Question : Can I Have Chlamydia For Years Without Knowing
The majority of people who have chlamydia dont experience any symptoms at all. That means that you could have chlamydia for months, or even years, without knowing it.
Even if you do have symptoms, they may not show up for anywhere from 1 week to 3 or more months after the infection is first spread to you through unprotected sex. By getting tested regularly you can stay on top of your sexual health and ensure that you are not spreading an STI like chlamydia unknowingly.
Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility
A lot of us dont 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 dont 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.
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.
A Word From Same Day Std Testing
Though you cant control what happened in the past, you can make good decisions to alter the future. Proactive measures like getting tested and seeking treatment are sensible actions to take following an unprotected sexual encounter. Dont let a bad decision compound over time by ignoring it. Instead, contact one of our team members here at . Well walk you through your testing options and answer any questions you may have. Or, you can find a testing facility near you and get tested today. Either way, dont wait to ask for help take initiative instead!
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Who Should Get Tested For Chlamydia
Because chlamydia is very common and often has no symptoms, anyone who is sexually active should think about being tested. Because chlamydia is very common among young women, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend sexually active women age 25 or younger get tested once per year. Chlamydia testing is also recommended for women with new or multiple sexual partners and pregnant women.
Anyone who is sexually active should talk with a healthcare provider about whether they need testing for chlamydia or other STIs. Dont be afraid to speak openly about your sex life, as you can get the best care by having an honest discussion with your healthcare provider.
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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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 dont go away within a few days after finishing the antibiotics.
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Do I Need To Tell My Partner
In Canada, chlamydia is a reportable infection, meaning that the healthcare provider or lab will notify public health authorities after a diagnosis. You are not in any trouble. This reporting is strictly medical and allows for tracking, statistics, and prevention of STIs.
If youâre diagnosed with chlamydia, your healthcare provider will ask that you contact your past sexual partners from the last 60 days before you were tested or had any symptoms.
If you prefer not to contact your sexual partners, a public health nurse will contact them to get tested and treated for chlamydia. Notified partners are recommended to get treatment even before their test results are completed.
To maintain discretion and anonymity, the nurse will not use your name when contacting your partners.
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When Should Someone Seek Medical Care For Chlamydia
The most urgent time to seek medical care for a chlamydial infection is when an individual is pregnant and has had recent sexual exposure to an infected individual and/or has developed early symptoms of a chlamydial infection. Additionally, if individuals are experiencing any symptoms of chlamydial infections, they should seek medical care quickly. Sexual partners should be notified if they have had recent contact with an infected individual.
Patients with gonorrhea have a 30%-50% chance of being coinfected with chlamydia. However, the reverse is not true. Patients with chlamydial infections have a less than 1% chance of being coinfected with Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Chances Of Getting An Std From Oral
Its hard to know whether your odds are higher with oral or penetrative sex. Thats because there havent been many studies on it and because people often have both types of sex, so its hard to separate them. Its best to assume that you could get an STD from any type of sexual contact, which is true. When any type of sexual contact is unprotected, the risk is higher.
You have an STD oral sex risk from these STDs:
Its also possible to get hepatitis A from oral sex, and this infection is sometimes considered an STD because it can be spread through sexual contact as well as through other means.
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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.
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Get Tested For Chlamydia
The most common method of testing for chlamydia involves collecting a urine sample in combination with collecting swabs of the affected area. The most thorough process of screening involves urine collection along with throat swabs, rectal swabs, and genital swabs.
Urine analysis alone can sometimes miss infections if swabbing is not also done. Throat and rectal infections can be overlooked, predominantly when asymptomatic.
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Question : How Does Chlamydia Impact My Pregnancy
Chlamydia can cause a number of issues during pregnancy.
Women with untreated chlamydia might develop pelvic inflammatory disease , which can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility and increased risk of ectopic pregnancies. Additionally, pregnant women who are infected with chlamydia have an increased risk of their waters breaking prematurely, causing the baby to be born early.
If a mother has chlamydia during pregnancy, her baby can also become infected at childbirth causing lung or eye infections. Because of this, doctors recommend that pregnant women should be tested for chlamydia.
How Is Chlamydia Infection Diagnosed
Doctors have several tests they can use to screen for chlamydia. Note that screening for chlamydia in the throat isnt a part of usual STI testing.
If youve had a sore throat that doesnt seem to go away or have a partner that youve had oral sex with who tested positive for chlamydia, you might want to ask your doctor about pharyngeal chlamydia screening.
