How Chlamydias Passed On
Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
You can get the infection if you come into contact with the semen or vaginal fluids of someone who has chlamydia.
Chlamydia is most commonly spread through:
- vaginal or anal sex without a condom
- sharing sex toys that arent washed or covered with a new condom each time theyre used.
It can be spread by giving or receiving oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. The risk can be lowered by using a condom or a dam to cover the genitals.
If infected semen or vaginal fluid comes into contact with the eye it can cause conjunctivitis (infection or irritation of the eye.
If youre pregnant its possible to pass chlamydia to the baby .
Its not clear if chlamydia can be spread by transferring infected semen or vaginal fluid to another persons genitals on the fingers or through rubbing vulvas together.
You cant get chlamydia from kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or from sharing cups, plates or cutlery.
Do I Need To Have A Test To Check That The Chlamydia Has Gone
If you take the treatment according to the instructions, you wont usually need a test to check the chlamydia has gone.
If youre aged under 25, you should be offered a repeat test 3 months after finishing the treatment. This is because youre at a higher risk of getting chlamydia again.
Whatever your age, you may need a repeat test or more treatment if:
- you think youve come into contact with chlamydia again
- you had sex without a condom with a partner before the treatment for both of you was finished
- you didnt complete the treatment or didnt take it according to the instructions
- the signs and symptoms dont go away
- your test was negative but you develop signs or symptoms of chlamydia
- youre pregnant.
A repeat test can be done 56 weeks after the first test.
If the chlamydia was in your rectum , you may need another test around 3 weeks after finishing the treatment. Your doctor, nurse or clinic will let you know if you need another test.
You can go back to the doctor, nurse or clinic if you have any questions or need advice on how to protect yourself from infection in the future.
How Did I Get Chlamydia If I Didnt Cheat
You can get chlamydia if your partner had vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who was infected and then had sex with you. People in relationships may have different ideas about what kinds of sexual contact counts as cheating, and this miscommunication can lead to infections. Communicate honestly with your partner about what sex youre having and what sex theyre having. Practice safer sex to reduce your risk of catching chlamydia, and get regularly screened to be sure.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It can be embarrassing to talk about anything sex-related with your healthcare provider, including STI prevention. But your sex life is an important part of your health that your provider needs to know about to care for you. Not getting the treatment you need for chlamydia can pose serious risks to your health. Speak with your provider about getting regularly screened for chlamydia and other STIs to reduce your risks of complications. Practice safer sex to prevent the spread of chlamydia.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Isn`t Treated
Not all people with Chlamydia will experience any complications. If the infection gets treatment early, it won`t probably cause any long-term damages. Still, with no treatment Chlamydia will spread to other body parts. The more times you get infected with it, the more like it is for you to experience complications.
- In men this condition may lead to an infection of the testicles and maybe even infertility.
- In women this infection may lead to inflammation and pain around the liver. With proper treatment, this usually gets better in time.
- In women this medical condition may spread to other important body organs leading to PID. In turn, this may lead to long-term damages, such as ectopic pregnancy, pelvic pain, infertility and blocked fallopian tubes.
- In both man and women More rarely, this infection may lead to joint inflammation. This is also known as SARA and it`s on occasion accompanied by eye and urethral inflammation. It occurs more rarely in women than men.
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Who To Test For Chlamydia
Anyone with the following genital symptoms should not have sex until they see a healthcare provider:
- A discharge
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Unusual sores, or a rash
Anyone having oral, anal, or vaginal sex with a partner recently diagnosed with an STD should see a healthcare provider.
Because chlamydia usually has no symptoms, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs can reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25. CDC also recommends screening for older women with risk factors, such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Screen and treat those who are pregnant as noted in How does chlamydia affect a pregnant person and their baby? Women who are sexually active should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not necessary for men. However, consider screening sexually active young men in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia. This can include adolescent clinics, correctional facilities, and STD clinics. Consider this when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.40
How Can You Be Sure Youre Experiencing A New Bout
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics, usually azithromycin or doxycycline.
In order to make sure chlamydia is cured, you need to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. You need to take every single dose dont stop taking the antibiotics until there are none left.
If youve taken all your antibiotics but you still have symptoms, contact your doctor or another healthcare professional.
According to the Center for Disease Control , youll need a follow-up test three months after treatment to ensure that the infection is cured.
There are a few reasons why you might contract chlamydia a second time:
- The initial infection wasnt cured because the course of antibiotics wasnt completed as directed.
- A sexual partner transmitted chlamydia to you.
- You used a sex toy that was contaminated with chlamydia.
A 2014 study suggests that chlamydia can live in the gastrointestinal tract and reinfect the genitals, causing chlamydia symptoms to reappear after the genital infection went away.
However, this study only looked at animal models of chlamydia. Research on human participants is needed.
The symptoms of chlamydia typically disappear once you finish your antibiotics. This can vary in time, as some chlamydia antibiotic courses are one dose taken on one day, while others last longer.
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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.
