How Is Chlamydia Spread
You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia.
If your sex partner is male you can still get chlamydia even if he does not ejaculate .
If youve had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can still get infected again. This can happen if you have unprotected sex with someone who has chlamydia.
Why Wait Seven Days After Chlamydia Treatment
If youre getting treatment for chlamydia, avoid oral, anal, or vaginal sex until seven days after the treatment is over. As chlamydia is a bacteria, your health care provider will most likely prescribe you antibiotics that need time to be effective.
If your partner is getting treatment, you should wait seven days after they take all of their medicine. If you dont wait for the treatment to be effective and have sex earlier, you can get the infection again.
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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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 .
Do I Need To Get Tested For Chlamydia
- If you are 24 or younger and have sex, you need to get tested for chlamydia. Chlamydia is most common in women between 15 and 24 years old. You need to get tested if you have had any symptoms of chlamydia since your last negative test result or if your sex partner has chlamydia.
- If you are older than 24, you need to get tested if, in the past year or since your last test, you:
- Had a new sex partner
- Had your sex partner tell you they have chlamydia
- Traded sex for money or drugs
- Have had chlamydia or another STI in the past
- Did not use condoms during sex and are in a relationship that is not monogamous, meaning you or your partner has sex with other people
You also need to be tested if you are pregnant or if you have any symptoms of chlamydia.
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How Is Chlamydia Treated
Your doctor or nurse will prescribe antibiotics to treat chlamydia. Antibiotics can cure chlamydia. But they cannot fix any permanent damage done to your body, including scarring of your reproductive organs. For this reason, you should get tested and take the antibiotics as soon as possible.
For the antibiotics to work, you must finish all of the antibiotics that your doctor gives you, even if the symptoms go away. Do not share your antibiotics for chlamydia with anyone. If symptoms do not go away after treatment, see your doctor or nurse.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Your doctor can give you antibiotics that are safe to take during pregnancy.
How Do People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected partner. Ejaculation does not have to occur for chlamydia to be transmitted or acquired. Chlamydia can also be spread perinatally from an untreated mother to her baby during childbirth, resulting in ophthalmia neonatorum or pneumonia in some exposed infants. In published prospective studies, chlamydial conjunctivitis has been identified in 18-44% and chlamydial pneumonia in 3-16% of infants born to women with untreated chlamydial cervical infection at the time of delivery.9-12 While rectal or genital chlamydial infection has been shown to persist one year or longer in infants infected at birth,13 the possibility of sexual abuse should be considered in prepubertal children beyond the neonatal period with vaginal, urethral, or rectal chlamydial infection.
People who have had chlamydia and have been treated may get infected again if they have sexual contact with a person infected with chlamydia.14
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What Happens If I Dont 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 doesnt cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, and potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy .
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 being able to have children.
I Was Treated For Chlamydia When Can I Have Sex Again
You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex.
What Can Happen If You Have Chlamydia For A Long Time
- Problems getting pregnant
- Pregnancy outside of the uterus
- Swelling in the anus
- Before anal sex
- Before oral sex
For more information, see Safer Sex.
How Can I Know If I Have Chlamydia
If you think you have chlamydia, or any STI, contact your healthcare provider. He or she will examine you and perform tests, if necessary, to determine if you have an STI.
To check for chlamydia, a woman is given a pelvic exam. A sample of fluid is taken from the vagina. In men, a sample of fluid may be taken from the penis. The fluid is sent to a laboratory for testing. The cultures can also be taken from a urine test. Your provider will discuss which way is the best way to check for an infection in your particular situation.
Also Check: Can Chlamydia Turn Into Gonorrhea
How Can You Get Rid Of Chlamydia
If your chlamydia test comes back positive, you may be wondering how to get chlamydia treated. Itâs important to discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider. Most likely, you will be treated for chlamydia with oral antibiotics. With treatment, infections often clear up in one to two weeks.
Even if your symptoms resolve sooner, however, itâs very important to complete your healthcare providerâs entire course of prescribed antibiotics. Otherwise, the infection may not be completely eliminated and you could be at risk for reinfection. You could also still pass chlamydia to a partner if you donât complete the recommended course of antibiotics.
Finally, as part of your treatment for chlamydia, connect with any sexual partners you may have unintentionally exposed to this infection. Your healthcare provider may also recommend antibiotics for your partner. This is a key part of chlamydia treatment, since it can help prevent reinfection when you resume sexual intercourse.
Chlamydia is a potentially harmful infection, but fortunately, itâs easy to test for. Itâs also simple to treat when you have a confirmed diagnosis. The important thing is stay informed and know your statusâsomething you can do from the privacy and comfort of home with our STD Test for women.
