Exactly How Is Chlamydia Spread How Soon Can Chlamydia Be Detected
You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, rectal, or foreplay with somebody that has chlamydia.
If your sex companion is male you can still get chlamydia even if he does not climax.
If youve had chlamydia and also were treated in the past, you can still obtain infected once again. This can happen if you have unprotected sex with a person that has chlamydia.
If you are expectant, you can give chlamydia to your child throughout childbirth.
Where Can I Get A Test
There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
A chlamydia test can be done at:
- a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
- your general practice
- contraception and young peoples clinics
- some pharmacies.
Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.
In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.
The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .
If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.
In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk
Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.
What Happens If Chlamydia Isn’t Treated
Only some people who have chlamydia will have complications. If chlamydia is treated early, its unlikely to cause any long-term problems. But, without proper treatment, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. The more times you have chlamydia the more likely you are to get complications.
- If you have a vulva, chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease . This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy .
- In people with a vulva, chlamydia can also cause pain and inflammation around the liver, though this is rare. This usually gets better with the correct antibiotic treatment.
- If you have a penis, chlamydia can lead to infection in the testicles. If this isnt treated, theres a possibility it could affect your fertility but more research is needed to understand how likely this is.
- Rarely, chlamydia can lead to inflammation of the joints. This is known as Sexually Acquired Reactive Arthritis and is sometimes accompanied by inflammation of the urethra and the eye. This is more likely to occur in people with a penis than people with a vulva.
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Testing And Treating Sexual Partners
If you test positive for chlamydia, it’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you’ve 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
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.
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How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is spread when a person has unprotected sex with an infected person.
Because chlamydial infection often has no symptoms, many people do not realise they have the infection.
Even if you know a person well, you may not be able to tell they have an STI, because people can look healthy and still have chlamydia.
Remember, you can get chlamydia and other STIs from a new sexual partner who has in the past had sex with someone who is infected.
It can also be spread from a long-term partner who has had sex with other people.
How Do I Test For Chlamydia
You can get tested for chlamydia even if you dont have any symptoms.
Getting tested for chlamydia is easy and doesnt hurt. A healthcare professional will ask for a urine sample and/or take a swab from the area that might be infected. This is usually the lower part of the womb or the vagina for women, and the tip of the penis for men. If youve had anal or oral sex, you may have a swab taken from your anus or throat.
In some countries you can get a self-testing kit to do at home.
If you test positive for chlamydia, its important to tell any recent sexual partner/s so they can also get tested, and treated if necessary. If you need advice about how to do this, speak to your healthcare professional. You should also test for other STIs.
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Chlamydia Symptoms In Women:
In certain situations, chlamydia can be even more serious for women. Symptoms are often mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. However, health complications for women who have untreated chlamydia can be quite serious, including infertility.
Here are the most common symptoms:
- A burning sensation while urinating
- An abnormal vaginal discharge that may have an odor
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Itching or burning around the vagina
How Urgent Is A Post
Post-exposure treatment for chlamydia should be done as soon as possible after diagnosis or exposure. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know that you may have had exposure to chlamydia or if you want to get tested for STIs.
While there is no specific deadline to get treated, the longer chlamydia remains in your body, the greater you risk complications, including long-term, serious damage. Though these complications may not be common, it’s important to get tested and treated as soon as possible.
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How Long Does Treatment Take
Treatment time for chlamydia can vary from one to seven days. Azithromycin requires only one dose for one day, while you must take other antibiotics multiple times a day for seven days.
To cure a chlamydia infection, take the antibiotics exactly as prescribed by your doctor and for the full length of the prescription, being sure to take every dose. There should be no medication left at the end of the treatment period. You cannot save medication in case you acquire chlamydia again.
Contact your doctor if you still have symptoms but have taken all your antibiotics. You will need a follow-up test with your doctor three months after treatment to make sure the chlamydia is completely cured.
Condom Use During The Treatment Period
- Avoid having sex without a condom during treatment because the infection can still be transmitted. Use condoms for 7 days after the start of treatment and until 7 days after all current sexual contacts have been treated.
- If you are on a combined oral contraceptive pill, use a condom for 14 days when having sex, as antibiotics can affect the reliability of the contraceptive pill.
After completing the treatment, phone your doctor or return to the clinic for a follow-up after 3 months to check you have not been re-infected.
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How Chlamydia’s 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 About Rectal And Oral Swabs
While neither rectal nor oral swabs are currently approved for the detection of chlamydia, research suggests that doing these extragenital tests is important.
For example, a 2017 study found that among men who have sex with men , 13% had a rectal chlamydia infection but only 3.4% had a positive urethral swab. In women in an urban setting in the United States, 3.7% were found to have an extragenital infection. Those under the age of 18 had the highest incidence of extragenital infection.
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Chlamydia Symptoms In Guy
Several males do not discover the signs and symptoms of chlamydia. The majority of guys have no signs and symptoms whatsoever.
If symptoms do show up, its typically 1 to 3 weeks after transmission.
