Follow Up With Your Doctor As Directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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What About Rectal And Oral Swabs
While neither rectal nor oral swabs are currently approved for the detection of chlamydia, research suggests that doing these extragenital tests is important.
For example, a 2017 study found that among men who have sex with men , 13% had a rectal chlamydia infection but only 3.4% had a positive urethral swab. In women in an urban setting in the United States, 3.7% were found to have an extragenital infection. Those under the age of 18 had the highest incidence of extragenital infection.
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.
You can also take steps to prevent getting infected with chlamydia The best way to prevent chlamydia or any sexually transmitted disease is to not have vaginal, anal or oral sex. If you are sexually active, you can reduce your risk of infection by:
- 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 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 Long Does It Take To Show Up In People With Penises
Theres no significant difference in the amount of time it takes for chlamydia symptoms to show up for people with penises as compared to people with vulvas.
The only major difference in the time it takes for symptoms to show up among people of various sexes may be related to how often symptoms show up.
According to the Childrens National Health System, 90 percent of people with vulvas dont ever experience any physical symptoms, while 70 percent of people with penises never notice any symptoms.
This difference in who actually experiences symptoms between these two groups may have some effect on how long it takes for symptoms show up. But theres never been any definitive link between your sex and when your symptoms appear.
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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.
How Can I Prevent The Spread Of Chlamydia And Other Stis
Ask your healthcare provider for more information about the following safe sex practices:
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How Common Is Asymptomatic Chlamydia
As we mentioned above, its possible for someone to have an asymptomatic case of chlamydia and pass it to a new partner. Its difficult to determine exactly how many people have chlamydia, but the CDC has estimated that there were approximately four million new cases of chlamydia in the United States in 2018.
According to HealthDirect, 3 out of 4 women and 1 out 2 men wont show symptoms of chlamydia. Women can have asymptomatic chlamydia for many years, and men can have it for several months. So its entirely possible for you to be experiencing symptoms of chlamydia because your partner was asymptomatic and gave you the infection without knowing it.
According to Avert, the symptoms of chlamydia can include:
- Increased vaginal discharge that can be white, yellow, or grayish
- Bleeding or spotting after having sex or urinating
- Lower abdominal pain, particularly after sex
- Pain during intercourse and/or urination
- Painful or swollen testicles
- Watery or mucous-like, white, or cloudy penile discharge
How Long Does It Take To Show Up In The Throat
Symptoms of chlamydia in your throat are typically caused by having oral sex with someone whos contracted the infection.
Its much less common to notice throat symptoms, but they may still appear after a week or so, up to a few months or longer.
STI tests that look for chlamydia arent always done on the throat since its an area that does not carry the infection often. Ask your doctor for a throat swab or other chlamydia test if you think youve been exposed through oral sex.
Here are the most common symptoms of chlamydia in both people with penises and people with vulvas.
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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
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed And Treated
If you have chlamydia symptoms or had intercourse with someone without protection, you should inform your doctor about testing or take a home chlamydia test.
Chlamydia can be detected at home. You should get a chlamydia test kit and use urine for your test.
However, if you have oral chlamydia symptoms, you may need to see your doctor for throat swab culture. The culture of chlamydia takes about 3 7 days.
If diagnosed with chlamydia, you can easily be treated and cured with azithromycin or doxycycline tablets.
During pregnancy, chlamydia infection can be treated safely with azithromycin.
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How Will I Know If I Have Chlamydia
You can only be certain you have chlamydia if you have a test.
Anyone can get chlamydia. Youre more likely to have it if youre under 25, have a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner in the last year, and if you havent used condoms.
You should have a test if:
- you, or a partner, have or think you might have symptoms
- youve recently had sex without a condom with a new partner
- you, or a partner, have had sex without a condom with other partners
- during a vaginal examination, your doctor or nurse says that the cervix is inflamed and/or theres an unusual discharge
- a sexual partner tells you they have a sexually transmitted infection
- you have another STI.
If you live in England, and youre a woman who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test when you change sexual partner and once a year.
If youre a man who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
You could still have chlamydia even if a partner has tested negative. The only way to make sure you dont have chlamydia is to get tested yourself.
If you have chlamydia, youll be encouraged to be tested for other STIs as you can have more than one STI at the same time.
