Clinical Features And Sequelae
- Genital infections with C. trachomatis present as urethritis and proctitis in men and women, cervicitis, salpingitis, endometritis and pelvic inflammatory disease in women, and orchitis, epididymitis and prostatitis in men.
- Perinatal transmission of C. trachomatis can result in conjunctivitis and pneumonia in newborns and young infants.
- At least 70% of genital C. trachomatis infections in women and 50% in men are asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis.
- The natural course of genital chlamydia infections is not well understood:
- Spontaneous resolution of asymptomatic infections is not uncommon.
- Asymptomatic infections, particularly endocervical infections, can persist for long periods.
- Many patients with asymptomatic infections will at some point develop symptoms and clinical disease.
- Asymptomatic infections can result in complications such as blocked tubes and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Testing For Chlamydia In Men
Diagnosing chlamydia in men involves getting a sample from every area at risk of infectionthis will depend on the type of sex you engage in or the symptoms you are experiencing. In men, this usually means a urine sample. Healthcare providers often specify that this should be a first catch sample to indicate that urine from the beginning of the stream should be evaluated in the chlamydia test.
Screening can help detect chlamydia, especially since most people dont develop chlamydia symptoms. Men who have sex with men should be screened as frequently as every 36 months. However, the United States Preventive Services Task Force states that there isnt enough evidence to support or reject screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea in other sexually active men .
If you are interested in getting screened, talk to your healthcare provider. In the meantime, staying aware of the symptoms of chlamydia and how it spreads is an excellent step for your sexual health.
Ways To Prevent Chlamydia Infection
In case if you are infected with Chlamydia then it is important to take preventive steps to stop spreading it further to other sex partners. Always prefer to follow these tips for prevention:
Any genital chlamydia symptoms in men like burning sensation at the time of urination or discharge can cause unusual rashes or sore. It is the right symptom to stop sexual contact and visit your doctor immediately. In case your doctor immediately identifies presence of Chlamydia in your body then it is good to start treatment from the same day.
Let your past partners know about this disease and ask them to have test fast at a trusted medical clinic. As Chlamydia symptoms are rarely noticeable so it is important to stay aware and protected with proper Chlamydia cure.
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How Do I Spot An Sti
You might be surprised to learn that most STIs dont have symptoms. This means you cant necessarily tell if you or your sexual partner has an STI just by looking. Thats why regular sexual health check-ups are essential.
Because STIs are so common and testing is quick and easy, many clinicians suggest getting an STI test every 612 months, when you change partners, or if you have any symptoms that youre concerned about.
It’s also important to know that being treated for STIs doesnt stop you from getting them again.
Open The Conversation Up To Questions
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How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is spread when a person has unprotected sex with an infected person.
Because chlamydial infection often has no symptoms, many people do not realise they have the infection.
Even if you know a person well, you may not be able to tell they have an STI, because people can look healthy and still have chlamydia.
Remember, you can get chlamydia and other STIs from a new sexual partner who has in the past had sex with someone who is infected.
It can also be spread from a long-term partner who has had sex with other people.
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Regular Screening Prevents Later Problems
When young women and other women at high risk for chlamydia follow CDC guidelines and get yearly screening, they reduce their risk for the serious problems that the illness can cause. They are less likely to suffer infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and other serious health troubles than women who skip yearly testing.
Testing is easy. If it helps you remember, do it the week after your birthday, or tie it to some other annual event, like July 4th. That way, you can declare your independence from worry about STDs.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
When it comes to chlamydia, its a good idea to be proactive. Speak with your healthcare provider about your risks of infection. Make a plan to get screened regularly for STIs based on your providers recommendations for how often you should be tested. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if your partner tests positive for chlamydia or if you notice any signs or symptoms that you may be infected.
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Chlamydia Test
Chlamydia testing enables diagnosis and treatment of the infection before it can cause serious health problems. If you are at risk for chlamydia due to your age and/or lifestyle, talk to your health care provider about getting tested.
- Being in a long-term relationship with one partner who has tested negative for STDs
- Using condoms correctly every time you have sex
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How Long Does It Take To Show Up On A Test
There are several tests that you doctor might use to diagnose chlamydia:
- Urine test. Youll pee in a cup thats sent off to a laboratory testing facility to see if any chlamydia bacteria are present in your urine.
- Blood test. Your doctor will use a sterile needle to draw some of your blood and send it to a lab to see if antibodies to the chlamydia bacteria are present in your bloodstream.
- Swab. Your doctor will use a cotton round or stick to take a small sample of tissue or fluid that carries the infection, which is then sent to a lab to be cultured so that lab technicians can see what bacteria grows from the sample.
How long it takes for the results to show up depends on the test and on your specific health insurance plan.
- Urine tests take about 2 to 5 days to show a positive or negative result.
- Blood tests can come back with results in a few minutes if the blood is analyzed on site. But they can take a week or more if sent to an off-site lab.
- Swab results take about 2 to 3 days to show a positive or negative.
1 to 3 weeks to show up in people with vulvas.
Symptoms may take up a few months to show up. This is because bacteria are living creatures and have an incubation period that affects how long it takes them to cluster together and become infectious.
