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How Long Does Chlamydia Stay In Your System

Will Dormant Chlamydia Show Up Test

Doxycycline – A Tetracycline Class Antibiotic

A significant number of men do not typically show symptoms for STDs such as chlamydia although they are very capable of spreading the disease. Even though they are generally asymptomatic or dormant, they will still test positive for the STD. Most STDs that are in a dormant stage can be detected with a test.

How Common Is Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common STI caused by bacteria. Nearly 2 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the CDC in 2019. The number of infections is likely even higher. When compared to previous years, 2019 infection rates increased among people of all genders, all races and ethnicities, and in every region of the U.S. Most cases of chlamydia are asymptomatic, which means there are no signs or symptoms of an infection. Many of these cases likely go unreported.

Certain demographic characteristics may make you more likely to get diagnosed with chlamydia. Youre more likely to get diagnosed if youre:

  • A teen or young adult aged 15 to 24. More than half of all diagnosed chlamydia cases in the U.S. occur in this age group.
  • A cisgender woman aged 15 to 24. Young women in this age group are targeted for chlamydia screenings, and the rate of infection among those who are tested is high.
  • A man who has sex with men . Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect men who have sex with men.
  • Black and non-Hispanic. Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect non-Hispanic Black populations.

How Long Does Chlamydia Take To Show Up On A Test

If you suspect that you may have chlamydia or show symptoms, you can visit your doctor for proper testing. There are several methods that the doctor may use to establish a diagnosis:

  • Urine test: this method requires you to pee in a cup that is later sent off to a testing facility to see if bacteria is present in the urine.
  • Blood test: your doctor will draw your blood and send it to a lab to see if there are antibodies to chlamydia present in your bloodstream.
  • Cotton swab: your doctor will use a cotton swab to take a small sample of fluid or tissue that carries the infection, which is then tested for the presence of this bacteria.

Waiting for the results may be stressful, and the length of that wait depends on your specific health insurance plan, as well as the laboratory and test type:

  • To test the urine for chlamydia, it takes about 2 to 5 days to show positive or negative results.
  • Blood tests are the fastest tests, and the results come back in a few minutes if the lab has the analysis on-site. However, if the lab does not do the testing, it can take up to a week or more to get the results back.
  • Cotton swab results also take about 2 to 3 days to show positive or negative results.

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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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If Youre Taking The Medication Incorrectly

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Chlamydia is relatively easy to treat with antibiotics once it has been detected. The actual course, however, can vary from person to person. Sometimes a healthcare provider will prescribe one large dose, while other cases may require you to take antibiotics over the course of seven days.

Your healthcare provider will determine the best treatment regimen for you, but regardless, make sure you take the antibiotics as instructed and complete the full course. It can be tempting to stop early once you notice your symptoms getting better, but that can leave some lingering bacteria. Any remaining chlamydia bacteria can replicate and potentially even become resistant to the initial antibioticsâmeaning you may require even more powerful medication to treat the infection.

Itâs also important not to have sex while you are getting treated. While the antibiotics are usually quite effective, the infection stays in your body until the antibiotics have fully run their course. If you receive medication to treat a chlamydia infection, be sure to ask your healthcare provider how long to wait before having sex again.

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Stage : The Asymptomatic Stage

Once a person has been through the acute primary infection stage and seroconversion process, they can often start to feel better. In fact, HIV may not cause any other symptoms for up to 10 or even 15 years .

However, the virus will still be active, infecting new cells and making copies of itself. HIV can still be passed on during this stage. If left untreated, over time, HIV infection will cause severe damage to the immune system.

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How Do People Get Chlamydia

Pregnant people can give chlamydia to their baby during childbirth. This can cause ophthalmia neonatorum or pneumonia in some infants.9-12 Rectal or genital infection can persist one year or longer in infants infected at birth.13 However, sexual abuse should be a consideration among young children with vaginal, urethral, or rectal infection beyond the neonatal period.

People treated for chlamydia can get the infection again if they have sex with a person with chlamydia.14

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Chlamydial Gastrointestinal Infection And The Immune Response

Overall, the studies of naturally infected ruminants and of mouse models have demonstrated that the normal niche for chlamydiae is the gastrointestinal tract, in which the bacterium is able to persist indefinitely in a commensal relationship, unhindered by the host response but able to continually shed organisms in feces for transmission to new hosts. How then do chlamydiae living in the GI tract avoid being eliminated and how do they survive in the face of competition with the multitude of other bacteria in the gut?

That chlamydiae reside in the GI tract but do not elicit a pathological response was first noted by York and Baker in cattle . Storz and Thornley subsequently observed that even though sheep were infected, they often had low levels of complement-fixing antibodies . In some longitudinally followed sheep that remained positive by fecal isolation, the level of antibody increased but then returned to low levels. Interestingly, both Storz and Dungworth and Cordy observed that intestinal carriage of chlamydiae does not induce resistance to parenteral or respiratory infection . Furthermore, parenteral infection did not affect the carriage of the organism in the intestine. Similarly, Perry and Hughes observed that a genital infection could elicit a protective response to respiratory challenge however, vaginal infection did not prevent the establishment of infection in the GI tract .

