What Are The Symptoms & Signs Of Chlamydia
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3 mins readAuthor: Timothy HuzarThat means you could have Chlamydia without even knowing it, 3.7% were found to have an extragenital infection.They dont present themselves as lesions on the skin,In men
What To Think About
Some people who have chlamydia may also have gonorrhea. In that case, treatment includes antibiotics that kill both chlamydia and gonorrhea. For more information, see the topic Gonorrhea.
Reinfection can occur. Symptoms that continue after treatment are probably caused by another chlamydia infection rather than treatment failure. To prevent reinfection, sex partners need to be evaluated and treated.
Repeated chlamydia infections increase the risk for pelvic inflammatory disease . Even one infection can lead to PID without proper treatment. Make sure to take your antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Take the full course of medicine, even if you feel better in a couple of days.
Some doctors recommend retesting 3 to 12 months after treatment to reduce the risk of complications from reinfection.footnote 4
If you have chlamydia, your doctor will send a report to the state health department. Your personal information is kept confidential. The health department may contact you about telling your sex partner or partners that they may need treatment.
How Long Does It Take To Show Std Symptoms
Some women show STD symptoms within days or weeks of infection, but others take longer or may never experience symptoms at all. Its common to show few or no symptoms, so a woman living with STDs may not know anything is wrong for a long time. The incubation period of STDs, which is the time between when you contract an infection and when symptoms first appear, varies depending on the type of infection.
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Treatment And Medication Options For Chlamydia
A course of antibiotics is the treatment for chlamydia. Your doctor will decide which drug to prescribe, and at what dose, according to your individual medical needs and other aspects of your situation.
Its important to abstain from having sex until seven days after the start of your antibiotic treatment, to prevent the transmission of chlamydia to a sexual partner. If you have a partner who is being treated for chlamydia, the same recommendation applies to them.
If you have symptoms that persist for more than a few days after you start your treatment, see your doctor again to be reevaluated.
Because the symptoms of chlamydia are similar to those of gonorrhea, you should be treated for both infections if you test positive for chlamydia. Thats because its often faster and cheaper to just treat both infections than to order another test for gonorrhea after a positive test result for chlamydia.
After completing your antibiotic treatment for chlamydia, youll need to get tested again after three to four months or earlier, if recommended to check for reinfection.
While antibiotics can cure chlamydia, they cant reverse any permanent damage caused by the infection.
How Is It Contracted
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
- 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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Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility
A lot of us dont 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.
Chlamydia is most common in sexually active young adults. More than half of all infections involve people ages 18 to 24. You can get chlamydia during oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with an infected partner. The disease can cause penile discharge in men and infertility in women. It can also cause serious health problems in newborn babies of infected mothers.
Many women, and some men, are infected with chlamydia but dont 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 symptoms do show up, they usually occur within weeks of exposure. Men and women may face painful urination, an abnormal discharge from the urethra, or both. Women also may have abdominal pain, bleeding, and an abnormal discharge from the vagina. Symptoms usually appear within one to three weeks after being infected and may be very mild.
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.
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Can Chlamydia Be Mistaken For Uti
The symptoms The main symptom that chlamydia does not share with UTIs is penile or vaginal discharge. A chlamydial infection can cause a yellowish, strong-smelling vaginal discharge or a watery, milky penile discharge. Urinary tract infections are not known to cause any sort of abnormal genital discharge.
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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.
Bumps And Genital Warts
The appearance of bumps on the lips, or labia, of your vagina can indicate a sexually transmitted infection. If you have contracted the herpes simplex virus and now have genital herpes, you may develop clusters of red bumps around your vagina. Without treatment, they can turn into blisters that can rupture or leak blood or fluid, which can make urination painful.
Another STD that causes new bumps to appear on your body is syphilis. One of the first symptoms of syphilis is a firm, round sore in your genital area. Called a chancre, it doesnât typically hurt, but it may appear to be open or wet.
If you notice this symptom, talk with your healthcare provider and consider getting tested immediately. Syphilis is highly contagious and, over time, can cause serious complications such as organ and brain damage if left untreated. You should never ignore these types of sores.
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Burning Sensation When Urinating
Chlamydia can cause a burning sensation when you urinate. Its easy to mistake this for a symptom of a urinary tract infection.
You might also feel like you have the urge to urinate more often than usual. And when you do go to urinate, only a little bit comes out. Your urine might also smell unusual or look cloudy.
If you have chalmydia, you might also feel some pain during sex, especially intercourse.
You may also some bleeding and lingering irritation after any type of sexual activity involving penetration.
What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated In Women
Untreated chlamydia in women leads to serious health problems. The bacteria can affect your reproductive organs, mouth, throat, and even your eyes.
Between 10% and 15% of chlamydia cases in women lead to PID. The chlamydia bacteria can spread to your reproductive organs and scar your fallopian tubes. This condition is called pelvic inflammatory disease. If untreated chlamydia in women leads to PID, you may feel severe pelvic pain.
Chlamydia bacteria in female reproductive organs can make it difficult to get pregnant. Long-term chlamydia infections may cause infertility by scarring your fallopian tubes. PID is a medical emergency. It requires prompt treatment from your doctor.
Chlamydia may infect your rectum during anal sex. Rectal infections may not cause symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, they may include:
- Pain around your anus
Chlamydia may leave you with open sores. Bacteria enter your bloodstream easier through open sores, increasing your risk for HIV.
Passing chlamydia to your baby
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How Does Chlamydia Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby
In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia has been associated with pre-term delivery, and can spread to the newborn, causing an eye infection or pneumonia. Screening and treatment of chlamydia during pregnancy is the best way to prevent these complications. All pregnant women should be screened for chlamydia at their first prenatal visit.
How is chlamydia diagnosed?
There are laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia. Specimens commonly used for testing include a cotton swab of the vagina or a urine sample.
How is chlamydia treated?
Penicillin is not effective against chlamydia.
Chlamydia can be easily treated and 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 having sex for seven days after single dose antibiotics, or until completion of a seven-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. Persons 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.
Can You Get Chlamydia If You Use A Condom
A condom lowers your chances of getting chlamydia if used correctly.
Correct use of a condom includes:
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Start The Conversation As Soon As Possible
Again, the best time to have a conversation about STIs is before you become intimate. This is especially true if either or both of you have had multiple partners in the past since STIs are most often spread through contact with bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, or vaginal fluids.
Other things you may want to discuss include:
- Both of your sexual histories, including what kind of protection youve used in the past when sexually active
- Individual risk factors, such as whether either of you has had sex without a condom or used drugs with needles
If you receive a positive test result for an STI, such as chlamydia or syphilis, and youre fairly certain you got it from your partner, then its important to talk with them about it as soon as possible. Dont wait or put it off the longer you wait, the harder it may be to tell them about it later.
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What Is The Prognosis For A Female With Chlamydia
As discussed previously, chlamydia infection can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease if untreated, which can have serious consequences. Complications include permanent damage to the reproductive organs, including infertility and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia infection in pregnancy can also lead to low birth weight and premature delivery as well as pneumonia and eye damage in the newborn.
Having an untreated chlamydia infection can also increase a person’s risk for acquiring HIV infection. It can also increase the risk that a person with HIV infection will transmit the infection to others during sexual intercourse.
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Symptoms Can Differ For Men And Women
By and large, most cases of chlamydia are asymptomatic they are picked up by screening, which is why its so important to have good screening programs in place, notes Dr. Stoner. Men or women who have chlamydia symptoms may experience painful urination.
Women may also have these symptoms:
- Smelly discharge from the cervix
- Pain during sex
And men may have these symptoms:
- Discharge from the penis
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Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
Anyone who has sex can get chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.
Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman younger than 25 years, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as pregnant women should also get tested for chlamydia.
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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 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.
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How Will I Know If I Have Chlamydia
You can only be certain you have chlamydia if you have a test.
Anyone can get chlamydia. Youre more likely to have it if youre under 25, have a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner in the last year, and if you havent used condoms.
You should have a test if:
- you, or a partner, have or think you might have symptoms
- youve recently had sex without a condom with a new partner
- you, or a partner, have had sex without a condom with other partners
- during a vaginal examination, your doctor or nurse says that the cervix is inflamed and/or theres an unusual discharge
- a sexual partner tells you they have a sexually transmitted infection
- you have another STI.
If you live in England, and youre a woman who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test when you change sexual partner and once a year.
If youre a man who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
You could still have chlamydia even if a partner has tested negative. The only way to make sure you dont have chlamydia is to get tested yourself.
If you have chlamydia, youll be encouraged to be tested for other STIs as you can have more than one STI at the same time.
Does a UTI feel like chlamydia?
What color is your pee with chlamydia?
What does chlamydia urine look like?
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