Male Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
These are just some of the most common complications of untreated chlamydia, which is why its important to get medical attention right away. Most people who get treatment quickly have no long-term medical problems.
Chlamydia Statistics In The United States
According to the latest report from Americas Health Rankings, here are some statistics about how chlamydia has impacted the U.S. population
- West Virginia is the healthiest state at 198.2 cases per 100,000 population.
- Alaska is the least healthy state at 832.5 per 100,000 population.
- From 1997 to 2017, the rate of reported chlamydia infections increased from 206 to 529 cases per 100,000 population.
- More than 1.7 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2018.
Lets Get Into It: Chlamydia
First good news: Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial STD in the US and its totally curable with antibiotics. Second good news: Its also pretty easy to protect yourself from it, because its spread through unprotected anal, vaginal, and oral sex with someone who has it. That means condoms are excellent at protecting against chlamydia.
Keep reading for answer to some of the most common questions people have about chlamydia, including how its spread, where to get treated, and what treatment is like.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia Infection
Symptoms of chlamydia infection often go unnoticed. Some people experience symptoms within a few weeks of exposure , whereas for others, symptoms may take months to appear. Sometimes, the symptoms disappear on their own, but the infection persists .
The symptoms include the following:
Symptoms in females
New Prevalence Rates Probably Underestimate Chlamydia’s True Burden
Chlamydia continues to be the most commonly reported notifiable disease in the U.S., the CDC said.
And data from national surveys showed that 1.7% of people 14 through 39 are infected with Chlamydia trachomatis, the agency said in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
But among young sexually active females — those who are the target of routine screening programs — the rate was 4.7%, the agency report said.
The latter finding, the agency said, “supports screening of all sexually active young females annually” — something reiterated this week in new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Those guidelines also urge routine screening of adolescent and young adult females 14 through 24 for gonorrhea.
While the disease is commonly reported — incidence in 2010 was 1.3 million cases and rose to more than 1.4 million in 2012 — the numbers are probably an underestimate, the CDC report said, because infections are usually asymptomatic and go undetected.
The CDC monitors the prevalence of chlamydia through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , which regularly tests a sample of the U.S. population including children and adults.
NHANES is designed to take a nationally representative snapshot of the non-institutionalized U.S. civilian population, using in-person interviews and medical exams.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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The Most Common Sexually Transmitted Infections
STIs are some of the most difficult diseases to catch. You have to be up close and personal to spread them. So why are STIs so common? The answer may be that people don’t know how to recognize, treat, or prevent them. Or when they do, they often don’t do so effectively.
This article explores some of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States. It also discusses their causes and symptoms.
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin
Not all diseases that affect the sex organs are considered STIs. In fact, some are not related to sex at all. Others aren’t transmitted during sex but occur as a result of it.
Here are some common STIs and diseases associated with sex, along with their symptoms.
States With Highest Cases Of Syphilis And Congenital Syphilis
The top states with syphilis are, in order: Nevada, New Mexico, Mississippi, California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana and Florida. In total there were 38,992 reported cases in the U.S. in 2019.
However for congenital syphilis, when the infection is passed on from a pregnant mother to a child, the data differ. The states with the most congenital syphilis cases are Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, California, Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas and Maryland. There were 1,870 cases reported in the U.S. in 2019.
Syphilis is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with a syphilitic sore, known as a chancre. After taking medication, syphilis does not recur but a person can be re-infected.
If an infected mother goes untreated, CDC data show the mother is likely to pass syphilis to the child. Congenital syphilis is a disease that can result in miscarriages, premature births, stillbirths and deaths of newborns.
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:
Understanding The Rate Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a curable STD that affects both men and women. However, women can be at risk of fertility problems when left untreated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , chlamydia can be spread by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone infected. Unfortunately, in many cases, people with chlamydia show no symptoms, so many are unaware that they have it, which is just one reason why its such a common STD. Here are the statistics you need to know.
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How Can I Protect Myself From Chlamydia
The only way to avoid getting chlamydia is to abstain from having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has a chlamydia infection. And be sure that sex toys that carry the bacteria dont come in contact with your genitals.
Its not always possible to know if a current or potential partner has chlamydia, though, especially since many people with chlamydia never notice symptoms. With prevention in mind, its a good idea to make safer sex practices a regular part of your sex life:
- Use condoms during intercourse, anal sex and oral sex.
- Use dental dams during oral sex or vagina-to-vagina contact.
- Dont share sex toys, but if you do, wash them after each use and cover toys used for penetration with a condom.
- Have sex with only one partner, who only has sex with you.
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.
Also, anyone with an oral, anal, or vaginal sex partner who has been recently diagnosed with an STD should see a health care provider for evaluation.
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.
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How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
Chlamydia is sometimes called a silent infection because the majority of people who have chlamydia regardless of gender never notice symptoms. People who do notice symptoms often dont recognize the signs that they have chlamydia until a few weeks after theyve been infected. Because chlamydia cases are often asymptomatic, its easy to spread chlamydia to someone else without realizing it. And its easy to miss out on receiving the treatment needed to prevent the serious complications that can result from chlamydia.
