How To Know If I Have Chlamydia
Although most people who are infected with chlamydia may not have symptoms, there are things that are found to be common signs for the disease that usually appear after several weeks of having sex with and infected person.
The symptoms in men may differ from the symptoms in women. However, for both men and women, chlamydia primarily affects the reproductive system. Women who are suffering from this type of disease may notice vaginal discharge, and pain when urinating. On the other hand, the symptoms in men include abnormal discharge from the penis, pain when urinating and swelling and pain in one or both testicles. In addition, men and women can also get chlamydia from having anal sex with and infected partner. This can cause rectal pain, bleeding, and abnormal discharge.
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
There are a number of diagnostic tests for chlamydia, including nucleic acid amplification tests , cell culture, and others. NAATs are the most sensitive tests, and can be performed on easily obtainable specimens such as vaginal swabs or urine.43
Vaginal swabs, either patient- or clinician-collected, are the optimal specimen to screen for genital chlamydia using NAATs in women urine is the specimen of choice for men, and is an effective alternative specimen type for women.43 Self-collected vaginal swab specimens perform at least as well as other approved specimens using NAATs.44 In addition, patients may prefer self-collected vaginal swabs or urine-based screening to the more invasive endocervical or urethral swab specimens.45 Adolescent girls may be particularly good candidates for self-collected vaginal swab- or urine-based screening because pelvic exams are not indicated if they are asymptomatic.
NAATs have demonstrated improved sensitivity and specificity compared with culture for the detection of C. trachomatis at rectal and oropharyngeal sites.40 Certain NAAT test platforms have been cleared by FDA for these non-genital sites and data indicate NAAT performance on self-collected rectal swabs is comparable to clinician-collected rectal swabs. 40
What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Because approximately 75 percent of women and 50 percent of men have no symptoms, most people infected with chlamydia are not aware of their infections and may not seek health care. If males have symptoms, they may include urethritis and discharge from the penis in small or moderate amounts. If females have symptoms, they may include vaginal discharge and painful urination.
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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.
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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Can You Test Negative For Chlamydia And Still Have It
This is because the bacteria needs enough time to multiply within your body in order for it to reach a detectable level when taking a chlamydia test. For chlamydia this is often 14 days. If you test before that 14 days is over, you may test negative, but you could still pass the bacteria on following your test.
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.
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Untreated Chlamydia In Men And Women: How It Can Affect Your Health
If a chlamydial infection isnât detected and treated promptly, it can harm your healthâeven if you didnât experience symptoms when the infection first began.
Untreated chlamydia in men can lead to:
- Nongonococcal urethritis , or an infection of the urethra that can cause symptoms like painful or frequent urination, abnormal genital discharge, and more
- Epididymitis, or an infection of the epididymis , which can result in testicular pain and swelling
- Proctitis, or inflammation of the rectum
Untreated chlamydia in women may lead to:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease , which can cause chronic pelvic pain and infertility
- Ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside of the uterus, often in a fallopian tube
- Preterm birth in pregnant womenâas well as eye infection, blindness, or pneumonia in babies born through vaginal delivery
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.
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Can Chlamydia Go Away On Its Own
It is highly unlikely for chlamydia to go away on its own. Although the symptoms may subside temporarily, the infection may persist in the body in the absence of treatment . It is important to seek diagnosis and timely treatment to get rid of the infection.
If treatment is not sought, chlamydia can lead to the following serious complications:
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases or PID
- Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome
- Untreated chlamydia in pregnant women can cause serious consequences such as preterm delivery , ophthalmia neonatorum , and pneumonia in the newborn.
- Reactive arthritis may develop in men and women following chlamydia infection.
- Men have less symptoms linked to chlamydia compared with women. Chlamydia infection can sometimes lead to epididymitis , causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can cause infertility in men.
Antibiotics Are A Highly Effective Cure For Chlamydia Infection
Antibiotics prescribed for chlamydia include:
A single oral dose of Zithromax is the most common treatment. Other drugs may be given in varying doses for a period of up to a week. Most cases of chlamydia clear up within a week after you start on antibiotics.
If you think you have been exposed to chlamydia, Stoner says, see your healthcare provider to receive antibiotic medication to prevent the onset of infection.
The partners of individuals diagnosed with chlamydia will need treatment, too, and in some states they can get it without a doctor visit through a practice called expedited partner therapy, in which the first person treated delivers the treatment to their partner or partners.
How Long Does It Take Chlamydia To Turn Into Pid
Bleeding between periods. How long after infection do symptoms appear? PID symptoms can appear shortly after being diagnosed with an STD such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. It may take upwards of a year for most people to develop PID, but others can develop it earlier, depending on the severity of the infection.
How Is It Treated
Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia. It’s important to take all of the medicine as directed. Otherwise the medicine may not work. Both sex partners need treatment to keep from passing the infection back and forth.
As soon as you find out you have chlamydia, be sure to let your sex partners know. Experts recommend that you notify everyone you’ve had sex with in the past 2 months. If you have not had sex in the past 2 months, contact the last person you had sex with.
Having a chlamydia infection that was cured does not protect you from getting it again. If you are treated and your sex partner is not, you probably will get it again.