Just Diagnosed Next Steps After Testing Positive For Gonorrhea Or Chlamydia
If youve just found out that you have gonorrhea or chlamydia, you may be trying to figure out what to do next. Here are the three most important steps that you can take:
WHY?Many people with gonorrhea and chlamydia dont have symptoms. Why does this matter? Because an untreated infection can lead to serious and permanent health problems, even if you never have symptoms. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be cured with the right medicine from your doctor. Just make sure you take all of your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to.
WHERE?Your regular doctor can prescribe antibiotics to cure the STD. But if you dont have insurance or want to see someone else for treatment, there are other low-cost or free options. You can get tested and treated at your local health departments STD clinic, a family planning clinic, a student health center, or an urgent care clinic. You can also find a clinic using GetTested and ask if they offer treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- In women, untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to health problems like ectopic pregnancy or infertility .
- In men, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may prevent him from being able to have children.
- Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV the virus that causes AIDS.
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Is It Possible To Spot Chlamydia In Pictures
Most people often wonder if they can recognize the signs of chlamydia from pictures and whether or not this infection has any visible signs. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Its impossible to tell if a man is infected with chlamydia just by looking at a picture.
Whileit is possible to spot an irritated or swollen area, these signs could becaused by any other infection. To be 100% sure a man is infected, he needs toget a chlamydia test there is no other way.
Letting Partners Know You Have Chlamydia
Sexual partners may be infected too. If you have chlamydia, anyone you have had sex with from the last 6 months needs to be informed, tested and treated.
If they dont know, they could reinfect you or infect someone else if they are not treated. dont receive treatment.
Most people will appreciate being told they may have an infection and it is an important step in preventing further infection in the community.
Your local GP and sexual health centre can help you inform your partners and let them know that they need a test. This process is called partner notification. It can be done anonymously, and your confidentiality is always respected.
You can also anonymously notify your sexual partners of the need to get tested and treated for chlamydia via the Let Them Know website if you feel unable to speak to them personally.
There are also nurses who can help you anonymously notify your partners. They can be contacted on .
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What Happens If A Man Doesnt Treat His Chlamydia
If chlamydia is left untreated, it can become a more severe infection. Its also possible for it to have long term effects, including on fertility.
Chlamydia can affect the whole of the male reproductive system, causing inflammation in the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles, as well as the testicles themselves and the prostate gland. If this inflammation isnt treated, it may lead to scarring, which can have an effect on fertility.
There have also been some studies that suggest the infection itself can affect sperm being produced properly, but the evidence around this isnt conclusive at the moment.
Chlamydia can also cause a condition called reactive arthritis. This is when there is inflammation that affects the eyes, joints, and the urethra . The knees, feet, toes, hips, and ankles are also commonly affected. Its unclear exactly why this happens, but it may be related to the body overreacting to the infection. The symptoms can take months to recover, and you should treat this with anti-inflammatory medicines.
Treating chlamydia is also very important because it can easily be passed on to other partners, even if you dont have symptoms.
How Do Men Get Tested For Chlamydia
A doctor will perform a number of tests to make sure if a man carries the infection. The first test starts with a urine sample. When the patient provides the urine sample, the sample will then be taken to the lab to examine if the bacteria is present in the urine.
For more results, the doctor can take a urethral discharge swab to rule out any infections like syphilis or gonorrhea. Since these STIs have similar symptoms with chlamydia, its easy to misjudge them. With a swab test, the doctor will determine which infection has manifested in the system. See our Chlamydia Test in the webshop.
Theway a swab is taken in males is by inserting a very thin and sterile cottonswab into the urethra . Allthe fluids and discharge collected will be taken for further analysis.
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Where Can I Get A Test
There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
A chlamydia test can be done at:
- a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
- your general practice
- contraception and young peoples clinics
- some pharmacies.
Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.
In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.
The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .
If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.
In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk
Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.
What If I Don’t Get Treated
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems.
If you are a woman, untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes . This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease . PID often has no symptoms, however some women may have abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if it doesn’t cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system and can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, and potentially deadly pregnancy outside the uterus.
Men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can prevent a man from fathering children. Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV – the virus that causes AIDS.
Read Also: Can You Have Chlamydia Without Symptoms
Who Does Chlamydia Affect
Anyone whos sexually active can get chlamydia. The bacteria that causes chlamydia gets transmitted through vaginal fluid and semen, which means that people of all genders who have sex can become infected with chlamydia and infect their partners, too. If youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass it on to your newborn.
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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