Top Things To Know About Chlamydia:
- Chlamydia is often asymptomatic, meaning that many people donât know they have it
- Chlamydia symptoms can include pus-like yellow discharge frequent or painful urination spotting between periods or after sex and/or rectal pain, bleeding, or discharge
- Untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, and/or infertility in women and people with female reproductive tracts
- Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia infections
How Do You Prevent Chlamydia
Using a new male or female condom or dental dam every time you have sex is the best way to protect against chlamydia.
Chlamydia can be passed on by sharing sex toys. Always cover sex toys with a new condom and wash them after use to reduce your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs.
Its important to regularly test for chlamydia, even if you dont have any symptoms, especially if youve had multiple sexual partners.
The contraceptive pill and other types of contraception wont prevent you getting chlamydia, and neither will PrEP.
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.
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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 You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is sexually transmitted and caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis. If you practice unsafe sexual intercourse, you have a high chance to catch chlamydia.
You can get chlamydia by
- Having unprotected vaginal sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
- Sharing toys with an infected person during intercourse
- Oral intercourse
- Contact with infected fluid during intercourse
- Hand to eye transmission with red eyes in people with chlamydia
- Vary rarely, from contaminated towels
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus Risk
Chlamydia infections may also increase the risk of becoming infected with or transmitting HIV.
The reasons for this are two-fold:
First, the infection can cause genital inflammation that can undermine the integrity of the mucosal tissue that lines the vagina, cervix, urethra, and rectum. This provides HIV a more direct route into the bloodstream and lymphatic system.
Secondly, an active chlamydia infection can increase HIV viral activity around the genitals. When this happens, a person can potentially have an undetectable viral load on a blood test but a detectable viral load in semen or vaginal secretions.
Some studies have suggested that chlamydia infections have been noted in as many as 15% of men who have sex with men newly infected with HIV.
How Did I Get Chlamydia If I Didnt Cheat
You can get chlamydia if your partner had vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who was infected and then had sex with you. People in relationships may have different ideas about what kinds of sexual contact counts as cheating, and this miscommunication can lead to infections. Communicate honestly with your partner about what sex youre having and what sex theyre having. Practice safer sex to reduce your risk of catching chlamydia, and get regularly screened to be sure.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It can be embarrassing to talk about anything sex-related with your healthcare provider, including STI prevention. But your sex life is an important part of your health that your provider needs to know about to care for you. Not getting the treatment you need for chlamydia can pose serious risks to your health. Speak with your provider about getting regularly screened for chlamydia and other STIs to reduce your risks of complications. Practice safer sex to prevent the spread of chlamydia.
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How Chlamydia Diagnosis Process Is Carried On In Men
Early treatment of Chlamydia is essential to have a healthy life ahead. In case if you had unprotected sex with your recent partner then you must get tested for STIs as soon as possible. This test can be carried out at any local GUM clinic or GP. With improved facilities of digital world, patients can also order Chlamydia test kits to their home from online sources.
Once this test is carried out then depending upon its results further treatment will be carried out. Note that, Chlamydia disease is very common between age groups of 16 to 25 so most of the clinics these days are offering free tests to identify this disease on time. In case if you had oral or anal sex with your new partner who is suspected to be infected then it is good to undergo an oral swab test pr rectal swab test.
When Can I Have Unprotected Sex After Chlamydia Treatment
Even if your chlamydia infection has been cured, its not recommended to practice unsafe sex. Having your STD treated doesnt guarantee that the infection will never come back. In fact, many people become infected with STDs multiple times because they continue to have unprotected sex with partners who have untreated STDs.
If you have a regular sexual partner, tell them about your infection so they can get treatment as well. Once youre sure you both got treated, you have to wait until the treatment has had time to be effective before you start having unprotected sex again.
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Long Term Effects Of Chlamydia In Men And Women
Long term effects of chlamydia in men and women is due to poorly or untreated chlamydia infection.
Chlamydia is mostly a sexually transmitted infection and its caused by a bacteria. It can affect the mouth, vagina, urethra in both men and women. More than 50 70 percent of males and 30 50 percent of females may be asymptomatic to the infection. However, they could have long term effects of chlamydia if left untreated or poorly treated.
It is recommended that both males and females, especially pregnant women, get tested for chlamydia. If you are below 25 years, the World Health Organisation and Center For Disease Control recommends chlamydia testing at least once a year.
Worldwide, chlamydia infection affects about 2.7 percent of men and more than 4 percent of women.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
When it comes to chlamydia, its a good idea to be proactive. Speak with your healthcare provider about your risks of infection. Make a plan to get screened regularly for STIs based on your providers recommendations for how often you should be tested. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if your partner tests positive for chlamydia or if you notice any signs or symptoms that you may be infected.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
If you do notice symptoms, youll likely experience them differently based on your reproductive anatomy. Many of the symptoms that cisgender women experience can also affect transgender men and nonbinary individuals with vaginas. Many of the symptoms that cisgender men notice can affect transgender women and nonbinary individuals with penises, too.
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 .
- Increased need to pee.
- Itching or burning in and around your vagina.
- Dull pain in the lower part of your abdomen.
Signs of chlamydia if you have a penis
Chlamydia bacteria most often infect your urethra, causing symptoms that are similar to nongonococcal urethritis. You may notice:
- Mucus-like or clear, watery discharge from your penis.
- Pain or a burning sensation when you pee .
Signs of chlamydia that all genders may notice
Chlamydia can affect parts of your body other than your reproductive organs, such as your:
- Anus. You may notice pain, discomfort, bleeding or a mucus-like discharge from your bottom.
