When To Seek Medical Advice
If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.
You should also get tested if you don’t have any symptoms but are concerned you could have a sexually transmitted infection .
If you’re a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If you’re a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
Read more about chlamydia diagnosis.
Do I Need To Have A Test To Check That The Chlamydia Has Gone
If you take the treatment according to the instructions, you wont usually need a test to check the chlamydia has gone.
If youre aged under 25, you should be offered a repeat test 3 months after finishing the treatment. This is because youre at a higher risk of getting chlamydia again.
Whatever your age, you may need a repeat test or more treatment if:
- you think youve come into contact with chlamydia again
- you had sex without a condom with a partner before the treatment for both of you was finished
- you didnt complete the treatment or didnt take it according to the instructions
- the signs and symptoms dont go away
- your test was negative but you develop signs or symptoms of chlamydia
- youre pregnant.
A repeat test can be done 56 weeks after the first test.
If the chlamydia was in your rectum , you may need another test around 3 weeks after finishing the treatment. Your doctor, nurse or clinic will let you know if you need another test.
You can go back to the doctor, nurse or clinic if you have any questions or need advice on how to protect yourself from infection in the future.
Wednesday 25 March 2020
The clap, the clam, the pox, the gift that keeps on giving weve created so many slang terms to make sexually transmissible infections seem a little bit funnier and a little less serious. But when the long-term side effects of STIs can include chronic pelvic pain, infertility and in rare cases, cancer, it turns out they are no laughing matter.
STIs are spread from one person to another through sex and sexual body contact. And thats all types of sex anal sex, oral sex and penis in vagina sex as well as hand play and through sex toys.
You wont be able to tell for sure if you or the person youre having sex with has an STI without being tested, because these nasty infections dont always cause symptoms that you can see or feel.
That makes it kinda tricky, as people can be having sex without knowing theyre infected, which means the infection could be passed on and be causing damage to your body unnoticed. But its also simple, really simple to be sexually healthy. You see, there are a couple of easy things you can do to have a confident and healthy sex life, to look after your body and make sure you dont have an infection that could cause you harm. Weve got you covered here with a rundown of the most common STIs, what they can do to your body and simple ways you can prevent getting them.
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How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed And Treated
If you have chlamydia symptoms or had intercourse with someone without protection, you should inform your doctor about testing or take a home chlamydia test.
Chlamydia can be detected at home. You should get a chlamydia test kit and use urine for your test.
However, if you have oral chlamydia symptoms, you may need to see your doctor for throat swab culture. The culture of chlamydia takes about 3 7 days.
If diagnosed with chlamydia, you can easily be treated and cured with azithromycin or doxycycline tablets.
During pregnancy, chlamydia infection can be treated safely with azithromycin.
What Happens If Ive Had Chlamydia For 4 Months
People who have chlamydia for long periods without treatment risk becoming infertile or developing arthritis. For women, chlamydia can spread into the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease. Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to ectopic pregnancies, chronic pelvic pain and infertility.
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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.
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 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 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.
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Can You Get Gonorrhea Without Being Sexually Active
Gonorrhea is almost always transmitted during sex and it is highly unlikely that you catch it without having sex. However, you can catch it without penetration, for example if your genitals touch those of an infected partner.
How Long Until Chlamydia Causes Damage
Symptoms usually appear within one to three weeks after being infected and may be very mild. 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.
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Can One Have Chlamydia For Over A Year
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by an infection by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. Among women, this disease usually affects the cervix and the uterus. On the other hand, this disease affects men in the urethra in the penis.
Chlamydia is a treatable disease. Hence, when you are experiencing symptoms of this disease, or if you think your sexual partner was infected, you should get tested as soon as possible. Chlamydia may have the same symptoms as the other sexually transmitted diseases,which is why testing is necessary.
Youre Not Immune To Chlamydia Once Youve Had It
Once youve had some diseases, you cant catch them again. Unfortunately, this isnt true for chlamydia. Repeat chlamydia infections are common.
If youve had chlamydia in the past, you have no immunity against the infection. If youre sexually active with somebody who has the infection, you could catch it again. Since reinfection is common, you should get tested for chlamydia about three months after being treated for the infection.
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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.
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.
How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
If youve had intercourse with an infected man or woman, chlamydia symptoms may appear between 1 3 weeks after contact.
However, you may still be asymptomatic after a chlamydia infection. This is because chlamydia can be silent or dormant for months and years without showing symptoms.
In men, about 50 70 percent will show symptoms of chlamydia while only 30 50 percent of women will be symptomatic. Absent symptoms of chlamydia do not mean absent infection. You should take chlamydia test to confirm if you have the infection or not.
