include arthritis, skin lesions and swelling of the eye and urethra.
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Can Gonorrhea Lay Dormant In The Body
Yes, gonorrhea can lay dormant. A person can be infected with the bacterium but never develops symptoms that are noticeable. It is because most of the sexually transmitted infections, whether viral or bacterial, do not cause symptoms and can lie dormant for a few years before manifesting symptoms. Gonorrhea can lay dormant for up to a year. The majority of the females infected with gonorrhea are asymptomatic and up to 50% of the males infected with the bacterium have either very minor symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Question: How long could you have gonorrhea and not know about it? I believe my last partner ago give it to me around 9 months.
Answer: It is difficult to know the exact time from when the person had gonorrhea, particularly because it is so common to be asymptomatic. If you have a doubt, it is advised to visit a physician and get yourself tested for STIs. Many times, symptoms do dont develop for a month and you may not notice it until it spreads to other parts of body.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have gonorrhea, questions you may ask include:
- What tests will be needed to diagnose gonorrhea?
- Would you recommend testing for chlamydia also?
- How will I know if the infection has damaged my reproductive tract?
- How can I be sure that the medication cleared my infection?
- How should I inform my partner that they may have gonorrhea?
- How do I know how long I may have been contagious ?
- How can I avoid re-infection while still enjoying a healthy sex life?
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How Can You Tell If You Have An Std
By | Nov. 13, 2012, 12:01 p.m.
how can you tell if you have an STD?
Some STDs have symptoms, but many dont, so they can go unnoticed for a long time. For example, it can take more than 10 years for HIV symptoms to show up, and infections like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea can be spread even if there are no symptoms. That said, there are some common symptoms of STDs, like itching, a burning sensation when you pee, and unusual and bad-smelling discharge. If youre noticing any of these, then you need to see a health care provider right away.
But with or without visible symptoms, the only way to know for sure if you have an infection is to get tested. So if youre sexually active, getting tested regularly for STDs is really important, regardless of whether or not youre noticing any unusual symptoms.
There are different tests for different STDs, so you can talk to your health care provider to decide what tests make the most sense for you. You can also use this tool to figure out if you should get tested.
Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. is a registered 501 nonprofit under EIN 13-1644147. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.
How To Prevent Oral Chlamydia
Abstinence is the only way to completely avoid oral chlamydia. Barring that, you can lower your risk by reducing your number of sex partners.
Using condoms or dental dams consistently can also reduce the risk of either passing or getting an STD like chlamydia. This not only include external condoms but also internal condoms.
If you don’t have a dental dam, you can simply cut a condom lengthwise and open it flat.
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How To Stay Safe
So, what can you do to stay safe?
When used correctly, condoms offer one of the most effective methods of protection against STIs, including HIV. Female condoms are also effective and safe.
We are often not aware that they may have an STI.
Any sexually active person can catch an STI, those who change partners frequently or do not use condoms are at higher risk. Previous successful treatment for an STI doesn’t make you immune to catching the infection again.
An outreach worker discusses health issues with young people in Cambodia.Juan Daniel Torres, Courtesy of Photoshare
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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Can You Have Chlamydia In The Mouth
Chlamydia is known to infect the oropharynx, a part of the throat thatâs behind the mouth. So technically speaking, chlamydia can infect the throat instead of the mouth directly. However, chlamydia in women and men can be transmitted through the mouth of an infected partner during certain sexual activities like oral sex.
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What Are The Risks Of Chlamydia Or Gonorrhea During Pregnancy
Getting chlamydia or gonorrhea while pregnant can lead to:
- Miscarriage: some studies have found a link between chlamydia infection and miscarriage, which is a spontaneous loss of pregnancy before the baby is viable outside of the womb. Researchers believe it could be due to inflammation of the placenta caused by bacteria, as well as the rupture of membranes.
- Stillbirth: bacterial infections, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, might cause stillbirth , even though more research is needed to confirm this risk.
- Preterm delivery: which is when a baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy. This can be problematic as the earlier a baby is delivered the higher the risk of health complications.
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What Happens If I Get Gonorrhea During Pregnancy
Talk to your healthcare provider. You can pass the infection on to your baby during delivery, which can cause health problems for your newborn. Babies born to birthing parents with untreated gonorrhea are at risk for complications like low birth weight and blindness.
Your provider will help you get the right testing and treatment to keep you and your baby safe.
How Do The Symptoms Compare
Both men and women can get chlamydia or gonorrhea and never develop any symptoms.
With chlamydia, symptoms may not appear for a few weeks after youve contracted the infection. And with gonorrhea, women may never experience any symptoms at all or may only show mild symptoms, while men are more likely to have symptoms that are more severe.
A couple of the most telltale symptoms of these STIs overlap between the two , such as:
- burning when you pee
- abnormal discharge from the rectum
- pain in the rectum
- bleeding from the rectum
You may also develop symptoms that affect your throat if you engage in oral sex with someone who has one of these conditions. This can cause mouth and throat symptoms, including sore throat and a cough.
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How Long After Treatment Can I Have Sex Again
You should avoid being sexually active during treatment for chlamydia because you can still pass the infection to your sex partner during this time, even if you have no symptoms.
How long you should wait to have sex depends on the antibiotic you take.
If your doctor prescribes a single dose of antibiotics, wait until seven days after taking it. If you take a multi-dose antibiotic, wait until youve taken the full course of medication .
Because it is somewhat common to get a repeat infection of chlamydia, its a good idea to be tested for it again about three months after treatment.