Some people who have chlamydia also have other STIs, such as gonorrhea.
Finding out that you have an STI may make you feel bad about yourself or about sex. Counseling or a support group may help you feel better.
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How Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia
Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:
- An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
- Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
- Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.
How Long Does It Take To Show Up In People With Penises
Theres no significant difference in the amount of time it takes for chlamydia symptoms to show up for people with penises as compared to people with vulvas.
The only major difference in the time it takes for symptoms to show up among people of various sexes may be related to how often symptoms show up.
According to the Childrens National Health System, 90 percent of people with vulvas dont ever experience any physical symptoms, while 70 percent of people with penises never notice any symptoms.
This difference in who actually experiences symptoms between these two groups may have some effect on how long it takes for symptoms show up. But theres never been any definitive link between your sex and when your symptoms appear.
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Complicationsin Men And Women
A number of complications have been found to be a risk factor for chlamydia in both male and female patients. The first concern is the fact that there seems to be an increased risk of being infected with the HIV virus in men and women who have acquired the chlamydia infection. At the same time, a patient with chlamydia and HIV are also more likely to transmit the HIV virus to another partner during sexual intercourse, compared to a person only infected with HIV.
Another concern that needs to be raised is the risk of Reiters syndrome. In modern times, doctors are rather referring to Reiters syndrome as reactive arthritis. This is a serious complication of chlamydia, but it is an exceptionally rare one. Even though rare, the possibility still exists making it even more crucial for sexually active individuals to be tested for chlamydia frequently.
Thedevelopment of reactive arthritis can cause typical symptoms that are generallyassociated with arthritis. This includes joint pain, inflammation, and areduced range of motion. Additionally, reactive arthritis is also known tocause swelling in both the urethra and the eyes. Skin lesions may also developin patients with reactive arthritis.
How Do You Get Tested
There are several different reliable tests for chlamydia. Newer tests, called NAATs , are very accurate and easy to take. Your healthcare provider can explain what testing options are available . If you dont have a regular healthcare provider, you can search here for a clinic near you.
People infected with chlamydia are often also infected with gonorrhea, so patients with chlamydia are often treated for gonorrhea at the same time, since the cost of treatment is generally less than the cost of testing.
If you live in Alaska, Maryland, or Washington, D.C., you can have a free at-home chlamydia test. Visit iwantthekit.org for more information.
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Chlamydia Can Be Prevented
The most effective way to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection is to not have sex. However, if you wish to have sexual contact, you can reduce your risk of infection with these actions:
- Minimizing the number of partners with whom you have intimate contact
- Asking your partners to get screened for STDs before engaging in sexual activity
- Always using latex condoms when having intercourse of any kind
Additional reporting by Ingrid Strauch.
Home Remedies For Chlamydia Symptoms
You may still experience painful or uncomfortable symptoms while youre taking chlamydia antibiotics.
Here are some home remedies for reducing your pain and other symptoms while youre waiting for the antibiotics to work:
- pain medications, such as ibuprofen to reduce pain
- cold pack to help limit swelling and inflammation
- goldenseal to reduce inflammation and potentially make symptoms less severe
- echinacea to bolster your immune system against the infection and reduce your symptoms
- turmeric containing an ingredient called curcumin to reduce inflammation and make symptoms less severe
No studies support the effectiveness of these supplements specifically for chlamydia, so take them with caution.
And theres no substitute for antibiotics when treating chlamydia. Only try these remedies if youre already taking antibiotics or if you plan to go to the doctor.
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How Can I Treat Chlamydia Without Going To The Doctor
The recommended treatment for chlamydia is a single dose of azithromycin 1 g taken orally or doxycycline 100 mg taken orally twice a day for 7 days. Alternative chlamydia treatments include: erythromycin base 500 mg taken 4 times a day for 7 days. erythromycin ethylsucciante 800 mg taken 4 times a day for 7 days.
What Happens If You Dont Seek Treatment
If you take your antibiotics as directed, chlamydia is likely to go away. But if its left untreated, it can cause a few complications.
For example, if you have a vulva, you could develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a painful infection that could damage your uterus, cervix, and ovaries.
Untreated chlamydia can also lead to scarred fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility.
If youre pregnant, untreated chlamydia can be transmitted to the baby during vaginal delivery. Chlamydia can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns.
Untreated chlamydia can lead to epididymitis, which is when the epididymis becomes inflamed, causing pain.
Chlamydia can also spread to the prostate gland, which can lead to painful sex, lower back pain, and a fever.
Fortunately, treatment for chlamydia is relatively straightforward. And if its treated quickly, youre unlikely to experience any long-term complications.
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Will I Be Infertile After Chlamydia
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. Most women infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea have no symptoms.
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.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated
If a person is not treated for chlamydia, complications may occur. Women frequently develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, tubal pregnancies, and the continued spread of the disease. In men, untreated chlamydia can cause urethral infection and complications such as swollen and tender testicles. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy may result in premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery and possible tubal pregnancy in a small percent of women. In addition, chlamydia can cause conjunctival and pneumonic infection in the newborn. Persons with a chlamydia infection have an increased chance of getting other infections such as gonorrhea or HIV.
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.
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