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How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing

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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 Affect A Pregnant Person And Their Baby

In newborns, untreated chlamydia can cause:

  • ophthalmia neonatorum ,

Prospective studies show that chlamydial conjunctivitis and pneumonia occur in 18-44% and 3-16%, respectively, of infants born to those with chlamydia. 9-12 Neonatal prophylaxis against gonococcal conjunctivitis routinely performed at birth does not effectively prevent chlamydial conjunctivitis.37-39

Screening for and treating chlamydia in pregnant people is the best way to prevent disease in infants. At the first prenatal visit and during the third trimester, screen:

  • All pregnant people under age 25 and
  • All pregnant people 25 years and older at increased risk for chlamydia .

Retest those with infection four weeks and three months after they complete treatment.40

You Can Get Chlamydia More Than Once

With some diseases, having one infection makes you immune to future infections. Thats not the case with chlamydia. If you engage in sexual activity with a person who has a chlamydia infection, you can get it again, even if youve just completed treatment for it.

Both partners should be treated before reinitiating sexual intercourse to prevent relapse, Schaffir says.

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How Can I Tell My Partner Will They Think Ive Cheated On Them

You may feel embarrassed, scared or angry. However it is important and respectful to let your partner know as soon as possible so they can get tested and treated. Remember that chlamydia often has no symptoms, so a diagnosis doesnt necessarily mean the infection was caught recently. You may not be sure when you were exposed. Many people are surprised how supportive their partner is, and how they appreciate being confided in.

Who Should Be Tested For Chlamydia

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You should go to your health provider for a test if you have symptoms of chlamydia, or if you have a partner who has a sexually transmitted disease. Pregnant women should get a test when they go to their first prenatal visit.

People at higher risk should get checked for chlamydia every year:

  • Sexually active women 25 and younger
  • Older women who have new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted disease
  • Men who have sex with men

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What Happens If I Dont Get Treated

The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems.

If you are a woman, untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes . This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease . PID often has no symptoms, however some women may have abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if it doesnt cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, and potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy .

Men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can prevent a man from being able to have children.

What If I’m Pregnant

During delivery, the infection can spread to the newborn from the birth canal. It can cause eye infection or pneumonia. There may also be an association with preterm labour and low birth weight. Screening and treatment of chlamydia during pregnancy can prevent these complications. This is not part of the routine NHS antenatal screening. Doxycycline cannot be taken during pregnancy, but azithromycin is safe and effective.

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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.

My Symptoms Haven’t Cleared

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There are several possible explanations. The symptoms could have a cause other than chlamydia. You can have more than one sexually transmitted infection at the same time, so you will need to be tested for other infections. There are also non-STI causes such as a lower urinary tract infection or, in women, endometriosis. You may have been re-infected with chlamydia if you had unprotected sex with an infected or partially treated partner. Rarely, the infection is resistant to a particular antibiotic treatment and therefore does not clear. Your GP or local GUM clinic would be able to help work out what is happening.

You may need a repeat chlamydia test .

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Does Dormant Chlamydia Test Positive

Chlamydia trachomatis can be present and dormant in the body for several years. However, it takes 1-3 weeks to show up in the vulva.

There are different ways to test for Chlamydia. The waiting period for the results depends on the mode of the Chlamydia test.

Urine test

Your doctor would require you to pee in a cup that will be tested in a laboratory to see if Chlamydia bacteria are in your urine.

This test takes about 2-5 days to show a positive if you are infected with the disease.

Blood test

Your doctor will take out some of your blood to be sent into the lab for testing to see if antibodies to Chlamydia are in your bloodstream.

Blood test results can come back in a few minutes when the blood is analyzed.

Swab test

Your doctor will use a stick or cotton round to acquire a small sample of suspected fluid that has the infection.

This sample is then cultured to see what bacteria grow from it. It can take up to 2-3 days to show results.

Doctors can use a stick or cotton round for a swab

Can A Std Go Away In The Absence Of Symptoms

In the absence of symptoms, it may be tempting to ignore an STD in the hopes that it will go away on its own, resolving to take care of it if the symptoms get worse. With some STDs, though, there isnt a progression of symptoms the disease could go from symptomless to life-threatening with nothing in between.

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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:

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.

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When Should I Get Chlamydia Testing

As most people infected with chlamydia do not experience symptoms, doctors rely on screening to detect most cases of chlamydia. Screening guidelines vary based on many factors, including a persons anatomy, health, and sexual practices. Regular screening for chlamydia is recommended for several groups:

Certain factors increase the risk of contracting chlamydia and may affect how often a person should be screened. Risk factors include having:

  • Sex with a new partner
  • More than one sexual partner or a partner who has sex with mutiple people
  • A sex partner diagnosed with an STD

Testing for chlamydia is more frequently conducted in asymptomatic people in settings where infection rates are high, which often includes correctional facilities, adolescent health clinics, the military, and sexual health clinics.

Diagnostic chlamydia testing is recommended for anyone with signs or symptoms of this infection. When symptoms do occur, they may not appear until a few weeks after exposure. Signs and symptoms of chlamydia can vary based on the site of infection but may include:

  • Burning during urination

A person can undergo testing for chlamydia at their:

  • local health department
  • local planned parenthood center

A person can also order a chlamydia test online, take it at home, and then send it off for testing.

If people are at high risk of chlamydia, they may need screening for all types of chlamydia every 36 months.

At risk groups include people who have:

Can Chlamydia Be Dormant And Undetected Std Testing

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 Chlamydia does not lie dormant. Either you have it, and are contagious, or you do not. Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that he was reinfected more recently, and if you are having unprotected sex with him, then most likely you are infected now as well

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