1. Overview: Chlamydia. National Health Service. URL. Accessed March 27, 2020.
2. Chlamydia – CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Accessed March 27, 2020.
How Is It Treated
Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia. It’s 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 you’ve 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. Counselling or a support group may help you feel better.
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.
Preventing The Spread Of Infection
It is absolutely necessary to inform the partner if you get a positive test for Chlamydia. The sooner the partner is told the more effective and simple the treatment can be. Make sure your partner gets tested and receives the treatment as well and abstain from the intercourse until the treatment of both you and the partner is finished.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Chlamydia
The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting chlamydia:
- Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results
- Use latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
How Does Someone Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is passed through oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Chlamydia can be passed from one person to another even if the penis or tongue does not go all the way into the vagina or anus.Eye infections can occur when discharge caries the disease into the eye during sex or hand-to-eye contact.
Chlamydia can also be passed from mother to newborn as the baby passes through the infected birth canal. This can result in eye infections, pneumonia or other complications.
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What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia In Women
Treatment of chlamydia involves antibiotics.
- A convenient single-dose therapy for chlamydia is 1 gm of azithromycin by mouth.
- Alternative treatments can also be used, however, because of the high cost of this medication.
- The most common alternative treatment is a 100 mg oral dose of doxycycline twice per day for seven days.
- Unlike gonorrhea, there has been little, if any, resistance of chlamydia to currently used antibiotics.
- There are many other antibiotics that also have been effective against chlamydia.
- As with gonorrhea, a condom or other protective barrier prevents the spread of the infection.
- Sexual partners also require treatment.
- Follow-up testing to confirm the success of the treatment is important.
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How Chlamydia Is Treated
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
If you have doxycycline, you should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
If you have azithromycin, you should wait 7 days after treatment before having sex .
It’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.
Under-25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated.
This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.
Sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinics can help you contact your sexual partners.
Either you or the clinic can speak to them, or they can be sent a note advising them to get tested.
The note will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
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What Does Chlamydia Infection Mean For My Health
Chlamydia can be treated and cured easily, but that doesnt mean that chlamydia infection isnt potentially dangerous. If chlamydia isnt diagnosed and left untreated, it can cause serious complications.
Untreated chlamydia infections in women may lead to:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease , a serious infection of the reproductive organs . Left untreated, PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, or ectopic pregnancy.
- A condition called mucopurulent cervicitis, characterized by a yellow discharge from the cervix
Untreated chlamydia in men may lead to:
- Scarring of the urethra
How Is Chlamydia Transmitted
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. Itâs also considered a sexually transmitted infection , which means that it can spread between sex partners through any kind of sexual contact. This contact is not limited to vaginal intercourse you can also contract oral chlamydia through oral sex, although it is a less common cause of Chlamydia trachomatis infections. Because sexual contact increases your risk, itâs a good idea to know if you have an STD before you have intercourse with a new partner.
You can also spread chlamydia to different parts of your body without sexual contact. If you have a chlamydia infection in your vagina, you could spread it to your anus just by the act of wiping after you use the bathroom. You could also transmit a chlamydia infection to your eye, simply with hand-to-eye contact. Keep in mind that this form of eye infection is rare, but can still occur if your hands come in contact with the bacteria that causes chlamydia infections. And if youâre pregnant, you can give the infection to your unborn baby passing through your cervix.
In short, there are many different ways you can contract or spread chlamydia. To protect your sexual health and the health of your sexual partner, get tested for chlamydia before beginning any new relationship.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is known as one of the silent diseases which can produce no symptoms for a long period of time. Approximately 7095 percent of women and 50 percent of men with chlamydia do not observe chlamydia symptoms at all. The symptoms can also be mild and almost unnoticeable.
Another reason why symptoms are not the best way to determine the infection is that it is often confused with gonorrhea as the symptoms are very much alike. Asymptomatic nature of chlamydia makes it difficult to estimate how long a person remains infectious and this period is commonly believed to last until full recovery.
Chlamydia symptoms show up between 1 and 3 weeks after the contraction.
Chlamydia Symptoms In Females
Chlamydia symptoms in females are rare. Roughly 7 in 10 women dont experience any symptoms. The infection may be asymptomatic, meaning that people dont know they have it.
If signs and symptoms occur, they usually happen one to three weeks after the exposure, but could start much later. The symptoms are often mild and passing, and easy to overlook.
Some of the potential signs and symptoms of chlamydia include:
- lower abdominal pain
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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.