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How Long Can You Have Chlamydia And Not Know

How To Help Partners Get Treatment

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If you are not sure whether your sexual partner will seek treatment, ask your doctor for extra chlamydia medication . You can give it to them so they can be treated as soon as possible.

This is known as patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia. Talk to your doctor to see if PDPT is right for you and your sexual partner.

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.

Can You Get Chlamydia From Drinking After Someone

The belief that you can catch chlamydia from drinking after someone is a myth. In reality, theres no risk of catching the infection when sharing food, water, or cutlery.

You can only catch chlamydia during:

  • Unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
  • Sharing sex toys.
  • Contact with the genitals of an infected partner.

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Can You Pass Chlamydia On Without Symptoms

Even if you are asymptomatic with Chlamydia, it is still possible to pass on the disease. The viral infection transmits via bodily fluids during sexual activity, therefore it is vitally important to practise safe sex and be tested regularly to ensure that you are clean of sexually transmitted infections. Visit our website to learn more about home testing.

The Health Risks Of Chlamydia

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For up to 40 percent of infected women, untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease . PID effects include abdominal pain, fever, internal abscesses and long-lasting pelvic pain effects also include scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility and increase the chance of potentially life-threatening ectopic or tubal pregnancies.

Men can develop scarring of the urethra, making urination difficult and occasionally causing infertility. Although rare, both sexes are at risk of a type of arthritis known as Reiter’s Syndrome that causes inflammation and swelling of the joints.

If a pregnant woman has chlamydia, her baby may be born prematurely, have eye infections or develop pneumonia.

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Safer Sex Still Carries Std Risk

It’s also worth noting that concerns about STD incubation periods aren’t restricted to individuals who practice unprotected sex. Although practicing safer sex and other measures that reduce your risk, like using mouthwash, can drastically reduce your stress levels and your level of risk, it isn’t foolproof protection.

Condoms and other barriers can only reduce the risk of diseases that spread skin-to-skin instead of by bodily fluidsthey can’t entirely prevent them. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk about testing and sources of risk before you have sex.

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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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.

Young Sexually Active Women Are Most Susceptible

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Women between ages 15 and 24 are most likely to be newly infected with chlamydia, according to the CDC, but anyone who is sexually active male or female can be infected. Men who have oral or anal sex with men are also at risk, notes the CDC. The CDC recommends regular chlamydia screenings for people at an increased risk of contracting it.

You should be screened annually for chlamydia if you are:

  • A sexually active woman under age 25
  • A woman age 25 or older who has multiple sexual partners
  • A woman whose sexual partner may have multiple sexual partners
  • Pregnant and under age 25 or pregnant and age 25 or older with an increased risk
  • A man who has sex with men
  • At an increased risk for other health reasons

I would emphasize that young women should be screened if they engage in any sexual behavior that puts them at risk because often has no symptoms, and early treatment is important to avoid long-term damage and infertility, Dr. Schaffir says.

Screening for chlamydia is painless: It usually involves testing a urine sample or a specimen swabbed from the vagina or penis. Some lab tests for chlamydia can use specimens from the throat or rectum.

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Chlamydia Is Caused By Sexually Transmitted Bacteria

The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis causes chlamydia infection, which usually occurs in the genital tract, so the cervix in women and the penis in men. In both women and men, the bacteria may also infect the rectum and the throat.

“Infections are spread during any kind of sexual activity: vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse,” says Jonathan Schaffir, MD, an ob-gyn at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

Chlamydia trachomatis can also cause conjunctivitis if the bacteria come into contact with the eyelids or the clear membrane covering the white of the eye.

Because chlamydia infections often cause no symptoms, individuals who have one may not seek medical attention or get treated for it. However, anyone who is infected with chlamydia can pass it to other people, who can, in turn, pass it to others.

What Are Chlamydia Symptoms And Signs

The signs and symptoms of chlamydia infections in women are usually irritation in the genital tract, vaginal discharge, and pain with urination . In men, chlamydia is characterized by pain with urination, urinary frequency, and urethral discharge . Other symptoms may develop, such as rectal irritation , eye infections, and infertility. Women can also develop chronicpelvic pain, salpingitis, and endometritis. Pregnant women infected with chlamydia can have ectopicpregnancies, preterm labor, preterm delivery, and their newborns can get conjunctivitis, otitis media, and pneumonia.

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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.

How Long For Chlamydia To Show Up

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Most people who have chlamydia have no symptomsat least not at first.

Some never develop symptoms, while others only develop them 1-3 weeks after having unprotected sex with an infected partner.

Below is a breakdown of how long it takes for chlamydia to show up in different sexes and parts of the body.

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How Is Chlamydia Prevented

You already know chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection. Therefore, the safest and easiest way to prevent chlamydia is sexual abstinence. Other ways chlamydia can be prevented in men and women are

  • Use condoms for intercourse
  • Get your male or female sexual partners tested for the infection
  • Recheck for chlamydia infection after 5 weeks of treatment
  • Avoid intercourse while on chlamydia treatment
  • Use adult toys with condoms

Now its your turn. Do you have any chlamydia symptoms? Let us know if we can help.

Who Should Be Tested For Chlamydia

Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Anyone with genital symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination, unusual sores, or rash should refrain from having sex until they are able to see a health care provider about their symptoms.

Also, anyone with an oral, anal, or vaginal sex partner who has been recently diagnosed with an STD should see a health care provider for evaluation.

Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs have been demonstrated to reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Rectal chlamydia testing can be considered for females based on sexual behaviors and exposure. 40 Pregnant women under 25 or older pregnant women at increased risk for chlamydia should be screened during their first prenatal visit and again during their third trimester.40 Women diagnosed with chlamydial infection should be retested approximately 3 months after treatment.40 Any woman who is sexually active should discuss her risk factors with a health care provider who can then determine if more frequent screening is necessary.

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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.

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care For Chlamydia

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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.

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Chlamydia Infection May Have Long

For women, the long-term effects of an untreated chlamydia infection may include:

  • Severe infection with pain and fever requiring a hospital stay
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the upper reproductive tract
  • Scarring in the reproductive tract that causes infertility
  • Higher risk of ectopic pregnancy

Men are less likely than women to have major health problems linked to chlamydia, although they can develop epididymitis, an inflammation of a structure within the testicles called the epididymis that can result in infertility.

A chlamydia infection can sometimes result in reactive arthritis in both men and women.

Chlamydia: From Whom How Long Ago And What About My Fertility

Given that Chlamydia is the most common of the reportable sexually transmitted infection/sexually transmitted disease we get many questions here at WebMD from very worried women. The most concerned questions tend to be focused on how/when the infection was acquired, and what impact will it have on future fertility. The following is a summary of the answers to those questions, and some related issues as well.

Who Gave Me Chlamydia?

If you are a sexually active woman aged twenty five years or lessand especially if you are aged less than twentyyou are a part of the largest Chlamydia infection demographic. If you are a female performing receptive oral, anal, or vaginal sex you can get Chlamydia, if secretion contact is present. Thus you need to be honest with your GYN about your sexual practices so you can be screened for possible Chlamydia infections of the pharynx, rectum, or vagina/cervix. Chlamydia can be passed between both heterosexual, and same sex couples-although its incidence is less than 1% in women who are exclusively lesbian.

How Long Ago Did I Get Chlamydia?

How Will Chlamydia Affect MY Fertility?

In this same study it was determined that the risk of PID caused infertility was tied to:

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Can You Tell How Long Youve Had Chlamydia

Is it possible to tell how long I ve had chlamydia? Not usually, because chlamydia often doesnt cause any symptoms. This means you can have the infection without knowing you could have had it for months or even years. Depending on how many people you ve had sex with, it can be hard to trace it to one person.

What To Think About

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Some people who have chlamydia may also have gonorrhea. In that case, treatment includes antibiotics that kill both chlamydia and gonorrhea. For more information, see the topic Gonorrhea.

Reinfection can occur. Symptoms that continue after treatment are probably caused by another chlamydia infection rather than treatment failure. To prevent reinfection, sex partners need to be evaluated and treated.

Repeated chlamydia infections increase the risk for pelvic inflammatory disease . Even one infection can lead to PID without proper treatment. Make sure to take your antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Take the full course of medicine, even if you feel better in a couple of days.

Some doctors recommend retesting 3 to 12 months after treatment to reduce the risk of complications from reinfection.footnote 4

If you have chlamydia, your doctor will send a report to the state health department. Your personal information is kept confidential. The health department may contact you about telling your sex partner or partners that they may need treatment.

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How Do You Treat Chlamydia

Chlamydia is easily treatable with antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe a single dose, or a seven-day course depending on certain factors like your age, which parts of your body are affected, and whether or not you’re pregnant. Your symptoms should clear up within a few days however it is recommended that you complete the course and abstain from sexual activity for a minimum of seven days, to avoid passing the infection on to your partner.

If your symptoms don’t clear up within a week, you should see your doctor again. You should also get tested again in three months, because reinfection is common when it comes to chlamydia. Reinfection can happen if, for example, you have been tested and treated for chlamydia but your partner hasn’t been. Having multiple instances of chlamydia can result in serious long-term complications, for people with vaginas especially.

A chlamydia infection can persist for several months if it’s not treated. Failure to treat it in the early stages can raise your risk of long-term complications.

The only 100% effective way to avoid sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia is to refrain from sexual activity. However, if you are sexually active, you can lower your risk of getting the infection by:

  • Using condoms
  • Limiting your sexual partners
  • Avoiding douching, since it eliminates some of the healthy bacteria in your vagina and can increase your risk of getting infections like chlamydia

Symptoms Can Differ For Men And Women

By and large, most cases of chlamydia are asymptomatic they are picked up by screening, which is why it’s so important to have good screening programs in place, notes Dr. Stoner. Men or women who have chlamydia symptoms may experience painful urination.

Women may also have these symptoms:

  • Smelly discharge from the cervix
  • Pain during sex

And men may have these symptoms:

  • Discharge from the penis

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Why Should I Have Treatment If I Have No Symptoms

Can you have Chlamydia for years? Even though you are not experiencing any symptoms and you are infected with chlamydia, it is still highly necessary to get treatment. Without proper treatment, the infection may spread and cause other severe complications even after months or years of getting the infection. Moreover, there is a danger of passing the infection to your sexual partners even if there are no signs and symptoms.

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Be Informed About The Harms Of Chlamydia

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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.

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