What Do Std Discharges Look Like
Your discharge is an excellent indicator of your vaginal or penile health. If you notice any changes to your discharges normal consistency, smell, color, or overall appearance, this change may indicate an underlying health issue, such as an STD.
If youre wondering, What does STD discharge look like? read on to learn everything you need to know about vaginal or penile STI discharge.
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
Does Azithromycin Work For Chlamydia
Azithromycin works to treat genital chlamydia in both men and women by stopping the bacteria from multiplying.
Studiessuggest that a one-gram dosage has 97% efficacy.
That means that for every 100 people who take azithromycin to treat chlamydia, 97 will be cured and three will not be cured.
In order to effectively treat chlamydial infections, azithromycin should be taken as prescribed and until the dosage is completed.
Ending the medication early increases the chance that the bacteria will not be completely killed off.
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:
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Natural Treatments For Chlamydia
According to an article in Alternative Medicine Review, the plant alkaloid berberine found in goldenseal demonstrates significant antimicrobial activity against viruses and bacteria, including chlamydia. Also, in a small clinical study, chlamydia of the eye resulted in no relapses, even one year after treatment with eye drops made from berberine. While the results of this trial are positive, it shows promise that goldenseal may be an effective treatment for chlamydia.
Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic used as an immune system stimulant. Researchers believe it limits clinical symptoms during an infection. When fighting an infection such as chlamydia, goldenseal pills or extracts can help. Four to 6 grams per day in tablet or capsule form is the typical recommendation, or 2 milliliters of an extract, 35 times per day. Do not use goldenseal for more than three consecutive weeks.
Widely used by generations as a remedy for snake bites, sore throats, colds, coughs, pain, and intestinal upset, Echinacea has also been found to be highly effective against STDs, including gonorrhea and chlamydia. To stimulate the immune system, the United States Department of Agricultures Natural Resources Conservation Service states that recent research recommends doses of 10 mg per kilogram of body weight over 10 days.
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What Happens If I Get Chlamydia When Im 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 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.
What Are Common Side Effects Of Chlamydia Medication
Since antibiotics are the exclusive treatment for chlamydia, side effects tend to be pretty similar for those that experience them. However, this is not a full list and you should discuss any possible side effects with your healthcare professional.
Some of the most common side effects of chlamydia medication include:
- Stomach upset
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How Does Chlamydia Treatment Work
Chlamydia treatment works by stopping the bacteria that causes chlamydia from producing an important protein which it needs to multiply. This stops the bacteria from growing and replicating, so your symptoms should improve as your body is cleared of chlamydia.
The first line treatment for chlamydia in the UK is doxycycline. The usual dose is one tablet to be taken twice daily for 7 days. You can swallow doxycycline tablets whole with water and take them with or without food. You should sit up for about 30 minutes after each dose to prevent symptoms of throat irritation or stomach upset.
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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Parents Have A Role In Chlamydia Prevention
Parents can do two main things to help their kids avoid getting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections , says Dombrowski. These two things are:
Is Azithromycin Better Than Doxycycline At Curing Chlamydia
STD guidelines still favor azithromycin over doxycycline for the treatment of chlamydia. This is because of the following reasons:
- Cure rates of azithromycin and doxycycline are similar, 97% and 98-100% respectively, according to a meta-analysis of 12 trials.
- Azithromycin is given as a single dose, doxycycline needs to be given for seven days, either as a once-daily or twice-daily dose.
- The dose of azithromycin can be easily supervised if need be it is much harder to supervise seven days of once daily or twice daily doxycycline treatment
- People are more likely to take a single dose of azithromycin than finish a seven-day course of doxycycline.
Recently, some reports have suggested that doxycycline may be more effective than azithromycin, particularly when medication adherence can be assured. There is also some concern that azithromycin may not be as effective for anogenital chlamydial infections.
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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 Is Chlamydia Like
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection . Most people who have confirmed cases of chlamydia are recorded to have no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, it occurs in the form of a pus-like yellow discharge, frequent or painful urination. Additionally, some women experience spotting between periods or after sex. Also, rectal pain irritation, bleeding or discharge can occur. Some patients may experience lower abdominal pain, swollen or tender testicles. If left untreated, chlamydia may lead to infertility or irreversible reproductive issues.
