How Chlamydia’s Passed On
Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
You can get the infection if you come into contact with the semen or vaginal fluids of someone who has chlamydia.
Chlamydia is most commonly spread through:
- vaginal or anal sex without a condom
- sharing sex toys that arent washed or covered with a new condom each time theyre used.
It can be spread by giving or receiving oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. The risk can be lowered by using a condom or a dam to cover the genitals.
If infected semen or vaginal fluid comes into contact with the eye it can cause conjunctivitis (infection or irritation of the eye.
If youre pregnant its possible to pass chlamydia to the baby .
Its not clear if chlamydia can be spread by transferring infected semen or vaginal fluid to another persons genitals on the fingers or through rubbing vulvas together.
You cant get chlamydia from kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or from sharing cups, plates or cutlery.
How To Prevent Oral Chlamydia
Abstinence is the only way to completely prevent chlamydia infection. However, barrier devices such as a condom or dental dam can significantly reduce the risk of giving or receiving a sexually transmitted infection like chlamydia.
Another way to reduce the risk of infection is to maintain a monogamous sexual relationship with a partner who is not infected with chlamydia.
Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
Anyone who has sex can get chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.
Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman younger than 25 years, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as pregnant women should also get tested for chlamydia.
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Does Chlamydia Cause Cervical Cancer
No, chlamydia doesn’t cause cervical cancer.
It’s possible to get a sexually transmitted infection by having sex with someone who has an STI, even if they have no symptoms.
The following measures will help protect you from most STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV.
If you have an STI, they’ll also help prevent you from passing it on to someone:
- Use condoms every time you have vaginal or anal sex.
- If you have oral sex , use a condom to cover the penis, or a dam to cover the vulva or anus.
- Avoid sharing sex toys. If you do share them, wash them or cover them with a new condom before anyone else uses them.
What Is The Prognosis For A Female With Chlamydia
As discussed previously, chlamydia infection can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease if untreated, which can have serious consequences. Complications include permanent damage to the reproductive organs, including infertility and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia infection in pregnancy can also lead to low birth weight and premature delivery as well as pneumonia and eye damage in the newborn.
Having an untreated chlamydia infection can also increase a person’s risk for acquiring HIV infection. It can also increase the risk that a person with HIV infection will transmit the infection to others during sexual intercourse.
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Exactly How Common Is Chlamydia
In 2017, more than 1.7 million instances of chlamydia were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Nevertheless, numerous situations go unreported, so the genuine variety of chlamydia infections every year might be closer to 3 million.
Males and female can both get the infection, but much more situations in women are reported.
Infection prices are greatest amongst more youthful ladies, with the greatest rates of infection happening in women in between ages 15 and 24.
The CDC advises that all sexually active females ages 25 years as well as younger get screened for chlamydia each year, in addition to older ladies with threat variables like numerous or brand-new companions.
Statistically, a person is more likely to get an STI if they have actually had sex with greater than a single person. Other threat factors include having had an STI in the past, or presently have an infection since this could lower resistance.
Prices for chlamydia and also other STIs have been climbing up in recent times.
How Can You Get It
You can get chlamydia through vaginal or anal sex with a partner who has chlamydia. The infection is transmitted when your vagina or anus comes into contact with your partners sexual fluids. Sexual fluids include ejaculate, vaginal fluid, and anal fluid. Chlamydia may also be spread through oral sex on a penis, though this is not common.
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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.
How Will I Know If The Chlamydia Has Affected My Fertility
Chlamydia is just one of many factors that can affect your fertility. Most people whove had chlamydia wont become infertile or have an ectopic pregnancy . If youve had chlamydia you wont normally be offered any routine tests to see if youre fertile unless you or a partner are having difficulty getting pregnant. If youre concerned, talk to your doctor or practice nurse.
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Can You Have Chlamydia In The Mouth
Chlamydia is known to infect the oropharynx, a part of the throat that’s behind the mouth. So technically speaking, chlamydia can infect the throat instead of the mouth directly. However, chlamydia in women and men can be transmitted through the mouth of an infected partner during certain sexual activities like oral sex.
