What Are Sexually Transmitted Infections Or Diseases
Sexually transmitted infections are also commonly called sexually transmitted diseases . They are the infections you get from another person through sexual contact. According to the CDC, there are more than 20 known types of STDs/STIs. In addition, over 20 million people in the United States are infected each year. About half of these people are age 15-24. Luckily, most STDs can be treated and cured.
How do you know if you have one? What is the best treatment? The information here should help answer these questions.
How do the male reproductive organs work?
The male reproductive system is specialized for the following functions:
- To produce, maintain and transport sperm and protective fluid
- To discharge sperm within the female reproductive tract
- To produce and secrete male sex hormones
The male reproductive anatomy includes external structures which include the:
The male reproductive anatomy includes internal structures which include the:
How do the female reproductive organs work?
During menopause the female reproductive system gradually stops making the female hormones necessary for the reproductive cycle to work. At this point, menstrual cycles can become irregular and eventually stop. One year after menstrual cycles stop, the woman is considered to be menopausal.
The female reproductive anatomy includes both external and internal structures.
The female reproductive anatomy includes internal structures which include the:
Often, there are no symptoms at all.
Are There Complications Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia can cause serious complications if it isnt treated promptly and properly.
For women, chlamydia can spread into the uterus and the fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease . This can cause problems with pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancy. Women with untreated chlamydia have up to a 1 in 12 chance of becoming infertile. In men, chlamydia can spread to the testicles and the tubes that carry sperm, causing pain and fertility problems.
Pregnant women who are infected with chlamydia have a higher chance of miscarriage or premature birth. Their babies may also get an eye or lung infection. You can read more about chlamydia and pregnancy here.
What Should I Do If Symptoms Of Chlamydia Appear
If you experience symptoms of Chlamydia after sexual activity, you should see your doctor or visit a sexual health clinic as soon as you can to get tested. For guys who have sex guys, you should get tested for HIV and STIs once every three months.
Not sure where to get tested? There are sexual health clinics across Sydney and regional NSW that all offer confidential STI testing and treatment. HIV and STI tests at clinics across the state are free, though if you get tested with a general practitioner this may vary depending on your access to Medicare, and whether or not your doctor offers a bulk billing service. You can find your closest sexual health testing site using our where to get tested tool.
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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 .
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.
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How To Prevent Rectal Chlamydia
The best method of preventing chlamydia is to wear condoms before every sexual intercourse. You should also reduce the number of sexual partners that you have. Go for regular tests if you know you have put yourself at risk or get a Chlamydia test kit kit. The test kit kit only works for genital infections, however. The proven and tested method of preventing Chlamydia is to play safe. Keep yourself protected at all times and know your sexual partners well enough.
How Is It Contracted
Chlamydia is transmitted primarily through sexual activity. The following are the most common ways:
- unprotected intercourse with an infected partner
- 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 Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
If youve had intercourse with an infected man or woman, chlamydia symptoms may appear between 1 3 weeks after contact.
However, you may still be asymptomatic after a chlamydia infection. This is because chlamydia can be silent or dormant for months and years without showing symptoms.
In men, about 50 70 percent will show symptoms of chlamydia while only 30 50 percent of women will be symptomatic. Absent symptoms of chlamydia do not mean absent infection. You should take chlamydia test to confirm if you have the infection or not.
Why Dont Doctors Use Azithromycin Anymore
Since 2018, the British Association announced that Azithromycin doesnt produce any effective results in managing or treating chlamydia. The bacteria have become more resistant to this medication, which is why this antibiotic no longer creates any effective results. Doxycycline, on the other hand, has all the potency needed for treating the infection and is now the go-to choice for many doctors.
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How Can You Tell If A Man Has Chlamydia
In 2017, more than 577,000 men had chlamydia, that is 33.9% more than all infected in 2013. From 2016 to 2017, the number of infected increased by 10.5% and is only expected to grow every year. Thats exactly what makes this STI infection one of the most common and prevalent infections on the globe.
But, there is one major problem, from 25% to 50% of men have no clue they are infected, so they will unknowingly transmit the infection to their sexual partner. The reason for that is relatively simple: this tiny bacteria we know as chlamydia may not show any recognizable symptoms. This makes it incredibly difficult for both men and women alike to figure out if they have an infection or not.
Here, we will shed some light on this infection and show you how to tell if a man has chlamydia. Lets take a look at all the warning signs of this infection.
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How Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia
Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:
- An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
- Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
- Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.
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Who To Test For Chlamydia
Anyone with the following genital symptoms should not have sex until they see a healthcare provider:
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Unusual sores, or a rash
Because chlamydia usually has no symptoms, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs can reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25. CDC also recommends screening for older women with risk factors, such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Screen and treat those who are pregnant as noted in How does chlamydia affect a pregnant person and their baby? Women who are sexually active should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not necessary for men. However, consider screening sexually active young men in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia. This can include adolescent clinics, correctional facilities, and STD clinics. Consider this when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.40
At the initial HIV care visit, providers should test all sexually active people for chlamydia. Test at least each year during HIV care. A patients healthcare provider might determine more frequent screening is necessary, based on the patients risk factors.42
Knowing Other Bodily Symptoms Of Chlamydia
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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.
