How Long Can You Be Infected With Chlamydia Without Knowing
Chlamydia can remain in a persons body for many years without showing obvious symptoms. In some cases, these symptoms show within 2-14 days of exposure to the bacteria.
Notwithstanding, most people can have chlamydia for many years without even knowing it this is especially true for men.
If you are young and sexually active, its recommended that you get screened regularly to avoid the risks that come with leaving chlamydia untreated. If an infected person conducts a test, even when the infection shows no symptoms, they will test positive for chlamydia.
It is possible to have symptoms of chlamydial infection after treatment still
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 Is It Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and your sexual history. You may also have a physical exam to look for signs of infection.
Chlamydia can cause serious problems but may not cause symptoms. That’s why it’s a good idea to get tested once a year if you are at higher risk for getting chlamydia. Talk to your doctor about what testing is right for you.
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Why Can’t I Repeat The Chlamydia Test After I’ve Taken My Treatment To Check It Worked
You can, but it takes up to 6 weeks for the test to go back to negative after an infection. If you re-test too early a positive result can be a sign of continuing or re-infection, but it’s most likely to be positive from the initial infection, so it’s not at all helpful.
If you are under 25 years of age, it is recommended to have a repeat test 3 months after treatment as a significant number of young people get repeat infections which are linked to an increased risk of complications.
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.
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How Long Does It Take To Show Up In People With Penises
Theres no significant difference in the amount of time it takes for chlamydia symptoms to show up for people with penises as compared to people with vulvas.
The only major difference in the time it takes for symptoms to show up among people of various sexes may be related to how often symptoms show up.
According to the Childrens National Health System, 90 percent of people with vulvas dont ever experience any physical symptoms, while 70 percent of people with penises never notice any symptoms.
This difference in who actually experiences symptoms between these two groups may have some effect on how long it takes for symptoms show up. But theres never been any definitive link between your sex and when your symptoms appear.
Know The Incubation Period For Chlamydia
At this point, two things are clear. First, there are different common symptoms of chlamydia for men and women. Second, many people do not experience any symptoms at all. Thats a troubling prospect. While regular testing is always the smartest course of action, it is sometimes helpful to know a bit more about a potential infection first.
This brings us to our main discussion point: the incubation period for chlamydia. But first, what is an incubation period? The incubation period is the time between when a person is first exposed to an infection to the time that person shows the first signs of symptoms. Just as important, you probably want to know how soon you can test for an infection and know for sure its an accurate result. This means you will want to know the window period. After an individual is exposed to an STD and becomes infected, there is a period of time before a test will show a positive result is called the window period. Lets tackle these questions together.
In short, the incubation period for chlamydia is poorly defined and most experts would say it is often seven to 14 days or longer. The window period however, we break down in more detail below.
To be more specific, here are the main points to remember:
Please note: Re-testing is especially important if you have multiple sex partners and had unprotected sex.
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How To Help Partners Get Treatment
If you are not sure whether your sexual partner will seek treatment, ask your doctor for extra chlamydia medication . You can give it to them so they can be treated as soon as possible.
This is known as patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia. Talk to your doctor to see if PDPT is right for you and your sexual partner.
Seven Chlamydia In Home Test Options
Think seven at-home chlamydia test options is too much? We certainly dont think so! After all, chlamydia is the second most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. At myLAB Box, we recognize that everyone is different and all consumers have special interests and needs. Truthfully, thats why myLAB Box offers a variety of testing options.
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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.
Essential Facts About Chlamydia
Chlamydia often causes no symptoms in the short term, but it can have serious health consequences if it goes untreated.
David M Phillips/Getty Images
If youre sexually active, you should know about chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted bacterial infection. These 10 facts will bring you up to speed on whos at risk, why regular screening is so important, and how to avoid getting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections .
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Home Remedies For Chlamydia Symptoms
You may still experience painful or uncomfortable symptoms while youre taking chlamydia antibiotics.
Here are some home remedies for reducing your pain and other symptoms while youre waiting for the antibiotics to work:
- pain medications, such as ibuprofen to reduce pain
- cold pack to help limit swelling and inflammation
- goldenseal to reduce inflammation and potentially make symptoms less severe
- echinacea to bolster your immune system against the infection and reduce your symptoms
- turmeric containing an ingredient called curcumin to reduce inflammation and make symptoms less severe
No studies support the effectiveness of these supplements specifically for chlamydia, so take them with caution.
And theres no substitute for antibiotics when treating chlamydia. Only try these remedies if youre already taking antibiotics or if you plan to go to the doctor.
Why Is It Important To Get Tested For Stds
Most importantly, get tested to protect yourself, your partner, and to stay informed. Getting a diagnosis can alert you to an infection you may not know you had , or that may have long-term effects like infertility. It can also allow you to start treatment if you do have an infection, and create peace of mind when you think you may have been at risk.
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How Is Chlamydia Treated
Chlamydia can be cleared up with antibiotics in about a week or two. But dont stop taking your medication just because your symptoms improve. Ask your provider about what follow-up is needed to be sure your infection is gone after youve finished taking your medicine.
