What Kinds Of Complications Can The Infection Cause
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydial infections can lead to serious health problems.
In women, untreated infection can spread upward to the uterus and fallopian tubes , causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can be silent, or can cause symptoms such as abdominal and pelvic pain. Both symptomatic and silent PID can cause permanent damage to a womans reproductive tract and lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant and potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy .
Complications are rare in men. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testis, causing pain, fever, but, rarely, preventing a man from being able to father children.
Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility
A lot of us dont realize that some sexually transmitted diseases can cause no symptoms, meaning you could have an STD and not know it. And some STDs can silently lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or chronic pelvic pain.
Chlamydia is one of those diseases. CDC estimates that more than 2.8 million people are infected each year.
Many women, and some men, are infected with chlamydia but dont know it. Even without symptoms, the disease can cause complications, particularly infertility. The longer the infection is untreated, the more damage that can be done.
In pregnant women, chlamydia can cause premature delivery, the CDC says. A child born to an infected woman can develop an infection in their eyes and respiratory tracts.
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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Can You Have Chlamydia And Not Show Symptoms
Its not uncommon for the chlamydia bacteria to lie dormant for years and produce a low-grade infection. During that time, you may not have any symptoms for months, or they can be absent forever.
Around 75% of women and 50% of men with chlamydia report having no symptoms. For that reason, its best not to assume that if you or your partner has chlamydia that it means one of you was unfaithful. You could be in a loving, mutually monogamous relationship and be unaware that you have chlamydia.
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.
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How Is It Treated
Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia. Its important to take all of the medicine as directed. Otherwise the medicine may not work. Both sex partners need treatment to keep from passing the infection back and forth.
As soon as you find out you have chlamydia, be sure to let your sex partners know. Experts recommend that you notify everyone youve had sex with in the past 2 months. If you have not had sex in the past 2 months, contact the last person you had sex with.
Having a chlamydia infection that was cured does not protect you from getting it again. If you are treated and your sex partner is not, you probably will get it again.
Some people who have chlamydia also have other STIs, such as gonorrhea.
Finding out that you have an STI may make you feel bad about yourself or about sex. Counseling or a support group may help you feel better.
What Can I Do
Use a condom or oral dam during oral sex.
There is no vaccine to protect against chlamydia.
The only way to know for sure whether or not you have chlamydia is to get tested. A doctor or nurse can do the test. The test involves a swab of the genitals, rectum or throat or a urine sample. Tell the doctor or nurse about all the different kinds of sex you are having so they can test all the right parts of your body.
It is a good idea to get tested for other sexually transmitted infections , including HIV, when you get tested for chlamydia. Other STIs can be passed on in the same way as chlamydia. Talk to your healthcare provider about how often you should test for chlamydia and other STIs.
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, a public health staff person will talk to you about informing your sex partners that they might have been exposed to chlamydia and encouraging them to get tested. Your identity will not be revealed.
Chlamydia can be cured with a single dose or a short course of antibiotics. If you are given a single dose to treat the infection, you should wait for seven days after taking it before having sex again. If you are given pills to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all the pills before having sex again. If you have a regular partner or partners, they should also be treated before you have sex with them.
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What Health Problems Can Result From Chlamydia
The initial damage that chlamydia causes is often unnoticed. However, infections can lead to serious health problems with both short- and long-term effects.
If a woman does not receive treatment, chlamydia can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes, causing PID. Symptomatic PID occurs in about 10-15% of women who do not receive treatment.30,31 However, chlamydia can also cause subclinical inflammation of the upper genital tract . Both acute and subclinical PID can cause long-term 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 PID develop perihepatitis, or Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome. This syndrome includes inflammation of the liver capsule and surrounding peritoneum, which can cause right upper quadrant pain.
In pregnant people, untreated chlamydia can lead to pre-term delivery,34 ophthalmia neonatorum , and pneumonia in the newborn.
Reactive arthritis can occur in men and women, following infection with or without symptoms. This is sometimes part of a triad of symptoms formerly referred to as Reiters Syndrome.35
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.
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How Do I Test For Chlamydia
You can get tested for chlamydia even if you dont have any symptoms.
In some countries you can get a self-testing kit to do at home.
If you test positive for chlamydia, its important to tell any recent sexual partner/s so they can also get tested, and treated if necessary. If you need advice about how to do this, speak to your healthcare professional. You should also test for other STIs.
Who To Test For Chlamydia
Anyone with the following genital symptoms should not have sex until they see a healthcare provider:
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Unusual sores, or a rash
Because chlamydia usually has no symptoms, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs can reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25. CDC also recommends screening for older women with risk factors, such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Screen and treat those who are pregnant as noted in How does chlamydia affect a pregnant person and their baby? Women who are sexually active should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not necessary for men. However, consider screening sexually active young men in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia. This can include adolescent clinics, correctional facilities, and STD clinics. Consider this when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.40
At the initial HIV care visit, providers should test all sexually active people for chlamydia. Test at least each year during HIV care. A patients healthcare provider might determine more frequent screening is necessary, based on the patients risk factors.42
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What Increases Your Risk
Risk factors for getting chlamydia include:
- Having unprotected sex .
- Having more than one sex partner.
- Having a high-risk partner or partners. This includes people who have more than one sex partner or sex partners who have chlamydia.
- Starting sexual activity before age 18.
Any child with chlamydia needs to be seen by a doctor to determine the cause and to assess for possible sexual abuse. For more information, see the topic Child Abuse and Neglect.
Where Can I Get Tested And Treated For Chlamydia
You can be tested and treated for chlamydia at most places that provide healthcare, including private doctors offices, hospital clinics, STI clinics, family planning health centers, and health departments. If you are less than 25 years old and have ever had sexual intercourse, talk to your health care provider about getting tested for chlamydia at least once a year and more often if you have any new sexual contacts , or you have had chlamydia or other STIs before.