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How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is spread when a person has unprotected sex with an infected person.
Because chlamydial infection often has no symptoms, many people do not realise they have the infection.
Even if you know a person well, you may not be able to tell they have an STI, because people can look healthy and still have chlamydia.
Remember, you can get chlamydia and other STIs from a new sexual partner who has in the past had sex with someone who is infected.
It can also be spread from a long-term partner who has had sex with other people.
How Is Chlamydia Treated
Chlamydia can be cleared up with antibiotics in about a week or two. But dont stop taking your medication just because your symptoms improve. Ask your provider about what follow-up is needed to be sure your infection is gone after youve finished taking your medicine.
Part of your treatment should also include avoiding sexual activities that could cause you to get re-infected and ensuring that any sexual partners who may be infected also get treatment. You should:
- Abstain from sex until your infection has cleared up. Starting treatment doesnt mean that youre in the clear. Take all your medication as your provider directs, and avoid all sexual contact in the meantime.
- Contact all sexual partners. Tell any sexual partners from the last 3 months that youre infected so that they can get tested, too.
- Get tested for other STIs . Its common to have multiple STIs, and its important to receive treatment thats tailored to each infection.
Antibiotics can get rid of your infection, but they cant reverse any harm the bacteria may have caused to your body before treatment. This is why its so important to get screened regularly for chlamydia, to see your provider at the first sign of symptoms, and get treatment immediately if youre infected.
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You Can Catch Chlamydia If Youve Only Had Sex Once
You may have heard that its not possible to get chlamydia from a single sex act. If youve had sex with someone who has the infection, you could get it, too. One encounter is all it takes to pass on the bacteria, so get tested.
In up to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia, the infection spreads to the uterus and uterine tubes, leading to symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease.
If youve had unprotected sex and are worried that you might have chlamydia, get tested. The test is easy and painless. Your doctor could take a sample of your cells with a cotton swab or ask you to pee in a cup. The sample is tested for chlamydia bacteria. If your doctor says you have chlamydia, dont worry. Its treatable.
How Long Does It Take To Show Up On A Test
There are several tests that you doctor might use to diagnose chlamydia:
- Urine test. Youll pee in a cup thats sent off to a laboratory testing facility to see if any chlamydia bacteria are present in your urine.
- Blood test. Your doctor will use a sterile needle to draw some of your blood and send it to a lab to see if antibodies to the chlamydia bacteria are present in your bloodstream.
- Swab. Your doctor will use a cotton round or stick to take a small sample of tissue or fluid that carries the infection, which is then sent to a lab to be cultured so that lab technicians can see what bacteria grows from the sample.
How long it takes for the results to show up depends on the test and on your specific health insurance plan.
- Urine tests take about 2 to 5 days to show a positive or negative result.
- Blood tests can come back with results in a few minutes if the blood is analyzed on site. But they can take a week or more if sent to an off-site lab.
- Swab results take about 2 to 3 days to show a positive or negative.
1 to 3 weeks to show up in people with vulvas.
Symptoms may take up a few months to show up. This is because bacteria are living creatures and have an incubation period that affects how long it takes them to cluster together and become infectious.
This incubation period is dependent on a variety of factors, including:
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Where Can I Get A Test
There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
A chlamydia test can be done at:
- a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
- your general practice
- contraception and young peoples clinics
- some pharmacies.
Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.
In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.
The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .
If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.
In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk
Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.
Be Informed About The Harms Of Chlamydia
Although chlamydia is a curable disease, an infected person should not be complacent even if there are no symptoms. Untreated chlamydia can cause several complications like infertility for women. Chlamydia infects the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Untreated chlamydia can also result to pelvic inflammatory disease. Moreover, chlamydia can cause abdominal pain, inflammation of pelvic organs, and pain during sex. Untreated chlamydia can also affect your pregnancy.
Another danger of chlamydia is having ectopic pregnancy. For women who got infected with chlamydia while pregnant, there is the danger of passing the infection to the infant especially during vaginal child birth. If this happens, the infant is at risk of having eye infections, and pneumonia.
Can You Chlamydia Cause You To Be Infertile Forever
Untreated, about 10-15% of women with chlamydia will develop PID. Chlamydia can also cause fallopian tube infection without any symptoms. PID and silent infection in the upper genital tract may cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues, which can lead to infertility.
What Antibiotic Kills Gonorrhea
The most common treatment is a single antibiotic injection of ceftriaxone and a single dose of oral azithromycin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention treatment guidelines. Currently, there are no at-home treatments to cure gonorrhea. It is strongly advised that you get care from a doctor.
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