When To Seek Medical Advice
If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.
You should also get tested if you donât have any symptoms but are concerned you could have a sexually transmitted infection .
If youâre a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, itâs recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If youâre a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, itâs recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
Read more about chlamydia diagnosis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
It may be difficult to actually know if you have contracted chlamydia because most people do not have any symptoms at all. The suspicion may only be raised if there has been a known contact with chlamydia or from testing after unprotected sex. It is important that you get tested if you suspect you have chlamydia because there are treatments available and if left untreated it can have serious short-term and long-term effects.
In the short term after infection, some people may experience unusual vaginal or rectal discharge, which is described as yellow or milky white. This is because the chlamydia bacteria infects the cells in the vagina and rectum, stimulating mucous secretion. These secretions combine with dead infected cells to produce discharge.
A white discharge may also be caused by vaginal thrush, however, but this is usually curd-like, often odourless, or smells like bread or yeast. It is also often associated with vaginal itching or redness.
A green, rather than yellow discharge, along with a foul smelling odour, may be due to other sexually transmitted diseases such as trichomoniasis.2 A grey-white watery vaginal discharge that has a strong fishy smell may be due to bacterial vaginosis, which is caused by a disruption of the balance of normal vaginal bacteria.3 So, the difference in colour and smell of the vaginal discharge may differentiate between whether it is likely to be caused by chlamydia or not.
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.
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How Do You Tell If You Have A Uti Or Chlamydia
Does a UTI feel like chlamydia?
How to Tell the Difference. Frequent, urgent trips to the washroom along with lower abdominal pressure or pelvic pain and a burning sensation during urination could mean a urinary tract infection . However, it could also be a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
What color is your pee with chlamydia?
Signs of chlamydia if you have a vagina
Chlamydia bacteria often cause symptoms that are similar to cervicitis or a urinary tract infection . You may notice: White, yellow or gray discharge from your vagina that may be smelly. Pus in your urine .
What does chlamydia urine look like?
You can also get pus in the urine, which makes it look cloudy and usually makes it smell bad. About 50 percent of men will have symptoms if they become infected.
What It Looks Like
Symptoms of oral chlamydia look very similar to tonsillitis or strep throat. The throat will be red, and the tonsils will be swollen. White spots might appear on the back of the throat. In addition, a person might feel swollen lymph nodes on the sides of the neck.
The most accurate way to know whether you have oral chlamydia is through swab testing. Testing for chlamydia outside of the genital area is not a routine part of STD screening, which means that throat infections can go undiagnosed and untreated.
Untreated chlamydia of the throat could be a reason for the ongoing spread of the disease.
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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.
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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Just How Is Chlamydia Spread How Long Do Chlamydia Symptoms Take To Show Up
You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or foreplay with a person who has chlamydia.
If your sex companion is male you can still obtain chlamydia even if he does not have an orgasm.
If you have actually had chlamydia and also were treated in the past, you can still obtain contaminated again. This can take place if you have unsafe sex with someone that has chlamydia.
If you are expecting, you can provide chlamydia to your baby during childbirth.
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How To Treat Oral Chlamydia
Oral chlamydia is treated in the same way as other chlamydia infections: with antibiotics. The CDC recommends:
- Doxycycline two times a day for seven days
Alternative treatments include:
- Azithromycin in a single dose
- Levofloxacin once a day for seven days
A single dose of azithromycin may be the simplest way to treat chlamydia. However, people have developed resistance to this antibiotic, whereas doxycycline has a nearly 100% cure rate.
After being diagnosed with a chlamydia infection, all sexual partners need to be told and treated as well. You should also refrain from having any sex for seven days after completing treatment.
Chlamydia is easily treated and cured, but you can get chlamydia again. If you are sexually active, it is essential to test for sexually transmitted infections regularly.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
- What is a sexually transmitted infection ?
