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How Does Chlamydia Affect Females

Can Women Who Have Sex With Women Get Chlamydia

Chlamydia: Morphology, Types, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, Treatment

Yes. It is possible to get chlamydia, or any other STI, if you are a woman who has sex only with women. Chlamydia lives in the reproductive tract of an infected woman and can pass to a sex partner, whether male or female.

Talk to your partner about her sexual history before having sex, and ask your doctor or nurse for an STI test if you are at risk.6

How Likely Is It To Be Infertile From Chlamydia

Both chlamydia and gonorrhea are preventable causes of both PID and infertility. If a chlamydia infection isnt treated promptly and properly, its estimated that 10-15% of women with chlamydia will develop PID .

When it comes to keeping an eye on your sexual health and avoiding and potential complications, regular screening is a must. CDC recommends annual chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for all sexually active women younger than 25 and older women with risk factors . This can be done with your doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.

Should My Partners Be Tested For Chlamydia

If you receive a chlamydia diagnosis, your partners need to be tested, too. Since this bacterial infection is highly contagious, it spreads easily through sexual contact.

You and your partners may need regular testing until the infection fully disappears. In the meantime, its a good idea to use barrier methods during sexual contact, such as using condoms.

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How To Tell Your Partner You Have Chlamydia

The first thing you need to do when your test comes back positive is to tell your partner. Your sexual partner should know about the infection so that they too can be tested and treated. If you dont tell them about your condition, youre risking getting reinfected.

Here are some tips for handling the conversation:

  • Educate yourself about the STD youve contracted so you can thoroughly explain to your partner what exactly you have, the treatment, and how you plan on keeping them safe.
  • Inform your current or most recent sexual partner about a positive STD test by telling them face-to-face, or by calling them. Sending them a message is not the most respectful way.
  • When telling them the news, stay calm and collected. Sit them down and tell them youve been tested. Tell them that the results are positive and discuss the next steps.
  • Make sure you keep your partner from getting infected. Use condoms at all times, take antibiotics, and abstain from intercourse during your treatment.

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Chlamydia Test For Women

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To diagnose the infection, your doctor can use a few different chlamydia tests. Your doctor will likely ask you about your symptoms and why you think you have the infection. When this happens, its important to be as honest as possible.

Although many physicians do it, a chlamydia test is not automatically done at the time that a Pap test is done.

For this reason, its important for women, especially sexually active women aged 25 and under, to ask their health care provider whether theyre getting tested for chlamydia every year.

If you think you may have been exposed to an STD, youll have to ask for a screening.

Fortunately, chlamydia is easy to treat. If you suspect that you have it, youll need to:

  • See your health care provider immediately before the infection does damage to your reproductive organs.
  • Listen to your doctor and take all of your medicine. Even if your symptoms go away, you should finish your pills.
  • Tell your sexual partner. They should know about the infection so that they too can be tested and treated.
  • Avoid having sexual intercourse until you and your partner have been cured.

Since chlamydia is a bacteria, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics.

In most cases, the infection resolves within one to two weeks.

Regardless of the type of the antibiotic, you and your sexual partners will need to follow the dosage carefully to make sure the infection goes away for good.

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Practice Safer Sex By Using A Condom

Important things to remember when using condoms:

  • Check the condom package for damage. Do not use a damaged condom
  • Check the expiry date. Do not use a condom after its expiry date
  • Carefully open the package so that the condom does not tear. Do not use a condom that has been torn
  • Keep condoms away from sharp objects such as rings, studs or piercings
  • Store condoms at room temperature
  • Use a new condom every time you have sex. Do not reuse condoms
  • Do not use 2 condoms at once. Using 2 condoms together may result in a condom breaking
  • Use only water-based lubricants with external latex condoms. Oil-based lubricants, such as petroleum jelly, lotion or baby oil, can weaken and destroy latex
  • Water or oil-based lubricant may be used with polyurethane/nitrile condoms
  • Use only condoms made of latex or polyurethane/nitrile/polyisoprene rubbers. Latex and polyurethane condoms are the best types of condoms to use to help prevent pregnancy and STIs.
  • Avoid using condoms with spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 as it can irritate tissue and may increase the chance of getting an STI

Changes In The Vaginal Discharge

Women may face discharge when affected with Chlamydia and it happens due to the presence of infection at the uterine cervix. You will find this discharge either yellow or milky white in color. It also leads to burning sensation at the time of urination.

Some studies show that Chlamydia infection can also cause troubles to urethra while leading to urinary tract infection that causes pain at the time of urination. A person may also feel frequent urges for urination. When this chlamydia in women symptoms are ignored too long then the infection may get spread towards fallopian tubes via the cervix.

In this case, following additional symptoms are observed:

  • Bleeding or pain while having sex.
  • Spotting in between periods.
  • Some kind of heaviness can be felt by the person around hips.
  • It may also lead to lower back pain or abdominal pain.

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How Can I Protect Myself And Prevent Chlamydia

Sex is a normal and healthy part of life, and STIs are unfortunately a third wheel that you may have to deal with from time to time. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce your risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections like chlamydianamely by using condoms and dental dams whenever you get intimate. Talk with your doctor if youre concerned that you may have been exposed to an STI, or if youd like to get tested just to be sure.

And dont feel embarrassed or guilty if you do have chlamydia. There is a sense of shame around sexually transmitted diseases, Dr. Grifo says. Well, whats the shame? You had sex. People have sex all the time. You treat it and move on with your life.

Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility

Chlamydia pictures – Causes Signs Symptoms Treatment images and Photos of chlamydia

A lot of us don’t 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 don’t 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.

If not treated, chlamydia can lead to damage to the reproductive system. In women, chlamydial infection can spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease , according to the CDC. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and uterus and cause chronic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have chlamydia also are at much greater risk for becoming infected with HIV. In men, complications from chlamydia are rare.

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.

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Causes And Risk Factors

Chlamydia is an STI caused by a specific strain of bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.

Chlamydia is more common in women than in men. In fact, its estimated that the overall rate of infection is for women than men in the United States.

Some of the other risk factors for infection include:

  • not using barrier methods like condoms consistently with new sexual partners
  • having a sexual partner who is having sex with other people
  • having a history of chlamydia or other STIs

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What Can Be Done To Prevent The Spread Of Chlamydia

  • Limit your number of sex partners
  • Use a male or female condom
  • If you think you are infected or have been exposed, avoid any sexual contact and visit a local sexually transmitted disease clinic, a hospital or your doctor. Either bring your sex partners with you when you are treated or notify them immediately so they can obtain examination and treatment.

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Chlamydia Trachomatis And Co

C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae are the two most common bacterial causes of lower genital tract infection. Clinical findings need to be corroborated with the laboratory investigations as the signs and symptoms of both are indistinguishable. Therefore, in the syndromic approach used in resource-limited settings, urethral discharge is simultaneously treated for both. C. trachomatis is recovered more often from women who acquire gonorrhoea than from similarly exposed women who do not acquire gonorrhoea. In individuals with gonorrhoea, there exists a 15-40 per cent higher risk of acquiring Chlamydia. Further, individuals infected with both C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae shed larger number of C. trachomatis than those infected with C. trachomatis alone. These data suggest that acquisition of a gonococcal infection either reactivates a persistent chlamydial infection or increases the susceptibility of the host to Chlamydia. Post-gonococcal urethritis is often due to C. trachomatis infection which is not cured by conventional therapy against gonorrhoea. Co-infection of C. trachomatis with N. gonorrheae has been reported to range between 1.1 to 67 per cent66,67,68,69,70.

Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby

Chlamydia Infection

If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can give the infection to your baby during delivery. This can cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your baby. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby early.

If you are pregnant, you should receive testing for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting the correct examination, testing, and treatment. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.

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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 Long Does It Take For Chlamydia To Damage Your Reproductive System

As mentioned, if chlamydia is left untreated, the bacteria can spread to the womb, ovaries, or the fallopian tubes, causing PID. There is no clear timeline on how long it may take for this to occur – while one study suggests that after exposure to the bacteria, it can take a few weeks for PID to develop, the NHS estimates that 1 in 10 women with untreated chlamydia could go on to develop PID within a year.

If you are experiencing symptoms of PID such as pain in your lower abdomen, unusual discharge, or pain during sex, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider.

Remember, to avoid any complications, regular sexual health screening is crucial – you can do this with your doctor or from the comfort of your couch with LetsGetChecked’s range of sexual health tests.

One of the most reliable ways to keep an eye on your sexual health is through regular sexual health screening. This can be done with your doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetCheckeds range of at-home Sexual Health Tests can detect some of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated clinical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process. Should you test positive, you will receive a call to discuss your results and your treatment options.

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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.

Treating Chlamydia In Women

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Doctors use antibiotics to treat bacterial infections like chlamydia. Antibiotics cure chlamydia infections in women but can’t heal existing damage from the bacteria. Damage to your reproductive organs is not reversible.

Early treatment of a chlamydia infection prevents additional damage to your body. Talk to your doctor if you may be pregnant. You may need a different antibiotic for a safe pregnancy.

Finish your antibiotic prescription. Your doctor prescribes a dosage based on your individual needs. Do not share a prescription antibiotic with your partner if you both have chlamydia.

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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 Does Chlamydia Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby

In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia has been associated with pre-term delivery, and can spread to the newborn, causing an eye infection or pneumonia. Screening and treatment of chlamydia during pregnancy is the best way to prevent these complications. All pregnant women should be screened for chlamydia at their first prenatal visit.

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What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated

If a person is not treated for chlamydia, complications may occur. Women frequently develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, tubal pregnancies, and the continued spread of the disease. In men, untreated chlamydia can cause urethral infection and complications such as swollen and tender testicles. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy may result in premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery and possible tubal pregnancy in a small percent of women. In addition, chlamydia can cause conjunctival and pneumonic infection in the newborn. Persons with a chlamydia infection have an increased chance of getting other infections such as gonorrhea or HIV.

Chlamydia Trachomatis And Hiv

Facts About Chlamydia

Chlamydial infection of the genital tract facilitates the transmission of HIV. This is confirmed by various studies12,15,23. The combined epidemiology of these infections may partly be due to the fact that STDs including C. trachomatis and HIV have common sexual/behavioural risk factors. But, C. trachomatis and HIV have inter-relationship independent of the sexually transmissible risk factors34. The possible inter-relationship between HIV infection and C. trachomatis includes the invasive intracellular pathogenesis of C. trachomatis can cause substantial damage to the genital epithelial layer that may facilitate HIV infection, and the immunological changes due to HIV infection may favour chlamydial infection.

On the other hand, immunosuppression due to HIV may lead to more aggressive chlamydial disease conditions like PID in those who are infected. Thus, early diagnosis and treatment of chlamydial infections are important to prevent HIV risk and devastating clinical consequence.

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Chlamydia In Women: A Complete Guide

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.

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