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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Many people with chlamydia have no symptoms at all, and their infection is only picked up with a screening test.
Guidelines currently recommend that all women under the age of 25 get screened for chlamydia every year. Older women at increased risk for an infection, such as those with a new sex partner, more than one sex partner, a sex partner with concurrent partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection, should also be screen regularly.
Although routine screening for chlamydia in young men is not currently recommended, it should be considered in populations with a high prevalence of chlamydia or those at high risk for chlamydia .
Some people may have symptoms.
Women may notice an unusual vaginal discharge or problems when urinating , such as pain or burning, an increased need to urinate pain during sex bleeding between periods or after sex lower abdominal , or pelvic pain or cramps or.
Men may notice a discharge from their penis, pain or discomfort while urinating , or pain or swelling in their testicles.
What Does A Chlamydia Test Involve
- If you have a vulva, you may be asked to take a swab around the inside of your vagina yourself.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab during an internal examination of your vagina and cervix .
- You may be asked to provide a urine sample. Before having this test, youre advised not to pass urine for 12 hours.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab from the entrance of the urethra .
- If youve had anal or oral sex, a doctor or nurse may swab your rectum or throat . These swabs arent done routinely on everyone.
- If you have symptoms of conjunctivitis swabs will be used to collect a sample of discharge from your eye.
A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud but is smaller and rounded. It sometimes has a small plastic loop on the end rather than a cotton tip. Its wiped over the parts of the body that could be infected. This only takes a few seconds and isnt painful, though it may be uncomfortable for a moment.
Cervical screening and routine blood tests dont detect chlamydia.
If youre not sure whether youve been tested for chlamydia, just ask.
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Urogenital Infection In Men
In men, chlamydial infection of the lower genital tract causes urethritis and, on occasion, epididymitis. Urethritis is secondary to C. trachomatis infection in approximately 15 to 55 percent of men, although the prevalence is lower among older men.2 Symptoms, if present, include a mild to moderate, clear to white urethral discharge. This is best observed in the morning, before the patient voids. To observe the discharge, the penis may need to be milked by applying pressure from the base of the penis to the glans.
The diagnosis of nongonococcal urethritis can be confirmed by the presence of a mucopurulent discharge from the penis, a Gram stain of the discharge with more than five white blood cells per oil-immersion field, and no intracellular gram-negative diplococci.2 A positive result on a leukocyte esterase test of first-void urine or a microscopic examination of first-void urine showing 10 or more white blood cells per high-powered field also confirms the diagnosis of urethritis.
For diagnosis of C. trachomatis infection in men with suspected urethritis, the nucleic acid amplification technique to detect chlamydial and gonococcal infections is best .4 Empiric treatment should be considered for patients who are at high risk of being lost to follow-up.
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 Long Does It Take For Chlamydia To Go Away After Treatment
Chlamydia infection usually clears after one week of completing your antibiotic treatment. During treatment, you should avoid drinking alcohol as this can reduce how effective the antibiotic is.
You should also avoid having sex during treatment as you could still pass on the infection to your partner. It is common for partners to pass chlamydia between one another if they continue to have sex without completing their treatment, causing repeated infections.
How To Prevent Chlamydia
Below are some ways to prevent chlamydia
- Use condoms every time you have sex
- Discuss testing for sexually transmitted infections with your doctor or nurse
- Ask if you are due for your annual chlamydia screening
- See your doctor or nurse if you have any symptoms of chlamydia or another infection
- Do not have sex if you or your sexual partner has abnormal discharge, burning with urination, or a genital rash or sore
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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.
What Is The Best Over
Over the counter medications cannot be used to treat chlamydia. Effective treatment for chlamydia relies on antibiotics, which are only available with a prescription.
Over-use of antibiotics in a population can lead to bacteria, including Chlamydia trachomatis, becoming resistant to the medication. In an attempt to limit the development of this problem, antibiotics are generally only available with a doctor’s prescription.
If they were available over the counter, they would likely be used much more frequently, including in cases where a person did not in fact have an infection that could be treated with an antibiotic — leading to the development of resistant strains. In fact, even with antibiotics only available of prescription, experts believe that doctors currently prescribe antibiotics far too readily, contributing to the problem of resistance. The only antibiotics available without prescription are topical .
Treatment for chlamydia is quite simple but you will need to see a healthcare professional to obtain it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a range of antibiotics — in most cases, either azithromycin or doxycycline .
You also need to see a healthcare professional to have your condition accurately diagnosed — the symptoms of several other sexually transmitted infections are quite similar to those of chlamydia.
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How Is It Contracted
Chlamydia is transmitted primarily through sexual activity. The following are the most common ways:
- unprotected intercourse with an infected partner
- oral sex, although a less common cause of infection as bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis targets the genital area rather than the throat. Although it is possible theoretically, the cases of infestation from mouth-to-penis and penis-to-mouth contact are rare
- vagina, cervix, anus, penis or mouth contacting infected secretions or fluids which means that contraction can occur even if the penis or tongue does not enter the vagina or anus
- bacteria can travel from the vaginal area to the anus or rectum of women while wiping with toilet paper
- sharing sex toys
- from mother to the newborn during vaginal childbirth through the infected birth channel
- infection can be transferred on fingers from the genitals to other parts of the body
Chlamydia is not contracted through simple kissing, handshaking, any casual contacts, sharing baths, towels and cups as well as from toilet seats.
Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular human pathogen, is one of four bacterial species in the genus Chlamydia. 3D illustration
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How To Cope With Side Effects
What to do about:
- headaches make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, are safe to take with doxycycline.
- feeling or being sick stick to simple meals and do not eat rich or spicy food. It might help to take your doxycycline after a meal or snack but avoid dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt. Dairy products can stop your body absorbing your medicine properly. If you are being sick, drink plenty of fluids, such as water or squash, to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having strong-smelling pee. Do not take any medicines to treat vomiting without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
- sensitivity to sunlight when you go outside, wear sunglasses and clothes that cover you up. Put sunscreen or sunblock on your skin â with a sun protection factor of at least 15 . Also use a sunscreen product for your lips. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds. If you get sunburn, there are things you can do to treat your symptoms.
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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.
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How Soon Can I Have Sex Again
Dont have oral, vaginal or anal sex, or use sex toys, until you and your partner have both finished the treatment and any symptoms have gone. This is to help prevent you being re-infected or passing the infection on to someone else.
If youre given antibiotic treatment called azithromycin, youll still need to avoid sex for seven days after starting the treatment as thats how long it takes to work.
How Long Does Azithromycin Take To Cure Chlamydia
It usually takes approximately 7 days for azithromycin to cure chlamydia. However, it can take up to 2 weeks for the infection to go away completely.
Avoid having sex during treatment or until the infection has cleared. Youll want to make sure its completely cured, or else youll risk passing it to someone else.
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Why Cant I Get Azithromycin For Chlamydia Anymore
Azithromycin used to be one of the recommended treatments for chlamydia but this has now changed. In September 2018 the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV released guidelines explaining that Azithromycin is no longer recommended for treating chlamydia because of increasing bacterial resistance to it. Now the only recommended first-line treatment for chlamydia is doxycycline.
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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.
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.
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 Can I Know If I Have Chlamydia
If you think you have chlamydia, or any STI, contact your healthcare provider. He or she will examine you and perform tests, if necessary, to determine if you have an STI.
To check for chlamydia, a woman is given a pelvic exam. A sample of fluid is taken from the vagina. In men, a sample of fluid may be taken from the penis. The fluid is sent to a laboratory for testing. The cultures can also be taken from a urine test. Your provider will discuss which way is the best way to check for an infection in your particular situation.
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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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.