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Who Can Be Screened For Chlamydia
In England there is a National Chlamydia Screening Programme. This offers chlamydial screening for sexually active women and men aged under 25 years. In this age group, screening is undertaken yearly or each time these women and men have a new sexual partner. The aims of this programme are to detect chlamydia early so it can be treated promptly. This should reduce the risk of transmission and also reduce the risk of developing complications. You can find information about screening at your GP surgery or local pharmacy. It is also available through family planning clinics, genitourinary medicine clinics or online.
In countries where there is not a screening programme, testing is still offered regularly to sexually active young people. You can request testing regularly if you are in this category. You can do this through your GP or by attending a GUM clinic. It may be available in other ways depending on the area in which you live.
Certain other groups of people are also recommended to undergo screening for chlamydia. For example:
- If you have a partner with chlamydia.
- If you have another STI.
- If you are a semen or egg donor.
- If you are having an abortion .
- If you have had two or more sexual partners in the past year.
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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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What Do I Need To Do
- In NSW, PDPT is being offered at some Publicly Funded Sexual Health Clinics and some Family Planning Clinics call 1800 451 624 to find out where in NSW. If you live outside of NSW check with your doctor as its not available everywhere in Australia
- Make sure you read or print off these fact sheets for you and your partner/s. This one is for you and this one is for your partners
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What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV-negative.
Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual activity for 7 days after single dose antibiotics or until completion of a 7-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners. It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure chlamydia. Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. If a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a womans risk of serious reproductive health complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. Women and men with chlamydia should be retested about three months after treatment of an initial infection, regardless of whether they believe that their sex partners were successfully treated.
Infants infected with chlamydia may develop ophthalmia neonatorum and/or pneumonia. Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
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Testing And Treating Sexual Partners
If you test positive for chlamydia, itâs important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners youâve had are also tested and treated.
A specialist sexual health adviser can help you contact your recent sexual partners, or the clinic can contact them for you if you prefer.
Either you or someone from the clinic can speak to them, or the clinic can send them a note to let them know they may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection .
The note will suggest that they go for a check-up. It will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024
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Summary Of The Evidence
There is no evidence relating to patient values and preferences but the Guideline Development Group agreed that there is probably no variability in the values people place on the outcomes. Research related to other conditions indicates that adherence may be improved with simpler medication regimens. The GDG therefore agreed that azithromycin may be more acceptable to patients since it is a single dose regimen . There is little to no evidence for equity issues and feasibility. Resistance in other infections that often co-occur with chlamydia may restrict the use of some medicines, such as ofloxacin. For many of these medicines, costs may differ between countries in places with high incidence of chlamydia, the cost differences between azithromycin and doxycycline may be large due to greater numbers of people requiring treatment.
In summary, there was moderate quality evidence for trivial differences in benefits and harms between azithromycin and doxycycline, and although the cost of azithromycin is higher, the single dose may make it more convenient to use than doxycycline. While the differences are also trivial with the other medicines, the evidence is low quality and these are therefore provided as alternatives, with the exception of delayed-release doxycycline, which is currently expensive.
See for list of references of reviewed evidence, and for details of the evidence reviewed, including evidence profiles and evidence-to-decision frameworks .
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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.
In people assigned male at birth, untreated chlamydia can cause epididymitis, an infection in the prostate gland, and male chlamydial urethritis.
Drug Resistance And Biopharmaceuticals
Natural biological materials and phytochemicals offer a wide range of compounds, such as flavonoids, coumarins, tannins, terpenoids, alkaloids, lipids, and peptides, many of which have been shown in vitro to exhibit antimicrobial as well as specific antichlamydial activity, and may prove to be sources of novel antichlamydial substances . However, even as researchers move forward with the identification and isolation of novel single compounds from natural materials, acquired drug resistance may still develop. To progress, it is likely that even with new natural compounds it will be necessary to employ an MDT approach. It is also important to consider that traditional formulations are natural examples of MDT, and the modern concept of MDT may help to explain how some traditional herbal formulations may be successful in treating various bacterial infections. Drug synergies may occur through the use of several compounds which exhibit inhibitory effects through various mechanisms of actions , and this may also lead to a reduction in the rate of acquired drug resistance. However, it seems that the microbial battle which has been playing out in nature throughout the evolutionary process will continue, and it is unclear whether it will ever be possible to identify a permanent single compound solution to the treatment of specific bacterial infections.
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