What Does A Chlamydia Test Involve
- If you have a vulva, you may be asked to take a swab around the inside of your vagina yourself.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab during an internal examination of your vagina and cervix .
- You may be asked to provide a urine sample. Before having this test, youre advised not to pass urine for 12 hours.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab from the entrance of the urethra .
- If youve had anal or oral sex, a doctor or nurse may swab your rectum or throat . These swabs arent done routinely on everyone.
- If you have symptoms of conjunctivitis swabs will be used to collect a sample of discharge from your eye.
A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud but is smaller and rounded. It sometimes has a small plastic loop on the end rather than a cotton tip. Its wiped over the parts of the body that could be infected. This only takes a few seconds and isnt painful, though it may be uncomfortable for a moment.
Cervical screening and routine blood tests dont detect chlamydia.
If youre not sure whether youve been tested for chlamydia, just ask.
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How Do People Get Chlamydia
People get chlamydia by having sex with someone who has the infection. Chlamydia can still be transmitted even if a man does not ejaculate. People who have had chlamydia and have been treated can get infected again if they have sex with an infected person.
Chlamydia can be spread from an infected woman to her baby during childbirth.
Can Chlamydia Be Cured
Yes, chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. You should not share medication for chlamydia with anyone.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner was treated.
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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.
Chlamydia Infection May Have Long
For women, the long-term effects of an untreated chlamydia infection may include:
- Severe infection with pain and fever requiring a hospital stay
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the upper reproductive tract
- Scarring in the reproductive tract that causes infertility
- Higher risk of ectopic pregnancy
Men are less likely than women to have major health problems linked to chlamydia, although they can develop epididymitis, an inflammation of a structure within the testicles called the epididymis that can result in infertility.
A chlamydia infection can sometimes result in reactive arthritis in both men and women.
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How Chlamydia Is Treated
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
You may be given a course of doxycycline to take for a week or azithromycin to take once a day for 3 days.
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.
What Does Chlamydia Look Like In The Mouth
Chlamydia in the throat may take on a similar appearance to a throat infection. The throat may simply look red and swollen.
Sometimes chlamydia in the throat will have no appearance at all, especially where no symptoms are present.
If you have been experiencing a sore throat that doesnt seem to be going away, or you have had oral sex with a partner recently who has tested positive for chlamydia, you need to get tested as soon as possible.
Chlamydia in the throat is tested using a swab. You will need to visit a medical professional in person for a diagnosis. A doctor will send a swab sample to a laboratory, which tests the specimen for the presence of DNA from the bacteria that cause chlamydia.
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How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
The most common test for chlamydia is called a nucleic acid amplification test . Your provider takes a sample of fluid by doing a vaginal/cervical swab or collecting a urine sample. Then, they send the sample off to a lab to check for the bacteria that causes chlamydia. Your provider may do the test in an office, or they may ask you to do an at-home chlamydia test. Follow your providers instructions carefully to ensure you get accurate test results.
Because most chlamydia cases are asymptomatic, its important to get screened for chlamydia even if you dont notice any signs of infection. The CDC recommends that sexually active cisgender women who are high-risk for chlamydia get screened regularly. Women, more so than men, experience the most severe complications from chlamydia. Transgender men and nonbinary individuals with vaginas should be screened regularly, too, as they can experience the same complications of chlamydia.
Youre considered high-risk if you:
- Are under 25.
- Have had chlamydia infections previously.
Cisgender men, or trans and nonbinary individuals with penises, should be screened for chlamydia if:
- They live in a setting where chlamydia spreads frequently, like correctional facilities, adolescent clinics and sexual health clinics.
- They have sex with other men.
Condom Use During The Treatment Period
- Avoid having sex without a condom during treatment because the infection can still be transmitted. Use condoms for 7 days after the start of treatment and until 7 days after all current sexual contacts have been treated.
- If you are on a combined oral contraceptive pill, use a condom for 14 days when having sex, as antibiotics can affect the reliability of the contraceptive pill.
After completing the treatment, phone your doctor or return to the clinic for a follow-up after 3 months to check you have not been re-infected.
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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.
Knowing Other Bodily Symptoms Of Chlamydia
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