You Can Catch Chlamydia If Youve Only Had Sex Once
You may have heard that its not possible to get chlamydia from a single sex act. If youve had sex with someone who has the infection, you could get it, too. One encounter is all it takes to pass on the bacteria, so get tested.
In up to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia, the infection spreads to the uterus and uterine tubes, leading to symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease.
If youve had unprotected sex and are worried that you might have chlamydia, get tested. The test is easy and painless. Your doctor could take a sample of your cells with a cotton swab or ask you to pee in a cup. The sample is tested for chlamydia bacteria. If your doctor says you have chlamydia, dont worry. Its treatable.
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.
Chlamydia In The Rectum Throat Or Eyes
Chlamydia can also infect:
- the rectum if you have unprotected anal sex this can cause discomfort and discharge from your rectum
- the throat if you have unprotected oral sex this is uncommon and usually causes no symptoms
- the eyes if they come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid this can cause eye redness, pain and discharge
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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.
How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be passed on through genital contact. This means you can get chlamydia from someone who has the infection if your genitals touch, even if you dont have sex or ejaculate .
You can also get chlamydia if you come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid, or get them in your eye.
Chlamydia cant be passed on through kissing, hugging, sharing towels or using the same toilet as someone with the infection.
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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.
How Soon Can You Be Tested
Every STD has its own incubation period. For some STDs, the body begins to produce antibodies and symptoms in as little as a few days. For others, it can take weeks or months for symptoms to appear. Here are the ranges of incubation periods for some of the most common STDs.
While retesting is recommended for bacterial STDs, some STDs are lifelong viral infections. In the case of a lifelong viral infection, a blood test will always detect the STD, even after treatment has been successful. Therefore, retesting would only be necessary if you wanted to reconfirm an original diagnosis.
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How Do You Know When Chlamydia Is Gone
Improvement should occur right after receiving treatment. Some of the changes that you might notice include:
- Pain while urinating will improve within a week.
- Discharge will return to normal.
- There wont be bleeding between periods or heavier periods.
- Pelvic pain will fade away.
- Pain during sexual intercourse will decrease.
To prevent yourself from catching it again, get re-tested three months after treatment. This is essential if you engage in sexual intercourse with a partner who hasnt been tested for chlamydia.
Who Is At Risk For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. It is a very common STD, especially among young people.3 It is estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 years has chlamydia.5
Sexually active young people are at high risk of acquiring chlamydia for a combination of behavioral, biological, and cultural reasons. Some young people dont use condoms consistently.15 Some adolescents may move from one monogamous relationship to the next more rapidly than the likely infectivity period of chlamydia, thus increasing risk of transmission.16 Teenage girls and young women may have cervical ectopy .17 Cervical ectopy may increase susceptibility to chlamydial infection. The higher prevalence of chlamydia among young people also may reflect multiple barriers to accessing STD prevention services, such as lack of transportation, cost, and perceived stigma.16-20
Men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydial infection since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex. Among MSM screened for rectal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 3.0% to 10.5%.6.7 Among MSM screened for pharyngeal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 0.5% to 2.3%.7.8
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What Does Chlamydia Do To Your Body
Although chlamydia doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can be serious if you dont get treatment early on.
The bacteria can spread to your fallopian tubes and uterus. If this happens, it might cause pelvic inflammatory disease which results in abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if PID does not cause abdominal and pelvic pain, it can still do permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to an inability to get pregnant, long-term pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy.
Does My Partner Need To Be Treated
Yes. Also, any other sexual partners within the previous six months should also be tested for infection.
If your sexual partner is infected and not treated then chlamydia can be passed back to you again after you are treated.
There may be certain occasions when you may not want to contact partners from previous relationships. In these cases staff at the clinic can contact previous partners for you without disclosing your details. This is because it is important that anyone who is at risk of infection with chlamydia be both identified and treated.
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Who Should Be Tested For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Anyone with genital symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination, unusual sores, or rash should refrain from having sex until they are able to see a health care provider about their symptoms.
Also, anyone with an oral, anal, or vaginal sex partner who has been recently diagnosed with an STD should see a health care provider for evaluation.
Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs have been demonstrated to reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Rectal chlamydia testing can be considered for females based on sexual behaviors and exposure. 40 Pregnant women under 25 or older pregnant women at increased risk for chlamydia should be screened during their first prenatal visit and again during their third trimester.40 Women diagnosed with chlamydial infection should be retested approximately 3 months after treatment.40 Any woman who is sexually active should discuss her risk factors with a health care provider who can then determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
The Incubation Period Of Common Stds
After unprotected sex or when you discover a strange symptom in your pubic area, you may wonder about your risks of getting a sexually transmitted disease . Below, you will find a few guidelines for how long it usually takes for STD symptoms to show up after exposure.
This is the STD incubation periodthe length of time between infection and when symptoms appear. Knowing them will help you determine if you have an STD and take appropriate action.