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What Is It How Do I Get It How Common Is It
Several studies tell us MG is common, perhaps as common as chlamydia.
In research yet to be published, when we tested women who walked through the door of our sexual health service in Melbourne, 6% had MG, which was as common as chlamydia in women in the same study. Of women with MG, roughly the same number had symptoms compared to no symptoms. When we tested gay men without symptoms who attended our service, 10% had MG.
However, were not entirely sure how many people are infected with MG throughout Australia. Thats because Australia has yet to set up a formal surveillance network . MG is also not a notifiable disease yet. That means doctors or laboratories dont have to tell health authorities when they have a case.
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How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing Years Or Months
How long can you have chlamydia without knowing is a common question after an unprotected sexual contact.
What is chlamydia infection?
Chlamydia infection, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. In the united stated, more than 1.4 million new cases of chlamydia are detected yearly.
In women, chlamydia infection can ascend up the genital tracts resulting to pelvic inflammatory disease with symptoms like fever, abdomen pain and difficulty conceiving.
Chlamydia trachomatis infection is transmitted through
If youve had intercourse with these symptoms, then its likely you have chlamydia. You should inform your doctor ASAP or get a chlamydia test kit to detect chlamydia.
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Taking The Incorrect Medication
Keep in mind that your treatment can fail if youre taking the wrong medication. You might be prescribed the wrong drugs due to syndromatic treatment, an efficient, but sometimes inaccurate treatment method in which patients are prescribed STD treatment based on symptoms, rather than testing. This is sometimes done in STD clinics when there is a concern that the patient might not come back for their test results.
And you could be taking the wrong medication if youve acquired it on your own and chose the wrong onessuch as taking medication that was prescribed for a past STD you had, or for your partner, or for a friend.
Not all STDs are caused by the same pathogens . Different illnesses require different treatments.
Thats why its so important for your healthcare provider to correctly identify whats causing your infection. Thats also why you cant just take any random antibiotic and hope its going to work.
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What Is Contact Tracing
Your doctor will explain who needs to be contacted if you have a chlamydia infection and can also help you with contact tracing. It is important to let your recent sexual partners know if you have chlamydia so that they can also get tested and treated. Contact tracing can be done confidentially. There are websites that let you send a free anonymous text message or email â just ask your doctor or nurse about it.
How Will I Get My Results
Your doctor will call you with the results of your test. Be sure you give your doctor your preferred phone number where you can have privacy, such as a mobile phone number. If you dont want them to leave you a voicemail, be sure you tell them before you leave your appointment.
A urine test is much faster to analyze. Your doctor should be able to tell you the results on the same day as your appointment. The downside is that urine tests may not be as accurate as traditional swab testing.
However, urine testing may be more suitable for people assigned male at birth. Its also used for more advanced signs of chlamydia, as your body will have a greater number of bacteria to detect at this stage.
What Are Chlamydia Symptoms In Men
There will often be no symptoms of chlamydia in men, with only around half of those infected noticing any signs. If there are symptoms, these will usually develop around one to three weeks following infection. Common signs of the STD include:
- Pain or a burning sensation whilst urinating
- Urethritis, which is characterised by pain or itching within the urethra
- Testicular pain or soreness
These initial symptoms may disappear after a couple of weeks, which often leads people to forget they may be infected. Even when symptoms disappear chlamydia will remain in your body and can be passed on during unprotected sex until you receive effective treatment.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Chlamydia
If you think you have chlamydia, you need to see your doctor immediately and have a chlamydia test. You may have another STD with similar symptoms, and your doctor needs to know the exact STI you have so that you can get the best treatment.
Chlamydia tests involve collecting a urine sample or swabbing the affected area. Your doctor will send the specimen to a lab for testing to see if you have chlamydia or another type of STI.
If your test is positive for chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic immediately.
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What Happens If A Man Doesnt Treat His Chlamydia
If chlamydia is left untreated, it can become a more severe infection. Its also possible for it to have long term effects, including on fertility.
Chlamydia can affect the whole of the male reproductive system, causing inflammation in the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles, as well as the testicles themselves and the prostate gland. If this inflammation isnt treated, it may lead to scarring, which can have an effect on fertility.
There have also been some studies that suggest the infection itself can affect sperm being produced properly, but the evidence around this isnt conclusive at the moment.
Chlamydia can also cause a condition called reactive arthritis. This is when there is inflammation that affects the eyes, joints, and the urethra . The knees, feet, toes, hips, and ankles are also commonly affected. Its unclear exactly why this happens, but it may be related to the body overreacting to the infection. The symptoms can take months to recover, and you should treat this with anti-inflammatory medicines.
Treating chlamydia is also very important because it can easily be passed on to other partners, even if you dont have symptoms.