This incubation period is dependent on a variety of factors, including:
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Practice Safer Sex By Using A Condom
Important things to remember when using condoms:
- Check the condom package for damage. Do not use a damaged condom
- Check the expiry date. Do not use a condom after its expiry date
- Carefully open the package so that the condom does not tear. Do not use a condom that has been torn
- Keep condoms away from sharp objects such as rings, studs or piercings
- Store condoms at room temperature
- Use a new condom every time you have sex. Do not reuse condoms
- Do not use 2 condoms at once. Using 2 condoms together may result in a condom breaking
- Use only water-based lubricants with external latex condoms. Oil-based lubricants, such as petroleum jelly, lotion or baby oil, can weaken and destroy latex
- Water or oil-based lubricant may be used with polyurethane/nitrile condoms
- Use only condoms made of latex or polyurethane/nitrile/polyisoprene rubbers. Latex and polyurethane condoms are the best types of condoms to use to help prevent pregnancy and STIs.
- Avoid using condoms with spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 as it can irritate tissue and may increase the chance of getting an STI
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Can Chlamydia Make Men Infertile
Yes, untreated chlamydia may make men infertile in rare cases.
Chlamydia can spread to a manâs testicles and the tubes which carry sperm from the testicles, called epididymis. Both the testicles and epididymis can become painful and swollen. This is a condition known as epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis. It is very rare. Chlamydia infections in testicular tissue may affect a manâs fertility, due to a lower sperm count and lower quality sperm. Antibiotics can treat the infection effectively.
What’s The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. If you take the treatment according to instructions, its over 95% effective at treating chlamydia.
- Youll be given a course of antibiotics for 3 or 7 days or sometimes up to two weeks.
- If theres a high chance you have chlamydia, treatment may be started before the results of the test are back. Youll always be given treatment if a sexual partner is found to have chlamydia.
- You may also need other treatment if complications have occurred.
- Tell the doctor or nurse if youre pregnant, or think you might be, or youre breastfeeding. This may affect the type of antibiotic youre given.
- Complementary therapies cant cure chlamydia.
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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
Treating Chlamydia In Men
If you are exhibiting symptoms or you have a sexual partner who has already tested positive, you will likely be given treatment for chlamydia even before your test results come back .
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics, often a single dose of azithromycin . If there is a concern for a possible co-infection with gonorrhea, youll also get a single injection of an antibiotic called ceftriaxone . This is typically the case when treatment is presumptive .
An alternative first-line treatment regimen is a 7-day course of doxycycline . This replaces the single dose of azithromycin. If you have additional issues, like epididymitis or LGV, you may need a longer treatment course .
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How Chlamydia Is Diagnosed
There are a number of different, reliable tests for chlamydia. In addition to tests that a healthcare provider would use in a medical office or clinic, there are now some good test kits you can use at home. The tests rely on several different methods.
Some older tests involve obtaining some of the chlamydia bacteria and growing them in a culture. Today, healthcare providers prefer newer DNA tests, often called NAATs .
Some tests that work for both men and women use a urine sample. Others use secretions from the genitals or other infected areas of the body, such as the rectum. While the CDC recommends testing of genital secretions, screening a urine sample is less invasive and more practical for many primary-care physician offices.
Women under age 25 ought to be tested every year for chlamydia whether or not they have any symptoms. In women, tests often involve the insertion of a cotton swab into the to obtain secretions.
Vaginal swab is the preferred method, says Dombrowski. You dont have to have a whole pelvic exam.
If you are pregnant, you should be screened for chlamydia during your first prenatal visit. If you are pregnant and younger than 25, or if you are pregnant and have a new sex partner or multiple partners, you should also be screened again in your third trimester. Its important to catch and treat chlamydia in a pregnant woman to prevent transmission to the baby. In newborns, the illness can cause serious harm or death.
Herpes Symptoms In Men
Many men with herpes dont show any symptoms at all, so they dont know they have it. When symptoms do occur, its common for people to mistake them for other things like pimples or ingrown hairs. The first time a person shows genital herpes symptoms is called the initial outbreak, and it can be severe, with subsequent outbreaks being less intense. Often, an initial outbreak occurs 2-12 days after infection, but some people can go months or even years before having an initial outbreak.4
Signs of herpes in men include:
- Tingling, itching, or burning where the blisters will appear
- Small blisters that burst and leave painful, open ulcers before eventually scabbing over
- On or around the mouth, such as on the lips, tongue, or gums
- On other parts of the body
Herpes sores usually heal within a few weeks. Even when an outbreak goes away, the virus stays in your body for life. This means herpes outbreaks come and go. The virus can flare up weeks, months, or even years later and cause sores again.
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How Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia
Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:
- An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
- Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
- Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.
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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How Is Chlamydia Treated In Men
Both men and women are treated for chlamydia in the same way. This includes an antibiotic treatment which is taken orally, usually in one sitting. The most common treatments are azithromycin or doxycycline. To avoid reinfection its best that your partner also has treatment at the same time. You should abstain from sex for one week following treatment as you can still pass chlamydia on during this time.