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Where To Get Tested
A person can undergo testing for chlamydia at their:
- doctors office
- 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:
- multiple or unknown sexual partners
- sex in combination with illegal drug use
- sexual partners who use illegal drugs or have multiple partners
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Outcomes And Populations Used For Analyses
The primary outcome was treatment failure at the first follow-up, which was defined as a positive test for chlamydia and concordant C. trachomatis strains at baseline and follow-up if genotyping was unsuccessful , participants could not have had unsupervised furloughs and could not have had sex between enrollment and the follow-up. Participants with discordant strains were presumed to have new infections and were not considered to have treatment failure. The secondary outcomes included treatment efficacy based on the results of tests from both follow-up visits, as well as safety.
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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.
Why Is It Important To Treat Chlamydia
If left untreated chlamydia is unlikely to go away. It can be passed onto sexual partners and can cause serious harm. Women can get cervicitis or pelvic inflammatory disease. This can result in permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, which may lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia also can cause a reactive arthritis. Men can suffer with urethritis , this can spread to the contents of the scrotal sac epididymis and testicles. This causes pain, and in severe cases infertility. Men can also get a reactive arthritis.
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How Do You Know If Chlamydia Is Gone After Treatment
Your chlamydia symptoms should improve within a week of completing your course of antibiotics.
You do not need an immediate follow-up test to check if your chlamydia treatment has worked, as dead chlamydia bacteria may be detected 3 to 5 weeks after treatment, which would give a false positive result. But, if you have a rectal infection, you should have a test after treatment is completed.
If you are under 25 and have tested positive for chlamydia, it is recommended you take a repeat test 3 months after completing your treatment, to check you have not caught chlamydia again.
How Accurate Are The Tests
The accuracy of a chlamydia test depends on the kind of test used and the type of sample thats collected. The recommended tests are over 95% accurate in picking up chlamydia. As no test is 100% accurate theres a small chance that the test will give a negative result when you do have chlamydia. This is known as a false negative result. This can sometimes explain why you might get a different result from another test or why you and a partner might get a different test result.
Its possible for the test to be positive if you havent got chlamydia, but this is rare.
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How Long Does It Take To Show Up In The Throat
Symptoms of chlamydia in your throat are typically caused by having oral sex with someone whos contracted the infection.
Its much less common to notice throat symptoms, but they may still appear after a week or so, up to a few months or longer.
STI tests that look for chlamydia arent always done on the throat since its an area that does not carry the infection often. Ask your doctor for a throat swab or other chlamydia test if you think youve been exposed through oral sex.
Here are the most common symptoms of chlamydia in both people with penises and people with vulvas.
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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What’s The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. If you take the treatment according to instructions, its over 95% effective at treating chlamydia.
- Youll be given a course of antibiotics for 3 or 7 days or sometimes up to two weeks.
- If theres a high chance you have chlamydia, treatment may be started before the results of the test are back. Youll always be given treatment if a sexual partner is found to have chlamydia.
- You may also need other treatment if complications have occurred.
- Tell the doctor or nurse if youre pregnant, or think you might be, or youre breastfeeding. This may affect the type of antibiotic youre given.
- Complementary therapies cant cure chlamydia.
Chlamydia Treatment Failure And Predictors
No treatment failures occurred in the doxycycline group . In the azithromycin group, seven participants tested positive for chlamydia at the first follow-up however, two of the males were infected with strains that were discordant with the infecting strains at baseline and were not considered to have treatment failure. Therefore, there were five treatment failures among participants who received azithromycin : four in male participants and one in a female participant all the participants with treatment failure were asymptomatic. The difference in failure rate between the treatments was 3.2 percentage points . Because the upper boundary of the 90% confidence interval exceeded 5 percentage points, the null hypothesis was not rejected, and thus the noninferiority of azithromycin to doxycycline was not established. With only five treatment failures, analyses of participant characteristics associated with treatment failure were limited, and no significant associations were identified.
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I Was Treated For Chlamydia 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 of the doses before having sex.
What Happens If Chlamydia Is Left Untreated
If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to more serious health problems.
In people assigned female at birth, untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease , a condition which can scar the fallopian tubes and lead to infertility.
Chlamydia can also be passed on to babies during birth if the parent has the infection while pregnant.
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Why Is This Test Done
These tests may be done to:
- Find out if symptoms are caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia.
- Check people who are at high risk of being infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia.
- Retest people several months after they have been treated for gonorrhea or chlamydia.
- Check for infection in your newborn if you had a gonorrhea or chlamydia infection at the time of delivery.
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How To Get An Std Test
Getting tested for STDs is a simple process. Almost all mid-sized and large cities offer options for free or low-cost STD testing, with convenient online testing options also available for many common sexually transmitted diseases.
You can get tested by:
Talking to your healthcare provider. Your primary care provider will be able to provide testing for most STDs. Many health insurance policies either provide free STD testing or offer tests at a significantly reduced price.
Visiting your local urgent care center. Many urgent care centers offer testing for most STDs. You can search for free, fast and confidential testing locations in your area using the CDCs GetTested tool.
Visiting your local pharmacy. Many pharmacies can schedule testing for some STDs, or provide an at-home test that you can return to the pharmacy or mail directly to the lab for analysis.
Contacting Planned Parenthood. Many Planned Parenthood centers offer STD testing and treatment.
Using an at-home/online test. Several companies provide at-home STD tests that you can order online. Some tests provide instant results, while others may need to be mailed to a lab for analysis.
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