Doctors can use urine samples to diagnose chlamydia, but that doesnt help them diagnose chlamydia in the throat.
As a result, a doctor may swab your throat to test for chlamydia there. They send this swab to a laboratory, which tests the specimen for the presence of DNA from the bacteria that cause chlamydia.
This test is a little tricky because the Food and Drug Administration hasnt approved a swab test for pharyngeal chlamydia. Your throat contains a lot of bacteria, and this can make it hard to pinpoint chlamydia bacteria.
When a doctor uses a swab to test for chlamydia in the throat, its possible theyre doing so in an off-label fashion. This means the FDA hasnt specifically given the OK to use the test for pharyngeal chlamydia, but some doctors think swabs can help in detection.
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How Is Chlamydia Treated
Once confirmed, chlamydia is easy to treat with antibiotics . Normally, only a single course is needed to clear the infection.
You may be asked to start antibiotics even before your test results come back. If your chlamydia infection is causing symptoms, you may need a longer course of antibiotics. Both you and your partner need to be treated.
If your doctor tells you that you have chlamydia, avoid sex until you have finished the full course of treatment, and for at least 1 week after your last dose. This is to reduce your risk of spreading the disease. You should have another test 3 months after you have been treated.
Youll also be asked to avoid sex with any partners from the past 6 months until they have been tested and treated.
Since chlamydia is transmitted through unprotected sex, your doctor may suggest you have other STI screening tests so you can be treated as necessary.
You dont become ‘immune’ after getting chlamydia: its possible to be infected with chlamydia again. Your doctor may recommend follow-up testing and treatment if necessary.
Can You Get Rid Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics. The best way to cure chlamydia and keep from infecting your partners, is to avoid sex for seven days, until the antibiotics have done their job. If you do end up having sex while the antibiotics are still working it is really important to use a condom or else it is likely the medicine you took wont work. If you got medication to take at home make sure you take all of the pills, even if you start to feel better otherwise the infection might not go away completely.
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Who Should Be Tested For Chlamydia
You should go to your health provider for a test if you have symptoms of chlamydia, or if you have a partner who has a sexually transmitted disease. Pregnant women should get a test when they go to their first prenatal visit.
People at higher risk should get checked for chlamydia every year:
- Sexually active women 25 and younger
- Older women who have new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted disease
- Men who have sex with men
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.
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Question : Can You Get Chlamydia From Sex Toys
Its less likely, but chlamydia can be passed during other types of sex such as sharing sex toys. If you are using and sharing sex toys, play it safe and place condoms and water-based lube on them.
When youre finished, clean them carefully with a bar of mild soap and water. You can also use a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution to clean toys. Do not use anti-bacterial or perfumed soaps as they can leave a residue which can irritate your genitals.
What Treatment Is Available
Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics. Most antibiotics are safe to take with hormonal contraception like the pill, implant, injection and patch. However, you must tell your nurse or doctor if youre taking any medications if youre pregnant, could be pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
In urgent cases, we may treat you before getting your test results back. For example, if youve been contacted by a current or past sexual partner who has tested positive or is worried about being infected, or if youre experiencing one or more of the symptoms after having unprotected sex.
It is extremely important that you dont have sex or any sexual contact for seven days after you and your partner have finished the treatment to avoid being re-infected or passing on the infection.
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What If I Don’t Get Treated
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems.
If you are a woman, untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes . This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease . PID often has no symptoms, however some women may have abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if it doesn’t cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system and can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, and potentially deadly pregnancy outside the uterus.
Men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can prevent a man from fathering children. Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV – the virus that causes AIDS.
Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby
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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Measures That Are Not Helpful
One factor that doesnt make things easier is the number of myths that surround STDs. Maybe youve heard some of these STD myths before or read about them online. For example, one myth says that rinsing your genitals with soda or alcohol after sexual intercourse will prevent STDs or pregnancy. However, that is false.
Washing your genitals or urinating after a sexual encounter will not prevent STDs. It can help prevent a urinary tract infection, but thats about it. Douching or washing is ineffective against STDs.
If you feel worried or panicked about possible exposure, try to stay calm and take the steps outlined here to do what you can to mitigate the risk after your sexual encounter. Schedule a test panel with Rapid STD Testing as soon as possible, especially if youre showingSTD symptoms.
If you had skin-to-skin contact with someone who has an STD, your chances of getting an STD from a one-night stand increase. Please get checked right away. Even if you arent showing symptoms, its still important to get an accurate test as quickly as possible.
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.
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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: