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The most important thing to know about infertility caused by undiscovered and untreated STIs is just thatits preventable. The infections that can lead to infertility, namely gonorrhea and chlamydia, are among the most common and most treatable, so testing and treatment can prevent the complications that can damage reproductive organs and leave a woman infertile.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are both bacterial infections spread through sexual contact that can affect both men and women and are some of the most common STIs seen by doctors an estimated 2.86 million cases of chlamydia and 820,000 cases of gonorrhea occur annually in the United States. More often than not, an infected woman has no symptomsbut unfortunately, even asymptomatic infection can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. Doctors estimate that up to 40% of women who contract chlamydia or gonorrhea and dont properly treat the infection will wind up with PID, and up to half of PID cases are estimated by the CDC to be caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea infection.
Heres how PID happens: when a woman is infected with one of these STIs, microorganisms can travel upward from her cervix or vagina to the other reproductive organs, causing them to be infected, as well. The PID, in turn, can cause scar tissue on the fallopian tubes that blocks the pathway of the egg released from the ovary, preventing natural pregnancy and causing infertility.
How Long Can A Guy Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
Most people with chlamydia do not experience any symptoms. If a person does have symptoms, these may not develop for several weeks after the initial infection. The CDC note that if a male experiences chlamydia symptoms, they will typically arise from one of two complications: urethritis or epididymitis.
What STD causes urethral strictures?
Some inflammatory conditions can also cause urethral strictures. These include untreated sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia and a condition called balanitis xerotica obliterans.
Chlamydia Can Live In Your Gut And Reinfect You After Youre Cured
Doctors have known that chlamydia can reappear, but until now theyve been stumped as to how exactly it happens
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. Thankfully, its also curable. But new research suggests that for some people, curing chlamydia doesnt prevent reinfection, even if theyre not exposed to it again. Apparently the disease can live inside your gut, and reinfect you out of the blue.
Apparently doctors have known that chlamydia can reappear in cured patients for about 80 years, but theyve been stumped as to how exactly it happens. This study points out that, in many animals, chlamydia has been found to live in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, if gastrointestinal infection occurs in most hosts, the authors write, then it is very likely that gastrointestinal infection occurs in humans as well.
The study in question doesnt actually test this theory on any human beings. Instead it looks at data in animal models about reinfection, and the failure of certain drugs to treat chlamydia when it lives in the gut. From there, they propose that women who are infected with chlamydia could see the same kind of issues: the drugs theyre given might cure the disease genitally, but not gastrointestinally, leaving the bug to live inside waiting for the right time to strike.
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Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility
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.
Chlamydia is most common in sexually active young adults. More than half of all infections involve people ages 18 to 24. You can get chlamydia during oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with an infected partner. The disease can cause penile discharge in men and infertility in women. It can also cause serious health problems in newborn babies of infected mothers.
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 symptoms do show up, they usually occur within weeks of exposure. Men and women may face painful urination, an abnormal discharge from the urethra, or both. Women also may have abdominal pain, bleeding, and an abnormal discharge from the vagina. Symptoms usually appear within one to three weeks after being infected and may be very mild.
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.
When Can I Have Sex Again
You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all the doses before having sex.
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Chlamydia In The Rectum Throat Or Eyes
Chlamydia can also infect:
- the rectum if you have unprotected anal sex this can cause discomfort and discharge from your rectum
- the throat if you have unprotected oral sex this is uncommon and usually causes no symptoms
- the eyes if they come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid this can cause eye redness, pain and discharge
How Long After Treatment Can I Have Sex Again
You should avoid being sexually active during treatment for chlamydia because you can still pass the infection to your sex partner during this time, even if you have no symptoms.
How long you should wait to have sex depends on the antibiotic you take.
If your doctor prescribes a single dose of antibiotics, wait until seven days after taking it. If you take a multi-dose antibiotic, wait until youve taken the full course of medication .
Because it is somewhat common to get a repeat infection of chlamydia, its a good idea to be tested for it again about three months after treatment.
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The Costs Of Infertility
Treating chlamydia is easy, but for those who do not get treated or get treated too late, living with the damage caused by the infection can be hard.
Rabin has treated many women who never knew they had had chlamydia until they couldnt get pregnant due to blocked fallopian tubes. These women often wind up trying in vitro fertilization , which does not always succeed.
There are all kinds of costs involved for these women, say Rabin. There are emotional costs and physical costs. There are also financial costs with IVF. Its much better to not let the tubes get damaged, she says, and get pregnant the old-fashioned way.
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Common Symptoms Of Pid
The most common symptoms of PID include:
- Painful sex
- Painful bowel movements or urination
Its important to note that PID can spread beyond the reproductive tract, causing serious and potentially deadly complications. More than 200,000 women are hospitalized each year because of PID and more than 150 of them die.
No Barrier To Children
The reality is that while chlamydia can be damaging to both men and women, having irreversible effects, they can still be overcome. While the odds may be stacked against sufferers or former sufferers trying to conceive naturally, IVI has a long history of assisting patients with more complex needs. Conceiving and giving birth following diagnosis of and treatment for chlamydia is absolutely possible. There are a range of fertility treatment options, of which IVF may be the most suitable, either with patients own genetic material or with donated eggs or sperm.
Chlamydia can affect fertility, but with the range of options and expertise available at IVI clinics worldwide, a past infection need not dash any hope of starting a family.
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Who Is At Risk For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. It is a very common STD, especially among young people.3 It is estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 years has chlamydia.5
Sexually active young people are at high risk of acquiring chlamydia for a combination of behavioral, biological, and cultural reasons. Some young people dont use condoms consistently.15 Some adolescents may move from one monogamous relationship to the next more rapidly than the likely infectivity period of chlamydia, thus increasing risk of transmission.16 Teenage girls and young women may have cervical ectopy .17 Cervical ectopy may increase susceptibility to chlamydial infection. The higher prevalence of chlamydia among young people also may reflect multiple barriers to accessing STD prevention services, such as lack of transportation, cost, and perceived stigma.16-20
Men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydial infection since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex. Among MSM screened for rectal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 3.0% to 10.5%.6.7 Among MSM screened for pharyngeal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 0.5% to 2.3%.7.8
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Q2 What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated For 6 Months
If chlamydia goes untreated for months, then a person might start facing different complications. Chlamydia and infertility are very closely linked to each other. So, if someone goes untreated for as long as 6 months, that person might face some complications like PID , which can cause infertility. Apart from that, it can also cause other issues like tubal pregnancies, chronic pelvic pain, and others.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Most men and women with chlamydia have no signs or symptoms, which makes it very easy to spread. Some people have the infection for many months or years without knowing it.
Women who get symptoms may have:
- vaginal discharge
Men who get symptoms may have some clear discharge from the penis or pain during urination.
In rare cases, people with chlamydia have sore joints or inflammation of the eye .
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Which Is A Priority Nursing Intervention When Caring For The Patient With Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Interventions to treat PID include antibiotic therapy, abstaining from sexual intercourse for three weeks, and administration of analgesics for pain. Patients should be taught to check their temperature twice a day and to immediately contact their healthcare provider if there is an increase in temperature.
Q1 How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing Before It Causes Damage
Most of the time, the symptoms of chlamydia appear between 1 to 3 weeks after having unprotected sex with someone infected. However, there are people who might not develop any symptoms for months. On the other hand, the symptoms can disappear after some days as well. If you find any symptoms appearing, it is best to get treated to avoid any complications as it is very well known chlamydia cause infertility.
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Chlamydia In Testicular Tissue Linked To Male Infertility
- Queensland University of Technology
- The potential impact of undiagnosed sexually transmitted chlamydia infection on mens fertility has been highlighted in a study, which for the first time found chlamydia in the testicular tissue biopsies of infertile men whose infertility had no identified cause.