A few of the most usual symptoms of chlamydia in guys consist of:
- shedding sensation during peeing
- yellow or green discharge from the penis
- discomfort in the lower abdomen
- discomfort in the testicles
Its additionally possible to get a chlamydia infection in the rectum. In this case, the main signs are typically discharge, pain, as well as bleeding from this area.
Having oral sex with a person who has the infection increases the threat of getting chlamydia in the throat. Symptoms can consist of a sore throat, cough, or fever. Its additionally possible to bring microorganisms in the throat as well as not know it. How Long After Chlamydia Treatment Can You Have Intercourse
What If Chlamydia Doesnt Go Away After Treatment
But if its left untreated, it can cause a few complications. For example, if you have a vulva, you could develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a painful infection that could damage your uterus, cervix, and ovaries. Untreated chlamydia can also lead to scarred fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility.
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Sexually Transmitted Diseases: An Update On Retesting Guidelines And Reinfection Prevention Strategies
Approximately 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases occur in the United States each year.1 To help healthcare providers treat these infections and prevent new infections, the CDC has issued Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015, an update of its 2010 report.2 These updated guidelines include nine new topics, one of which entails retesting to detect repeat infectionthe topic of this article.
At least 1 in 10 females becomes reinfected after treatment for chlamydia or gonorrhea and up to 1 in 6 becomes reinfected after treatment for trichomoniasis.3,4 Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can increase a womans risk for developing pelvic inflammatory disease , infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. In fact, women with chlamydia or gonorrhea reinfection may have an even higher risk for PID and ectopic pregnancy than those with a first infection.3 Untreated trichomoniasis can increase the risk for premature delivery.5
Retesting several months after diagnosis and treatment of chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis can detect repeat infection early on, and can be used to improve population-based prevention efforts.6, 7 The CDC recommends that any female or male who tests positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea and any female who tests positive for trichomoniasis be retested 3 months after treatment.
Is retesting enough? How can HCPs treat their patients, and their patients partners, to reduce the risk for reinfection?
What Dosage Treats Chlamydia
For people with uncomplicated genital chlamydia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a single dose of azithromycin taken orally to cure the infection.
Azithromycin comes in three forms:
- Regular-release powder
For both powder formulas, either you or a pharmacist mix it with liquid to take.
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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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Why It Is Done
A test for chlamydia is done to:
- See if your symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection are caused by a chlamydia infection.
- Check people who are at high risk for being infected with chlamydia. A chlamydia infection doesnât always cause symptoms.
- Retest people several months after they have been treated for chlamydia.
- Check for infection in your newborn if you had a chlamydia infection at the time of delivery.
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How Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
The most reliable ways to avoid infection with chlamydia or any sexually transmitted disease are to abstain from oral, vaginal, and anal sex or to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. People who are sexually active should correctly and consistently use condoms to reduce the risk of infection with chlamydia and other STDs.
What Are The Treatments For Chlamydia
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe oral antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or taking doxycycline twice daily for 7 to 14 days are the most common treatments and are the same for those with or without HIV.
With treatment, the infection should clear up in about a week. Do not have sex for at least 7 days until you have taken all of your medication, and do not stop taking the antibiotics even if you feel better.
Your doctor will also recommend that your partner be treated as well to prevent reinfection and further spread of the disease.
Women with serious infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, may require a longer course of antibiotics or hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics. Some severe pelvic infections may require surgery in addition to antibiotic therapy.
Make sure you get retested after three months to be certain the infection is gone. Do this even if your partner has been treated and appears to be infection free.
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The Costs Of Infertility
Treating chlamydia is easy, but for those who do not get treated or get treated too late, living with the damage caused by the infection can be hard.
Rabin has treated many women who never knew they had had chlamydia until they couldnt get pregnant due to blocked fallopian tubes. These women often wind up trying in vitro fertilization , which does not always succeed.
There are all kinds of costs involved for these women, say Rabin. There are emotional costs and physical costs. There are also financial costs with IVF. Its much better to not let the tubes get damaged, she says, and get pregnant the old-fashioned way.
Urogenital Infection In Women
In women, chlamydial infection of the lower genital tract occurs in the endocervix. It can cause an odorless, mucoid vaginal discharge, typically with no external pruritus, although many women have minimal or no symptoms.2 An ascending infection can result in pelvic inflammatory disease .
Physical findings of urogenital chlamydial infection in women include cervicitis with a yellow or cloudy mucoid discharge from the os. The cervix tends to bleed easily when rubbed with a polyester swab or scraped with a spatula. Chlamydial infection cannot be distinguished from other urogenital infections by symptoms alone. Clinical microscopy and the amine test can be used to help differentiate chlamydial infection from other lower genital tract infections such as urinary tract infection, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis.3 In addition, chlamydial infection in the lower genital tract does not cause vaginitis thus, if vaginal findings are present, they usually indicate a different diagnosis or a coinfection.
Some women with C. trachomatis infection develop urethritis symptoms may consist of dysuria without frequency or urgency. A urethral discharge can be elicited by compressing the urethra during the pelvic examination. Urinalysis usually will show more than five white blood cells per high-powered field, but urethral cultures generally are negative.
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