Chlamydia Symptoms In Women
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections among both men and women. It is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted during oral, vaginal, or anal sex. If left untreated, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease a serious condition which makes it difficult or even impossible to get pregnant.3 Most women dont show symptoms, but when symptoms of chlamydia do occur, they typically appear about 1 to 3 weeks after infection.4
Chlamydia symptoms in women include:
- Yellow vaginal discharge
- Pain, discharge, or bleeding in the anus
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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Hepatitis Symptoms In Women
Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver that causes liver damage. Certain types are caused by viral infections, the most common being hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Hepatitis A is spread through eating or drinking something contaminated by infected fecal matter. It can be transmitted during any sexual contact with an infected person, including fecal-oral contact. Hepatitis B and C can be spread through exposure to infected blood, such as sharing contaminated needles, as well as through sex.
Usually, it takes a few weeks or months after infection to show hepatitis symptoms. New hepatitis A infections usually cause symptoms, but up to half of people with new hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections are asymptomatic, meaning they dont see or feel any changes.10
Hepatitis symptoms in women include:
- Yellowed skin and eye whites
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Does Discharge In Men Mean They Are Infected
Thepresence of watery, cloudy, or white discharge is the main concern for many menand is often the primary sign of chlamydia. However, if a man has a discharge,it doesnt mean he is infected with chlamydia. There are other infections thatcause the same symptoms as:
- urinarytract infection
Becauseof how misleading discharge can be, its important to get tested to make surethe sign is not caused by anything else other than chlamydia.
When To See A Doctor
If a person has symptoms of chlamydia after testing and treatment or thinks that they have come into contact with chlamydia again, they should see their doctor.
Females are less likely than males to have symptoms of chlamydia, so testing is especially important for them.
The recommend chlamydia testing every year for the following groups of people:
- sexually active females under the age of 25 years
- females over the age of 25 years who have new or multiple sexual partners
- anyone with a sexual partner who has an STI
- sexually active gay and bisexual males
Pregnant women should have a chlamydia test early on in their pregnancy.
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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.
To help women protect themselves against this common type of sexually transmitted disease , Flo has prepared a guide that explains the basics of chlamydia.
STDs are infections that are transmitted from one person to another via sexual contact. Today, there are over 20 types of STDs and chlamydia is one of them.
Whether you suspect that you might have it or want to educate yourself, let this guide help you find all the answers you were looking for.
What Does Chlamydia Do To Your Body
Although chlamydia doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can be serious if you dont get treatment early on.
The bacteria can spread to your fallopian tubes and uterus. If this happens, it might cause pelvic inflammatory disease which results in abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if PID does not cause abdominal and pelvic pain, it can still do permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to an inability to get pregnant, long-term pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy.
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How Is Chlamydia Treated
Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria. After getting a diagnosis, it is recommended that any partner that you have had sexual contact with in the last 60 days, and/or your last sexual partner, be tested.
It is possible to transmit chlamydia even while being treated with antibiotics. Stay away from sexual contact until 7 days after completion of the full course of antibiotic medicationâeven if symptoms have already gone away. Three months after treatment, you should get re-tested for chlamydia .
How Does Chlamydia Affect Pregnancy
For pregnant women, chlamydia may lead to premature birth, or babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Premature birth is the most common cause of infant death and can lead to long-term health and development problems in children.5
Babies born to mothers who have chlamydia can get:
- Infections in their eyes, called conjunctivitis or pinkeye. Signs include discharge from the eyes and swollen eyelids. The signs most often show up within two weeks after birth.
- Pneumonia. Signs include congestion, cough, and rapid or labored breathing, although these are not always present. Signs most often show up one to three months after birth.
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What Are The Three Types Of Stds
There are three main classifications of STDs, depending upon their cause. These are bacterial, viral and parasitic.
- Bacteria cause gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.
- Viral STDs are caused by viruses, and include genital herpes, genital warts .
- Parasites cause parasitic STDs. These include trichomoniasis, scabies and pubic lice.
Bumps And Genital Warts
The appearance of bumps on the lips, or labia, of your vagina can indicate a sexually transmitted infection. If you have contracted the herpes simplex virus and now have genital herpes, you may develop clusters of red bumps around your vagina. Without treatment, they can turn into blisters that can rupture or leak blood or fluid, which can make urination painful.
Another STD that causes new bumps to appear on your body is syphilis. One of the first symptoms of syphilis is a firm, round sore in your genital area. Called a chancre, it doesnât typically hurt, but it may appear to be open or wet.
If you notice this symptom, talk with your healthcare provider and consider getting tested immediately. Syphilis is highly contagious and, over time, can cause serious complications such as organ and brain damage if left untreated. You should never ignore these types of sores.
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What Are The Odds Of Getting An Std
Sexually transmitted infections are primarily transmitted through unprotected sex. This could be in the form of vaginal, anal, or oral sex, andâfor some infectionsâeven hand-to-genital contact. For this reason, if you use protection during sex, your odds of getting an STD will be much lower.