A sexually transmitted infection is an infection spread by sexual contact. There are many STIs. This FAQ focuses on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. These STIs can cause long-term health problems and problems during pregnancy. Having an STI also increases the risk of getting human immunodeficiency virus if you are exposed to it.
- What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI in the United States. Chlamydia is caused by a type of bacteria, which can be passed from person to person during vaginal sex, oral sex, or anal sex. Infections can occur in the mouth, reproductive organs, urethra, and rectum. In women, the most common place for infection is the cervix .
- What are the risk factors for chlamydia?
The following factors increase the risk of getting chlamydia:
Having a new sex partner
Having more than one sex partner
Having a sex partner who has more than one sex partner
Having sex with someone who has an STI
Having an STI now or in the past
Not using condoms consistently when not in a mutually monogamous relationship
Exchanging sex for money or drugs
Chlamydia usually does not cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may show up between a few days and several weeks after infection. They may be very mild and can be mistaken for a urinary tract or vaginal infection. The most common symptoms in women include
yellow discharge from the vagina or urethra
yellow vaginal discharge
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.
Special Cases: Chlamydia In Infants And Hiv
Newborn infants are also at risk for chlamydial infections if their mother has an untreated infection at the time of delivery. Newborn infants can contract chlamydia trachomatis as they travel through the birth canal and develop eye infections or pneumonia . For this reason, chlamydia testing should be routine during pregnancy.
Having an STI, like chlamydia, can also increase your chances of contracting HIV if you are exposed it to it, or spreading HIV if you are already infected . If you think you have chlamydia, or any STI, it is important for you to seek help immediately from your healthcare provider or an STI clinic. Many clinics provide free or low-cost STI testing. This will all help keep you, your sexual partners, and your community healthy.
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What Happens If You Dont Get Treated For Chlamydia
Even though chlamydia is common and doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can become a big deal if its not caught and treated early.
Chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes if it goes untreated for a long time. This can cause you to have pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage that leads to pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. So getting tested regularly for chlamydia really lowers your chances of getting PID.
If you have a penis, a chlamydia infection can spread to your epididymis if its left untreated, and can cause chronic joint pain. Rarely, it can make you infertile.
Having chlamydia may increase your chances of getting or spreading HIV.
If you have chlamydia during your pregnancy and dont treat it, you can pass it to your baby when youre giving birth. Chlamydia can also cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and it also increases the risk of delivering your baby too early.
Testing and treatment for chlamydia is quick, easy, and the best way to avoid all of these problems.
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Does Chlamydia Make You Tired
In the later stages of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, people often complain about being extremely tired. Along with these infections, fatigue can also be caused by Hepatitis A, B, or C. Associating fatigue with having a busy lifestyle is not a good idea as it can be a symptom of a Sexually Transmitted Disease.
Recognizing The Symptoms In The Genital Region
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Chlamydia Is Common But Many People Dont Realize They Have It
About 1.7 million chlamydia infections were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017, but the real number is likely higher because chlamydia is considered an underreported infection.
The number of reported cases is substantially lower than the true estimated incidence, says Bradley Stoner, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and former president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.
The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System relies on state and local public health departments to collect and report data on chlamydia to the CDC. Those public health departments depend on individual physicians, hospitals, and laboratories to report cases of chlamydia to them. Accurate statistics require all parties to routinely comply with disease-reporting mandates.
A Word From Same Day Std Testing
There is no good way to break bad news. As such, its important to be honest and forthright when you tell your partner you have chlamydia. Be willing to offer support and answer any questions your partner may have. Also, never adopt an accusatory tone when talking to a partner about STD transmission. Most people who have an STD dont even realize it, and accidents happen even when people are careful! Its worth remembering chlamydia is curable as long as you get tested for it first.
If you or your partner is worried about chlamydia you can contact one of our team members at this number . Well address all of your concerns and set you up with an appointment at one of our top-of-the-line facilities. With Same Day, youll experience high quality service, complete privacy during the testing process, and youll get all the tests you need done today. To find a location near you, .
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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.