Part of your treatment should also include avoiding sexual activities that could cause you to get re-infected and ensuring that any sexual partners who may be infected also get treatment. You should:
- Abstain from sex until your infection has cleared up. Starting treatment doesnt mean that youre in the clear. Take all your medication as your provider directs, and avoid all sexual contact in the meantime.
- Contact all sexual partners. Tell any sexual partners from the last 3 months that youre infected so that they can get tested, too.
- Get tested for other STIs . Its common to have multiple STIs, and its important to receive treatment thats tailored to each infection.
Antibiotics can get rid of your infection, but they cant reverse any harm the bacteria may have caused to your body before treatment. This is why its so important to get screened regularly for chlamydia, to see your provider at the first sign of symptoms, and get treatment immediately if youre infected.
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 Can Be Prevented
The most effective way to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection is to not have sex. However, if you wish to have sexual contact, you can reduce your risk of infection with these actions:
- Minimizing the number of partners with whom you have intimate contact
- Asking your partners to get screened for STDs before engaging in sexual activity
- Always using latex condoms when having intercourse of any kind
Additional reporting by Ingrid Strauch.
Having Multiple Sexual Partners After Treatment
After treatment, did you engage in unprotected intercourse with multiple sexual partners?
If you did, its likely your new symptoms are due to chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and trichomonas infection.
After chlamydia treatment, boosting your sexual health and minimizing the number of persons you have unprotected intercourse with, is vital to prevent reinfection.
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How Do I Take Doxycycline
Take two doses a day for one week. Gullet irritation is a risk with doxycycline. To avoid this swallow the capsules whole, taking them with water. This ensures they go straight into the stomach without sticking in the gullet. Taking them whilst upright, sitting or standing, will also help. For this reason don’t take doxycycline just before bed.
There is evidence that unlike some other tetracycline antibiotics, doxycycline absorption is not significantly slowed when taken with a meal. If nausea and tummy upset is a problem when taken on an empty stomach, the advice is to take with food.
Chlamydia Is Common But Many People Dont Realize They Have It
About 1.7 million chlamydia infections were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017, but the real number is likely higher because chlamydia is considered an underreported infection.
The number of reported cases is substantially lower than the true estimated incidence, says Bradley Stoner, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and former president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.
The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System relies on state and local public health departments to collect and report data on chlamydia to the CDC. Those public health departments depend on individual physicians, hospitals, and laboratories to report cases of chlamydia to them. Accurate statistics require all parties to routinely comply with disease-reporting mandates.
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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.
Can Chlamydia Lie Dormant And Not Show Up On A Test
A significant number of men do not typically show symptoms for STDs such as chlamydia although they are very capable of spreading the disease. Even though they are generally asymptomatic or dormant, they will still test positive for the STD. Most STDs that are in a dormant stage can be detected with a test.
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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
How Is Chlamydia Transmitted
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. ItÃ¢s also considered a sexually transmitted infection , which means that it can spread between sex partners through any kind of sexual contact. This contact is not limited to vaginal intercourse you can also contract oral chlamydia through oral sex, although it is a less common cause of Chlamydia trachomatis infections. Because sexual contact increases your risk, itÃ¢s a good idea to know if you have an STD before you have intercourse with a new partner.
In short, there are many different ways you can contract or spread chlamydia. To protect your sexual health and the health of your sexual partner, get tested for chlamydia before beginning any new relationship.
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Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility
A lot of us don’t realize that some sexually transmitted diseases can cause no symptoms, meaning you could have an STD and not know it. And some STDs can silently lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or chronic pelvic pain.
Chlamydia is one of those diseases. CDC estimates that more than 2.8 million people are infected each year.
Many women, and some men, are infected with chlamydia but don’t know it. Even without symptoms, the disease can cause complications, particularly infertility. The longer the infection is untreated, the more damage that can be done.
If not treated, chlamydia can lead to damage to the reproductive system. In women, chlamydial infection can spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease , according to the CDC. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and uterus and cause chronic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have chlamydia also are at much greater risk for becoming infected with HIV. In men, complications from chlamydia are rare.
In pregnant women, chlamydia can cause premature delivery, the CDC says. A child born to an infected woman can develop an infection in their eyes and respiratory tracts.
Antibiotics Are A Highly Effective Cure For Chlamydia Infection
Antibiotics prescribed for chlamydia include:
A single oral dose of Zithromax is the most common treatment. Other drugs may be given in varying doses for a period of up to a week. Most cases of chlamydia clear up within a week after you start on antibiotics.
If you think you have been exposed to chlamydia, Stoner says, see your healthcare provider to receive antibiotic medication to prevent the onset of infection.
The partners of individuals diagnosed with chlamydia will need treatment, too, and in some states they can get it without a doctor visit through a practice called expedited partner therapy, in which the first person treated delivers the treatment to their partner or partners.
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How Is Chlamydia Prevented
You already know chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection. Therefore, the safest and easiest way to prevent chlamydia is sexual abstinence. Other ways chlamydia can be prevented in men and women are
- Use condoms for intercourse
- Get your male or female sexual partners tested for the infection
- Recheck for chlamydia infection after 5 weeks of treatment
- Avoid intercourse while on chlamydia treatment
- Use adult toys with condoms
Now its your turn. Do you have any chlamydia symptoms? Let us know if we can help.