How Is Chlamydia Transmitted
There are two ways most STDs are transmitted: fluid transmission or skin-to-skin contact. Chlamydia is a fluid transmitted infection. Chlamydia is transmitted when bodily fluids from one person are shared with another via vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Fluids are present in the vagina, penis mouth, and anus. Infections can occur even without ejaculation.
To keep things as clear as possible, any sexual act involving the exchange of bodily fluids allows chlamydia to spread from one person to another.
Toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, eating utensils, or any other casual contact do not spread chlamydia.
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What Are The Rates Among Racial And Ethnic Minority Groups
The CDC data illustrate STD rates were 1-2 times higher for Hispanic and Latino populations than non-Hispanic white people. Rates for American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander populations were 3-5 times higher than their white counterparts.
Data also showed STD rates were 5-8 times higher among Black populationss.
Chlamydia Is Really Common
Chlamydia is a SUPER common bacterial infection that you can get from sexual contact with another person. Close to 3 million Americans get it every year, most commonly among 14-24-year-olds.
Chlamydia is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The infection is carried in semen , pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. Chlamydia can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, eyes, and throat. Most people with chlamydia dont have any symptoms and feel totally fine, so they might not even know theyre infected.
Chlamydia can be easily cleared up with antibiotics. But if you dont treat chlamydia, it may lead to major health problems in the future. Thats why STD testing is so important the sooner you know you have chlamydia, the faster you can cure it. You can prevent chlamydia by using condoms every time you have sex.
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More About Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
For women, one of the most serious complications from untreated chlamydia is pelvic inflammatory disease .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1020% of women with untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea infections may develop PID. And 1 in 8 women with a history of PID experience difficulties getting pregnant. PID can also cause ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.
Like chlamydia, it is possible for a woman to have PID and not have any symptoms, or have symptoms too mild to notice, for an unknown period of time. If symptoms do occur, they could include:
- Dull pain or tenderness in the lower abdomen
- Burning or pain when you urinate
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased or changed vaginal discharge
- Pain during sex
How Common Is Chlamydia
Very. In the United States, chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection . In 2018, nearly 1.8 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . However, it is estimated that almost 3 million cases actually occur each year.
Chlamydia is most common in younger people. It is estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 years has chlamydia.
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How Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of getting or giving chlamydia.53 The surest way to avoid chlamydia is to abstain from vaginal, anal, and oral sex, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
Behaviour Change Is Complex
Despite considerable efforts to identify simple interventions that can reduce risky sexual behaviour, behaviour change remains a complex challenge. Research has demonstrated the need to focus on carefully defined populations, consult extensively with the identified target populations, and involve them in design, implementation and evaluation.
Education and counselling can improve peoples ability to recognize the symptoms of STIs and increase the likelihood that they will seek care and encourage a sexual partner to do so. Unfortunately, lack of public awareness, lack of training among health workers, and long-standing, widespread stigma around STIs remain barriers to greater and more effective use of these interventions.
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How Do You Get Chlamydia Infection
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. It is caused by infection with the bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. The infection is transmitted by having unprotected sex with a person who has chlamydia. It has recently emerged as a cause of outbreaks of proctitis among men who have sex with men . Chlamydia is transmitted by sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected partner. The transmission does not need ejaculation to occur. The infection can also pass from an untreated mother to her baby during childbirth.Chlamydia infection can be prevented by using latex male condoms. These condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of getting or giving chlamydia. The most definitive way to prevent chlamydia is to abstain from vaginal, anal, and oral sex or to be in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested for chlamydia and is known to be uninfected.
Missed Opportunities To Eliminate A Curable ‘scourge’
Syphilis is called The Great Imitator: It can look like any number of diseases. In its first stage, the only evidence of infection is a painless sore at the bacteria’s point of entry. Weeks later, as the bacteria multiplies, skin rashes bloom on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet. Other traits of this stage include fever, headaches, muscle aches, sore throat and fatigue.
These symptoms eventually disappear and the patient progresses into the latent phase, which betrays no external signs. But if left untreated, after a decade or more, syphilis will reemerge in up to 30% of patients, capable of wreaking horror on a wide range of organ systems. Dr. Marion Sims, president of the American Medical Association in 1876, called it a “terrible scourge, which begins with lamb-like mildness and ends with lion-like rage that ruthlessly destroys everything in its way.”
Yang carries syphilis cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that she shares with people to show them what syphilis symptoms, like lesions on a tongue or a dotted rash on a baby, can look like. Talia Herman for ProPublicahide caption
Yang carries syphilis cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that she shares with people to show them what syphilis symptoms, like lesions on a tongue or a dotted rash on a baby, can look like.
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States With Highest Cases Of Gonorrhea
Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, North Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee led the U.S. with the highest cases of gonorrhea.
Vermont was ranked as the lowest for 2019, and there was a total of 616,392 cases in the U.S. that year.
Gonorrhea is spread in the same ways as chlamydia and is common, especially among young people ages 15-24 years. A pregnant mother can pass the infection to her baby during childbirth. Although the infection is curable with medicine, it is becoming harder to treat as drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing.
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
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