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.
All You Need To Know About Chlamydia And Infertility
Can Chlamydia cause infertility? Chlamydia is one of the common sexually transmitted diseases that is caused due to infection with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is among the most common STDs in the USA. According to estimates by the CDC , it affects 2.8 million people in America each year. Chlamydia may be transmitted via oral, anal or vaginal sex. It may also be transmitted from a female who is infected with the disease to her infant during childbirth. Any person who is sexually active can get infected with the bacterium. The risk of infection increases with the total number of partners you have sex with.
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.
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You Cant Catch Chlamydia From A Toilet Seat
Many people believe they can get chlamydia from a toilet seat. This isnt true.
Theres no need to worry about catching chlamydia in a public bathroom. Even if you share a toilet seat with someone who has it, you cant get the infection. You also cant catch chlamydia from sharing items like towels.
Usually, chlamydia spreads through unprotected sex. Its also possible to get the disease if you share sex toys with someone who has the infection. Sex toys should be washed or covered with a condom. If your partner has vaginal fluid or semen on their fingers, it may be possible to spread the infection that way.
How Will I Know If The Chlamydia Has Affected My Fertility
Chlamydia is just one of many factors that can affect your fertility. Most people whove had chlamydia wont become infertile or have an ectopic pregnancy . If youve had chlamydia you wont normally be offered any routine tests to see if youre fertile unless you or a partner are having difficulty getting pregnant. If youre concerned, talk to your doctor or practice nurse.
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Chlamydia Reduces Male Fertility By Ravaging Sperm
Chlamydia the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US and UK causes dramatic genetic damage in sperm leading to male infertility, a new study suggests.
Men with chlamydia have more than three times the normal level of DNA fragmentation in their sperm, report researchers. However, results from the study also indicate that appropriate antibiotic treatment can help restore the genetic integrity of these mens sperm as well as their fertility.
Until recently, doctors believed that chlamydia threatened womens fertility only. The bacteria responsible for the disease, Chlamydia trachomatis can cause a womans fallopian tubes to become blocked or scarred, making it difficult or impossible to conceive a child.
A study published in 2004 involving Swedish couples seeking infertility treatment found that men with chlamydia infection were less likely to father a child. But researchers have lacked good evidence about why men with the disease develop fertility trouble and how to reverse the problem.
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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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How Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of getting or giving chlamydia.53 The surest way to avoid chlamydia is to abstain from vaginal, anal, and oral sex, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
How Long Does Chlamydia Take To Clear Up
Chlamydia typically goes away within 1 to 2 weeks. You should avoid sex during this time to prevent transmitting the disease. Your doctor may prescribe a one-dose medication or a medication youll take daily for about a week. If they prescribe a one-dose pill, you should wait 7 days before having sex again.
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How Long Does It Take For Chlamydia To Go Away
How long does it take for Chlamydia to clear up? Can you have Chlamydia for years and not know it? These are questions that give headache to a lot of women at some point in their lives.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection with the Chlamydia infectious agent, which is transmitted through sexual contact. It`s among the most common STDs in the world. Chlamydia infects the urethra in men and the cervix, urethra and superior reproductive organs in women. Chlamydia can also infect the rectum, eye surface and eyelids.
An infected mother can transmit the infection to her baby during childbirth. Between 50% and 70% of infants are born from infected mothers. They acquire the infection in the eyes, rectum, vagina and the back of the throat. Between 30% and 40% of these infected neonates develop complications, like conjunctivitis or pneumonia.
Chlamydia increases the risk of human immunodeficiency virus infection, in case of exposure.
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.
Does Your Partner Need To Get Treated Too
If you have a sexual partner, or if youve recently had sex with someone, talk with them about your chlamydia diagnosis. Theyll need to get tested and treated, too.
If your sexual partner doesnt seek treatment, theres a risk that they can transmit it back to you, even after your infection has been cured.
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.
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Herbal Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection that may cause irreversible tissue damage, including damage to female reproductive organs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacteria-related sexually transmitted infection among Americans, accounting for more than 1.2 million sexually transmitted infections in 2008 1. Some herbal medicines may be helpful adjunct therapies in treating chlamydia. However, you should always discuss herbs and their risks and benefits with your doctor before using them.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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.
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How Can I Protect Myself From Chlamydia
The only way to avoid getting chlamydia is to abstain from having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has a chlamydia infection. And be sure that sex toys that carry the bacteria dont come in contact with your genitals.
Its not always possible to know if a current or potential partner has chlamydia, though, especially since many people with chlamydia never notice symptoms. With prevention in mind, its a good idea to make safer sex practices a regular part of your sex life:
- Use condoms during intercourse, anal sex and oral sex.
- Use dental dams during oral sex or vagina-to-vagina contact.
- Dont share sex toys, but if you do, wash them after each use and cover toys used for penetration with a condom.
- Have sex with only one partner, who only has sex with you.
Young Sexually Active Women Are Most Susceptible
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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How Does One Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. It can be spread through any type of unprotected sex, including penis in vagina sex, anal sex, and oral sex . An eye infection, conjunctivitis, can also be acquired through contact with genital fluids infected with chlamydia.
A person can also be re-infected with chlamydia after having been treated previously. People donât become immune to chlamydia after theyâve had it once.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is often referred to as the âsilent STDâ because of the lack of symptoms. When symptoms are present, they usually appear one to three weeks following exposure to the chlamydia-causing bacteria. Symptoms vary depending on if you are a woman or a man.
Symptoms in Women:
- Abdominal discomfort a general feeling that something is off. The discomfort is not usually described as pain.
- Vaginal bleeding usually involves periodic bleeding or spotting. This can start and stop, may be very light or moderate.
- Vaginal discharge a vaginal discharge. May or may not smell and may be light, heavy and can come and go.
- Painful urination does not have to be a terrible pain and may just be a mild discomfort
- Low back pain
Painful intercourse, vaginal bleeding, irritation of the rectum can all be signs when the infection has progressed to the reproductive organs.
Symptoms in Men:
- Penis discharge any abnormal discharge
- Painful urination may not be a great deal of pain and may be more of an uncomfortable sensation
- Burning at penis opening may be a burning sensation or an itchy sensation
- Swelling or pain in scrotum this is a rare symptom that most men will not experience
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Chlamydia Is Really Common
Chlamydia is a SUPER common bacterial infection that you can get from sexual contact with another person. Close to 3 million Americans get it every year, most commonly among 14-24-year-olds.
Chlamydia is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The infection is carried in semen , pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. Chlamydia can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, eyes, and throat. Most people with chlamydia dont have any symptoms and feel totally fine, so they might not even know theyre infected.
Chlamydia can be easily cleared up with antibiotics. But if you dont treat chlamydia, it may lead to major health problems in the future. Thats why STD testing is so important the sooner you know you have chlamydia, the faster you can cure it. You can prevent chlamydia by using condoms every time you have sex.
What Happens If I Get Chlamydia When I’m Pregnant
- Chlamydia during pregnancy has been associated in very rare cases with problems such as premature birth, and infection of the uterus lining after the birth.
- It can be passed to the baby during the birth and before the baby is born. This can cause inflammation and discharge in the babys eye and/or pneumonia.
- You may be offered a chlamydia test as part of your antenatal care.
- Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics when youre pregnant and when youre breastfeeding. The antibiotics wont harm the baby, but do tell the doctor or nurse that youre pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Youll be advised to have another test after you complete your 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.
Early Signs Among Men
- NO SYMPTOMS AT ALL
- Unfortunately, this scenario is especially common among men. In some instances, a vaguely flu-like illness may be experienced and easily overlooked.
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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: