When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
When it comes to chlamydia, its a good idea to be proactive. Speak with your healthcare provider about your risks of infection. Make a plan to get screened regularly for STIs based on your providers recommendations for how often you should be tested. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if your partner tests positive for chlamydia or if you notice any signs or symptoms that you may be infected.
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Chlamydia often has no symptoms unless left untreated for a long time, and the same also holds true for many other sexually-transmitted diseases. This is why anyone who is sexually active benefits from regular STD testing even if youre monogamous, theres a chance your partner may not be. It is, however, especially good to get tested:
- If you have just started a new relationship
- You and your partner would like to ditch the condoms
- You have symptoms that may indicate an STD, such as pelvic pain, abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina, pain during urination, warts, or genital lesions
- You have just found out your partner has had sex with someone else or multiple other people
- You have sex with multiple partners of unknown STD status, even if you use condoms
If, after an STD test, you are positive for Chlamydia, you will be treated with antibiotics.
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.
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How Quickly Do Symptoms Show
In many cases, chlamydia symptoms do not show up at all, making it possible for the infection to lie dormant in the body and cause long-term side effects when not treated.
If someone with chlamydia does experience symptoms, the time it takes for them to show up may vary.
For most people, though, it takes about 7-21 days after having unprotected sex with an infected partner. However, it can take longer.
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.
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Can Chlamydia Kill You
As already mentioned before, this infection won`t cause any issues if treated right away. However, if it`s left untreated, it may lead to severe problems, especially when talking about women:
- It the infection spreads, it may cause PID. This severe medical condition might make it difficult or even impossible for a woman to conceive.
- Expecting mothers who experience this infection frequently pass it to their own future babies during delivery. If the condition gets in the eyes of the child, it may lead to blindness. Babies can have other issues, such as pneumonia, which can become deadly in a infant.
- Having this particular infection makes anyone a lot more likely in getting HIV from other persons who are infected with HIV. This virus causes AIDS.
What Other Problems Can Chlamydia Cause
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Men often don’t have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis . This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a “reaction” to an infection in the body.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.
Taking The Incorrect Medication
Keep in mind that your treatment can fail if you’re taking the wrong medication. One reason this may happen is called syndromatic treatment. This is sometimes done in STD clinics when there is concern over the cost of tests or that a person might not come back for the results.
It means that you’re being treated for general symptoms without getting a diagnosis and treatment for a specific STD. This may create a problem because not all STDs are caused by the same infection.
Treating your STD with a medication you’ve used in the past or one prescribed for your partner or a friend is also problematic: It could be an ineffective drug for your current condition.
Not all STDs are caused by the same pathogens . Different illnesses require different treatments.
It’s important for your healthcare provider to correctly identify what’s causing your infection. This way, you’ll be sure to get the appropriate treatment instead of just taking an antibiotic and hoping it works.
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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Treatment For Chlamydia Is Quick And Easy
Two antibiotics are most often used for treating chlamydia:
- Azithromycin The main treatment for chlamydia is one gram of azithromycin, taken one time, says , deputy director of clinical services for public health with the Seattle and King County HIV and STD Program in Washington. That one gram comes as either two pills or four pills. It is not expensive.
- Doxycycline If your doctor prescribes doxycycline, you will take two pills daily for one week. It costs somewhat more than azithromycin.
Antibiotics can also cure chlamydia in infants, who can get the infection from their mothers, and treatment is essential for them. Without treatment, infants infected with chlamydia can develop conjunctivitis, which can cause blindness, or pneumonia, which can be fatal.
Does Azithromycin Also Cure Chlamydia
Azithromycin was the first choice antibiotic to treat chlamydia until February 2019 when BASHH guidance was issued recommending a 7-day course of doxycycline as the first choice treatment based on recent data. Azithromycin is now recommended only for pregnant women and those with an allergy to doxycycline.
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Why Do You Have To Wait 3 Months To Retest For Chlamydia
In fact, women who become reinfected with chlamydia have an even higher risk for PID and ectopic pregnancy than those with a first infection. Due to these risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that any person who tests positive for chlamydia be retested three months after treatment.
How Is Chlamydia Treated
The following are the recommended treatment regimens for chlamydia according to the Guidelines for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, released in 2015, but still considered current. Only one regimen should be chosen.
- Azithromycin 1 gram orally as a single dose
- Ofloxacin 300 mg orally twice a day for 7 days.
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Who Does Chlamydia Affect
Anyone whos sexually active can get chlamydia. The bacteria that causes chlamydia gets transmitted through vaginal fluid and semen, which means that people of all genders who have sex can become infected with chlamydia and infect their partners, too. If youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass it on to your newborn.
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Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by a bacteria, Chlaymdia trachomatis. This bacteria is known to damage the uterus and fallopian tubes in a womanâs reproductive system. Chlaymydia that is undiagnosed and treated can result in infertility. The damage caused by chlamydia is not reversible.
Chlamydia is spread through all forms of sexual contact: vaginal, anal and oral. Young women are particularly at risk for contracting chlamydia because the cervix and uterus are not fully matured and are more prone to infection.
Chlamydia is often confused with gonorrhea. Any person who has had unprotected sex, should see a physician to rule out STDs. The physician can diagnose chlamydia, start your treatment and let you know how long chlaymdia will last after treatment. Remember that a lack of symptoms is not a reliable indicator that you are disease free. so it is important to see a doctor after any episode of unprotected sex with a new partner.
Untreated chlamydia can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, liver disease, chronic pain in the pelvis area, and infertility in women, and Reiter syndrome in men.
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Making The Diagnosis For Chlamydia
Once you go to visit the doctor, he will use cotton swab to collect Chlamydia bacteria samples from different parts of your body like urethra, rectum or cervix. The diagnosis may also demand 1st urine sample from first urination of the day.
All the samples are processed in a lab setup and careful reports are compiled. Here is one important thing to know that in case if you find your reports Chlamydia positive then never forget to let your partner know about this disease and get them tested too. There are more chances that the bacteria might have taken its path to your partners body via last intercourse.
How Can I Prevent Getting Chlamydia
Anyone who is sexually active can catch chlamydia. Youre most at risk if you have a new sexual partner or dont use a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom, when having sex. You can help to prevent the spread of chlamydia by:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex
- using a condom to cover the penis during oral sex
- using a dam to cover the female genitals during oral sex or when rubbing female genitals together
- not sharing sex toys. If you do share sex toys, wash them or cover them with a new condom between each person who uses them.
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What Are Typical Symptoms Of Chlamydia
These are genitourinary symptoms. Men can experience pain, discomfort, or swelling of the testicles, a burning sensation when passing urine, or a genitourinary discharge. Half of infected men have no symptoms. Symptoms for women are a vaginal discharge, bleeding after sexual intercourse, or between periods, a burning sensation when passing urine, and pelvis or lower abdominal pain. Three quarters of infected women have no symptoms.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Azithromycin For Chlamydia
Yes, you may drink a small amount of alcohol while you are taking azithromycin but there is a chance large amounts of alcohol may increase the gastrointestinal side effects of azithromycin, such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, or flatulence. Too much alcohol with azithromycin may also give you a headache.
Because azithromycin is usually taken as a one-off dose, drinking alcohol is unlikely to stop azithromycin from curing chlamydia.
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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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Sex Partners Need Treatment Too
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, you will need to tell all of your sexual partners, because they will need the same treatment you are receiving.
In most states, a doctor or other healthcare provider can give you the medicine that your partner or partners will need to take. Then you can deliver it to those partners. This practice is called expedited partner therapy or patient delivered partner therapy.
These options can help a lot if your partner doesnt have a healthcare provider or feels embarrassed about seeking care, says Dr. Dombrowski.
Its natural to feel nervous or upset about having to tell your partner or partners about having an STD. Your healthcare provider can help with this problem. They may even rehearse the conversation with you, says Dombrowksi.
Learning about chlamydia and seeking advice from a healthcare provider about how to discuss it with your partner can help you handle the conversation with less anxiety and more confidence.
Remember, chlamydia is not just common: It is the most common infection reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . You are being helpful, mature, and responsible by telling your partners.
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How Long Does It Take To Show Up On A Test
There are several tests that you doctor might use to diagnose chlamydia:
- Urine test. Youll pee in a cup thats sent off to a laboratory testing facility to see if any chlamydia bacteria are present in your urine.
- Blood test. Your doctor will use a sterile needle to draw some of your blood and send it to a lab to see if antibodies to the chlamydia bacteria are present in your bloodstream.
- Swab. Your doctor will use a cotton round or stick to take a small sample of tissue or fluid that carries the infection, which is then sent to a lab to be cultured so that lab technicians can see what bacteria grows from the sample.
How long it takes for the results to show up depends on the test and on your specific health insurance plan.
- Urine tests take about 2 to 5 days to show a positive or negative result.
- Blood tests can come back with results in a few minutes if the blood is analyzed on site. But they can take a week or more if sent to an off-site lab.
- Swab results take about 2 to 3 days to show a positive or negative.
1 to 3 weeks to show up in people with vulvas.
Symptoms may take up a few months to show up. This is because bacteria are living creatures and have an incubation period that affects how long it takes them to cluster together and become infectious.
This incubation period is dependent on a variety of factors, including:
How Do I Talk To My Partners
Preventing chlamydia begins with knowing more about your sexual partners and establishing safe sex practices.
You can get chlamydia by engaging in a variety of sexual behaviors with someone who has chlamydia. This includes contact with the genitals or other affected areas as well as penetrative sex.
Before having sex, talk to your partners about:
- whether theyve been tested recently for STDs
- their sexual history
- their other risk factors
Talking to your partner about STDs can be difficult. There are ways to ensure you can have an open and honest conversation about the issue before engaging in sex.
Mens symptoms can include:
- changes in the testicles, such as pain or swelling
You may also experience chlamydia away from the genitals.
Symptoms in your rectum can include pain, bleeding, and unusual discharge. You may even get chlamydia in your throat, causing redness or soreness or no symptoms at all. Conjunctivitis may be the sign of chlamydia in your eye.
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