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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.
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Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Chlamydia
Sexual health plays an important role in fertility. Many STDs can cause scarring and inflammation, making it more difficult to conceive, even after the infection has been treated.
In the case of chlamydia, the infection can damage your reproductive health, if left untreated. The bacteria can cause PID which can do permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to inflammation, scarring, and blockage in your reproductive organs. In some cases, it can also cause ectopic pregnancy which can be deadly if the pregnancy isnt removed in time.
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Female Chlamydia Symptoms To Watch For
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that can affect both males and females.
Up to 95 percent of females with chlamydia dont experience any symptoms, according to the This is problematic because chlamydia can cause damage to your reproductive system if left untreated.
But chlamydia can occasionally cause symptoms. Heres a look at the common ones you might notice.
Just remember, you could still have chlamydia without these symptoms. If theres a chance you may have been exposed to the bacteria, your safest bet is to get tested as soon as possible.
Chlamydia can cause unusual vaginal discharge. It might be:
Chlamydia can also affect your rectum. This can result from having unprotected or a vaginal chlamydia infection spreading to your rectum.
You might also notice mucus-like discharge coming from your rectum.
Chlamydia sometimes causes inflammation that leads to bleeding between your periods. This bleeding may range from light to moderately heavy.
Chlamydia can also lead to bleeding after any type of sexual activity involving penetration.
What Should I Do If I Have Chlamydia
Chlamydia is easy to treat. But you need to be tested and treated as soon as possible.
If you have chlamydia:
- See a doctor or nurse as soon as possible. Antibiotics will treat chlamydia, but they will not fix any permanent damage to your reproductive organs.
- Take all of your medicine. Even if symptoms go away, you need to finish all of the antibiotics.
- Tell your sex partner so they can be tested and treated. If they are not tested and treated you could get chlamydia again.
- Avoid sexual contact until you and your partner have been treated and cured. Even after you finish your antibiotics, you can get chlamydia again if you have sex with someone who has chlamydia.
- See your doctor or nurse again if you have symptoms that don’t go away within a few days after finishing the antibiotics.
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Burning Sensation When Urinating
Chlamydia can cause a burning sensation when you urinate. Its easy to mistake this for a symptom of a urinary tract infection.
You might also feel like you have the urge to urinate more often than usual. And when you do go to urinate, only a little bit comes out. Your urine might also smell unusual or look cloudy.
If you have chalmydia, you might also feel some pain during sex, especially intercourse.
You may also some bleeding and lingering irritation after any type of sexual activity involving penetration.
How Is It Contracted
Chlamydia is transmitted primarily through sexual activity. The following are the most common ways:
- unprotected intercourse with an infected partner
- sharing sex toys
- from mother to the newborn during vaginal childbirth through the infected birth channel
- infection can be transferred on fingers from the genitals to other parts of the body
Chlamydia is not contracted through simple kissing, handshaking, any casual contacts, sharing baths, towels and cups as well as from toilet seats.
Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular human pathogen, is one of four bacterial species in the genus Chlamydia. 3D illustration
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Leads To Infertility In Women
Several cases of infertility have been observed till now and most of them use to happen just because of untreated Chlamydia. Whenever Chlamydia infection attacks a woman then it often creates trouble at uterus opening. Note that if this condition is ignored so long then bacterium starts traveling towards fallopian tube and then to ovaries.
This disease also causes harm to the hairs around the fallopian tube so the egg is not able to find guidance from ovaries towards womb. Such kind of damage leads to scars and slowly the tube may get blocked. This blockage is a major reason behind infertility. Some professionals have also reported the presence of ectopic pregnancy in Chlamydia affected women so it is really important to get it treated on time so that complications can be avoided.
Who Should Get Tested For Chlamydia
Because chlamydia is very common and often has no symptoms, anyone who is sexually active should think about being tested. Because chlamydia is very common among young women, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend sexually active women age 25 or younger get tested once per year. Chlamydia testing is also recommended for women with new or multiple sexual partners and pregnant women.
Anyone who is sexually active should talk with a healthcare provider about whether they need testing for chlamydia or other STIs. Dont be afraid to speak openly about your sex life, as you can get the best care by having an honest discussion with your healthcare provider.
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Can I Test Myself For Chlamydia At Home
Home testing kits for chlamydia are widely available and can be purchased at many pharmacies or online.
These kits typically require a urine sample or tissue swab, which you can collect at home and securely ship back to the lab to receive your results.
Some companies also include a free medical consultation with a doctor if your test results are positive to review your treatment options.
How To Help Partners Get Treatment
If you are not sure whether your sexual partner will seek treatment, ask your doctor for extra chlamydia medication . You can give it to them so they can be treated as soon as possible.
This is known as patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia. Talk to your doctor to see if PDPT is right for you and your sexual partner.
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Oral Chlamydia: Symptoms Causes Diagnosis And Treatment
Detecting a condition that has no symptoms, like chlamydia in women, comes down to screening. Screening is a way to look for a disease in a person even if they dont have any signs or symptoms of the condition. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for chlamydia in sexually active females under 25. For women over 25, screening is only necessary for those at higher risk of infection .
The same recommendations are in place for women who are pregnant. However, pregnant women should also be retested in the third trimester if under age 25 or at increased risk. Screening is important because, in addition to causing infertility, infection with chlamydia can cause issues during pregnancy and in the newborn. During pregnancy, chlamydia may lead to early rupture of the fluid sac containing the fetus and early delivery of the newborn. If the infant is exposed to chlamydia during birth, it can cause pneumonia or conjunctivitis .