- Throat. You may have a sore throat, but you usually wont notice symptoms if the bacterias in your throat.
- Eyes. You may notice symptoms of conjunctivitis if C. trachomatis bacteria gets in your eye. Symptoms include redness, pain and discharge.
Chlamydia Is Only Contagious From Person To Person
You can only get chlamydia by having intimate sexual contact with an infected person, not from casual contact, touching another persons clothing, or consuming contaminated food or water.
The chlamydia organism lives only in human cells and cannot be transmitted by external contact, such as towels or toilet seats, Schaffir says.
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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.
Is The Risk Of Sequelae Increased During A Repeat Chlamydial Infection
Studies Assessing the Risk of Sequelae after at Least 1 Detected and Treated Chlamydia trachomatis Infection
Repeat infections with C. trachomatis are common and may contribute to the higher incidence of PID among women at high risk , compared with women in the general population . Similarly, the higher risk of repeat chlamydial infection among women with 1 detected infection may help explain the higher rates of PID associated with longer follow-up of these women .
Studies Assessing the Risk of Sequelae after Repeat Chlamydia trachomatis Infections
In the retrospective cohort study assessing diagnosed chlamydia and sequelae risk that was conducted by Hillis et al , women who were identified as C. trachomatis positive 2 times in Wisconsin county databases from 1985 through 1992 were twice as likely and those with 3 diagnosed infections were > 4 times as likely to be hospitalized with an ectopic pregnancy. Another registry study involving 20,762 Norwegian women using the health care system from 1990 through 2003 reported a similar dose-response relationship between detected C. trachomatis infection and ectopic pregnancy . Compared with women who tested negative for C. trachomatis, women with a history of a diagnosed chlamydial infection had almost a 2-fold increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and those with 2 diagnosed chlamydial infections had a 3-fold increased risk of ectopic pregnancy .
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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.
How Common Is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is the most common STI caused by bacteria. Nearly 2 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the CDC in 2019. The number of infections is likely even higher. When compared to previous years, 2019 infection rates increased among people of all genders, all races and ethnicities, and in every region of the U.S. Most cases of chlamydia are asymptomatic, which means there are no signs or symptoms of an infection. Many of these cases likely go unreported.
Certain demographic characteristics may make you more likely to get diagnosed with chlamydia. Youre more likely to get diagnosed if youre:
- A teen or young adult aged 15 to 24. More than half of all diagnosed chlamydia cases in the U.S. occur in this age group.
- A cisgender woman aged 15 to 24. Young women in this age group are targeted for chlamydia screenings, and the rate of infection among those who are tested is high.
- A man who has sex with men . Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect men who have sex with men.
- Black and non-Hispanic. Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect non-Hispanic Black populations.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated In Women
Untreated chlamydia in women leads to serious health problems. The bacteria can affect your reproductive organs, mouth, throat, and even your eyes.
Between 10% and 15% of chlamydia cases in women lead to PID. The chlamydia bacteria can spread to your reproductive organs and scar your fallopian tubes. This condition is called pelvic inflammatory disease. If untreated chlamydia in women leads to PID, you may feel severe pelvic pain.
Chlamydia bacteria in female reproductive organs can make it difficult to get pregnant. Long-term chlamydia infections may cause infertility by scarring your fallopian tubes. PID is a medical emergency. It requires prompt treatment from your doctor.
Chlamydia may infect your rectum during anal sex. Rectal infections may not cause symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, they may include:
- Pain around your anus
If you perform oral sex on a person with chlamydia, you may get a throat infection. In addition to other chlamydia symptoms, you may also have a cough or sore throat.
Chlamydia may leave you with open sores. Bacteria enter your bloodstream easier through open sores, increasing your risk for HIV.
Passing chlamydia to your baby
Who To Test For Chlamydia
Anyone with the following genital symptoms should not have sex until they see a healthcare provider:
- A discharge
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Unusual sores, or a rash
Anyone having oral, anal, or vaginal sex with a partner recently diagnosed with an STD should see a healthcare provider.
Because chlamydia usually has no symptoms, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs can reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25. CDC also recommends screening for older women with risk factors, such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Screen and treat those who are pregnant as noted in How does chlamydia affect a pregnant person and their baby? Women who are sexually active should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not necessary for men. However, consider screening sexually active young men in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia. This can include adolescent clinics, correctional facilities, and STD clinics. Consider this when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.40
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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.
Short Term And Long Term Effects Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a typical STD that can contaminate both men and women. It can create major, irreversible damages to a ladys reproductive system. Short Term And Long Term Effects Of Chlamydia
This can make it challenging or difficult for her to get pregnant later on. Chlamydia can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy a pregnancy that takes place outside the womb.
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What Are The Prominent Chlamydia Symptoms In Men
Actually, no one can easily ensure that his body has some trouble due to the silent infection because its symptoms are rarely reflected. But once if they start occurring then they can be easily noticed even within few weeks. Medical doctors say that symptoms of Chlamydia in men can be random and infrequent so most of the time patients are not able to know if they are in contact with the infection.
Some of the most common signs of Chlamydia in men include:
- Very small cloudy or clear Chlamydia discharge in men from penis tip.
- It can cause painful urination.
- Leads to itching and burning sensation around penis openings.
- Swelling and pain in the area surrounding testicles.
Major symptoms of Chlamydia are observed for genitals but in few cases it can affect rectum, eyes and throat. Note that, the actual effect varies with type of transmission. Few uncommon symptoms of chlamydia in men can include:
- Throat infections.
- Rectal bleeding, discharge or pain.