The potential impact of undiagnosed sexually transmitted chlamydia infection on mens fertility has been highlighted in a study led by Queensland University of Technology , which for the first time found chlamydia in the testicular tissue biopsies of infertile men whose infertility had no identified cause.
The researchers also found antibodies specific to the bacteria responsible, Chlamydia trachomatis, in the blood of 12 of 18 donors of the fresh testicular biopsies, indicating the men had been exposed to the bacteria yet none of the men reported symptoms of infection or being previously diagnosed with chlamydia or any other sexually-transmitted infection .
The study, in collaboration with Monash IVF Group, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Monash Health, and Queensland Fertility Group, has been published in the journal Human Reproduction.
Research leader QUT Professor of Immunology Ken Beagley, from the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said chlamydia infection in men has not been as widely studied as it has in women, despite similar infection rates.
Understanding a cause is the first step in being able to do something about it.
Potential Risks Involved In Untreated Chlamydia
18 Oct 2021
- Medically reviewed by Dr Andrea Pinto Lopez, M.D.
How long can you have chlamydia before it causes damage? In this article we tell you everything you need to know about the potential risks involved in untreated chlamydia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 2.8 million people are infected each year.
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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.
How Long Does Chlamydia Last
If you believe youve been exposed to chlamydia, even if you dont have any symptoms, the first thing you should do is get tested. And if your chlamydia test is positive, be confident that you are doing the right thing.
Being tested means that you can be treated, and the proper treatment will help clear up a chlamydial infection in a matter of weeks.
On the other hand, if you dont get tested or dont see a healthcare provider for treatment, chlamydia can live in the body for weeks, months, or even years without being detected.
This can lead to long-term complications, including infertility.
Read on to learn what chlamydia is, how it spreads, the symptoms, and when symptoms typically show.
Ill also explain how long chlamydia lasts, what happens if it goes untreated, how long you have to wait to have sex after an infection, and if you can become immune to chlamydia.
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How To Help Partners Get Treatment
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.
How Is Pid Diagnosed And Treated
Doctors typically diagnose PID through a pelvic exam. You may also be tested for gonorrhea, chlamydia and other STIs, as they often cause PID. Samples of your blood, urine and vaginal fluid may also be taken.
There are some cases where doctors will need to perform other procedures or tests. These might include an endometrial biopsy, ultrasound or a laparoscopy.
With a laparoscopy, the doctor will insert a tiny camera through a small incision in your belly button. The camera will allow the doctor to look at your reproductive organs.
PID can be treated, and if its caught early on, you may be able to avoid some of the damaging complications of this disease.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is typically treated with broad spectrum antibiotics. There are several types of antibiotics that can treat this STI.
Unfortunately, treatment cannot reverse any damage that has been done by the infection. If there is scarring in the fallopian tubes or any other damage to the reproductive organs, the effects will last a lifetime.
Its not uncommon for symptoms to disappear before the round of antibiotics is complete, but its important to take all of the prescribed medicine to ensure that the infection is cured.
Both partners should be treated to minimize the risk of re-infection, even if the partner has no symptoms.
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How Long Does It Take For Pid To Develop
In 2013, 88,000 American women between the ages of 15 and 44 were diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. If left untreated, PID can cause permanent damage to a womans reproductive organs and even lead to infertility.
If youre a sexually active female, its important to understand the signs and symptoms of this condition and to get tested ASAP if you suspect that you have PID.
Can Infertility From Chlamydia Be Reversed
As mentioned above, when chlamydia goes undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and the surrounding tissues which can cause infertility. If PID is diagnosed early, however, it can be treated. And although treatment cant undo any damage that has already been done, it can reduce the risk of any further complications.
Its important to note that it is possible to get PID again even if you have already had it. In fact, according to the CDC, youre more likely to get PID if you have had it before.
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