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Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
The only sure way to prevent chlamydia is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading chlamydia. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Stds With Few Or No Symptoms
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that symptoms aren’t always a good measure of determining whether you or your partner has an STD. Many sexually transmitted diseases can remain asymptomatic for years. In other words, there are no noticeable signs of infection.
Furthermore, it is possible for someone to have no STD symptoms at all and still be contagiousthis includes STDs from gonorrhea and chlamydia to herpes and HIV. That’s why there’s no substitute for regular screening.
A lack of symptoms is no guarantee that you don’t have an STD. You may be infected and able to transmit the disease to any partners.
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Letting Partners Know You Have Chlamydia
Sexual partners may be infected too. If you have chlamydia, anyone you have had sex with from the last 6 months needs to be informed, tested and treated.
If they dont know, they could reinfect you or infect someone else if they are not treated. dont receive treatment.
Most people will appreciate being told they may have an infection and it is an important step in preventing further infection in the community.
Your local GP and sexual health centre can help you inform your partners and let them know that they need a test. This process is called partner notification. It can be done anonymously, and your confidentiality is always respected.
You can also anonymously notify your sexual partners of the need to get tested and treated for chlamydia via the Let Them Know website if you feel unable to speak to them personally.
There are also nurses who can help you anonymously notify your partners. They can be contacted on .
Youre Not Immune To Chlamydia Once Youve Had It
Once youve had some diseases, you cant catch them again. Unfortunately, this isnt true for chlamydia. Repeat chlamydia infections are common.
If youve had chlamydia in the past, you have no immunity against the infection. If youre sexually active with somebody who has the infection, you could catch it again. Since reinfection is common, you should get tested for chlamydia about three months after being treated for the infection.
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What Does A Chlamydia Infection Look Like
Although few, some of the visible signs of chlamydia in females include:
- Cervical inflammation and bleeding: the infection can cause inflammation at the cervix and make the outer portion of the cervix look red, a condition called cervicitis. This would only be visible if a health care provider examines you.
- Discharge: some of the signs you have chlamydia also includes a change in vaginal discharge. Youll notice more discharge than usual, and it may be yellowish or even bloodstained, that may have an odor.
- Swelling during a pelvic exam: sometimes, during your pelvic exam, your doctor might discover tenderness within the pelvis, especially on touching the cervix. They may also detect swelling of the tubes and ovaries.
What Is The Incubation Period For Chlamydia
Unfortunately, the majority of men and women with chlamydia do not have symptoms. Therefore, they do not know they have the disease. The incubation period for chlamydia is quite variable and may range from days to months after the initial exposure. The average time from exposure to the development of symptoms is usually about one to three weeks after sexual contact with an infected person.
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Chlamydia Can Return Even After Antibiotic Treatment Because It Survives In The Stomach
Chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted infection and often a symptom-less one, can usually be treated with antibiotics effectively. But new research shows that oftentimes chlamydia can return with a vengeance, even after treatment.
Research out of the Arkansas Childrens Research Institute has found that if chlamydia survives in the persons stomach, even after it has been cleared away from the genitals by antibiotics, it can re-infect the person.
It is possible that women, cured of genital infection by antibiotics, remain infected in the gastrointestinal tract and can become re-infected by auto-inoculation from that site, Roger Rank, the lead author of the study, wrote.
Though their study was completed in mice, the scientists believe it can be related to humans as well. People who have undergone treatment for chlamydia may still be able to infect others, or re-infect themselves, through oral or anal sex.
In a small percentage of recurrent infections, Rank said, infection cannot be attributed to reinfection from a partner or treatment failure so it would appear that in these cases, the organism has remained persistent in the individual. Based on the studies in animals and the experimental mouse model studies and evidence for gastrointestinal infection in humans, we propose that chlamydiae shed in the GI tract may infect the genital tract via auto-inoculation.
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 cure 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.49 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.50,51 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.40
Infants infected with chlamydia may develop ophthalmia neonatorum and/or pneumonia.10 Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
Chlamydia In The Throat: Causes Symptoms And More
Medically reviewed by Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD on January 31, 2020. Written by Karen Eisenbraun. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Can you get chlamydia in the throat? The answer to that question is âyesâ: although chlamydiaâone of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United Statesâoften affects parts of the body like the genitals or rectum, it can also infect oneâs throat .
Read on for key information about the chlamydia bacterium in the throatâincluding causes, possible symptoms, and more.
If you think you may have contracted chlamydia from unprotected sex with an infected partner, consider taking our at-home Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test. Our testing kit is discreet and easy to use, making it a convenient way to check for these STDs from the privacy of home.
How Do You Catch Chlamydia
You can get chlamydia through:
- Unprotected oral sex and sex without a condom. You dont even have to experience penetration to get it as you can transmit the bacteria by only touching genitals together.
- Anal sex can also result in a chlamydia infection.
- Sharing sex toys.
- Infected mothers who have the infection might transfer it to their newborn baby during birth. For this reason, all expecting mothers should double-check for chlamydia with their OB-GYN.
- You can get a chlamydia infection in the eye if infected semen or vaginal fluid gets into your eyes.
You cant catch chlamydia through kissing, hugging, sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats, or cutlery.
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