Your risk for STIs will be even lower if you regularly check your status and test for STDs before beginning any new sexual relationship.
But without proper testing and precautions, your chances of getting an STD may be fairly high. In fact, according to the CDC, 25% of young women between the ages of 14 and 19 have at least one of the following common infections: HPV, herpes, chlamydia, or trichomoniasis.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
How can STIs/STDs be prevented?
The only way to avoid a STI or STD is to have no sexual contact with an infected person. Other protections include:
- Using a condom correctly, and always with sex
- Having a sexual relationship with only one, long-term partner who has no infections
- Limiting the number of sexual partners you have
- Using clean needles if you are injecting drugs
Using latex condoms the right way helps to protect you and your partner. Still, condoms donât cover everything. It is possible to get or spread infections even when using a condom.
Talk about STIs before you have sex with a new partner. This way you can make informed choices about risks you want to take with your sex life. The only way to truly prevent STIs/STDs is to avoid having sex.
If you or someone you know has symptoms like unusual discharge, burning during urination, or a sore in the genital area, please talk with a health care provider. You can get treatment and help.
Can STIs/STDs cause other health problems in women?
Some STIs can spread into a womanâs uterus and fallopian tubes. They can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. They can cause infertility and ectopic pregnancy . STIs can be passed from mother to baby. Also, there are some links between STIs and cancer.
What if I am pregnant?
You can get treatment to prevent problems for your baby. If you are pregnant and have STD symptoms, please contact your doctor immediately. STDs during pregnancy should be addressed quickly.
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Is It Possible To Prevent Chlamydia
Since most people who have the infection do not have symptoms and may not be aware they are infected, it is commonly spread, and it can be difficult to prevent the infection. Male condoms can reduce the risk of spreading or acquiring the infection. Having a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested or treated also reduces the risk of contracting chlamydia infection.
What Does A Chlamydia Infection Look Like
Although few, some of the visible signs of chlamydia in females include:
- Cervical inflammation and bleeding: the infection can cause inflammation at the cervix and make the outer portion of the cervix look red, a condition called cervicitis. This would only be visible if a health care provider examines you.
- Discharge: some of the signs you have chlamydia also includes a change in vaginal discharge. Youll notice more discharge than usual, and it may be yellowish or even bloodstained, that may have an odor.
- Swelling during a pelvic exam: sometimes, during your pelvic exam, your doctor might discover tenderness within the pelvis, especially on touching the cervix. They may also detect swelling of the tubes and ovaries.
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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.
Other Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia In All People
- Conjunctivitis, spread by touching the infected area and then touching the hand to the eye
- Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the rectum , if the chlamydia is from anal sex
- Varied symptoms, such as joint and eye inflammation, caused by bacterial infection
- Lymphogranuloma venereum, or LGV. This is caused by a type of chlamydia that is usually rare in the United States, but it is becoming more common in men who have sex with men. It causes open sores in the genital area, headache, fever, fatigue, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin. It also causes proctitis in people who get chlamydia through anal sex.
How Do You Get Oral Chlamydia
A person can get oral chlamydia by giving vaginal, penile, or anal oral sex to another person already infected with the bacteria.
Chlamydia trachomatis can also be spread from an infected persons throat to the penis. Research has not shown that the infection can spread from an infected persons throat to the vagina or rectum during oral sex.
Chlamydia does not seem to spread through kissing.
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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How Can I Prevent Chlamydia
The best way to prevent chlamydia or any STI is to not have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
If you do have sex, lower your risk of getting an STI with the following steps:
- Use condoms. Condoms are the best way to prevent STIs when you have sex. Because a man does not need to ejaculate to give or get chlamydia, make sure to put the condom on before the penis touches the vagina, mouth, or anus. Other methods of birth control, like birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms, will not protect you from STIs.
- Get tested. Be sure you and your partner are tested for STIs. Talk to each other about the test results before you have sex.
- Be monogamous. Having sex with just one partner can lower your risk for STIs. After being tested for STIs, be faithful to each other. That means that you have sex only with each other and no one else.
- Limit your number of sex partners. Your risk of getting STIs goes up with the number of partners you have.
- Do not douche.Douching removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from infection. This may increase your risk of getting STIs.4
- Do not abuse alcohol or drugs. Drinking too much alcohol or using drugs increases risky behavior and may put you at risk of sexual assault and possible exposure to STIs.
The steps work best when used together. No single step can protect you from every single type of STI.
What Other Problems Can Chlamydia Cause
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Men often don’t have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis . This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a “reaction” to an infection in the body.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.
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Bleeding During Intercourse And Between Cycles
Women with chlamydia tend to experience period-like symptoms outside of their cycle or during sexual relations. The light unexpected blood spots that these women notice are a result of weakened blood vessels. Whenever the vaginas inner walls are exposed to pressure, they will break easier than usual. Although this occurrence isnt very painful, its still incredibly horrifying to most women. The worst possible outcome of this symptom is when a pregnant woman starts thinking the sign isnt due to spotting. If you are pregnant, the fetus growing inside you may have chlamydia, and that can have deadly consequences.