Nonantibiotic Treatment For Chlamydia Shows Promise
In an effort to get ahead of growing antibiotic resistance, researchers test gene therapy for the common STD.
Chlamydia, an extremely common sexually transmitted infection affecting an estimated 131 million people worldwide, is currently easily treated by antibiotics in most cases.
But according to the World Health Organization, growing antibiotic resistance is making the treatment of a number of bacterial sexually transmitted diseases more challenging.
The problem is most pronounced for gonorrhea, strains of which do not respond to any available antibiotics. But antibiotic resistance also exists for chlamydia and syphilis, making prevention and prompt treatment of these diseases critical.
But what if there were a therapy for STDs that didnt involve antibiotics?
Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario are working on developing just that.
As described in the February 4 issue of the journal Scientific Reports, the research team has developed a gene therapy for preventing and treating chlamydia. The hope is that once this therapy is perfected, it can be adapted for use in treating other sexually transmitted bacterial infections such as gonorrhea and syphilis.
What Are Chlamydia Symptoms
Chlamydia in women and people with female reproductive organs is often asymptomatic. This means that people often do not experience any discomfort or notice any changes while infected.
Without any symptoms, people may be infected and not know it. Some people may have very mild or vague symptoms after they are infected, which can be confused with a urinary tract infection or vaginal infection .
Changes In The Vaginal Discharge
Women may face discharge when affected with Chlamydia and it happens due to the presence of infection at the uterine cervix. You will find this discharge either yellow or milky white in color. It also leads to burning sensation at the time of urination.
Some studies show that Chlamydia infection can also cause troubles to urethra while leading to urinary tract infection that causes pain at the time of urination. A person may also feel frequent urges for urination. When this chlamydia in women symptoms are ignored too long then the infection may get spread towards fallopian tubes via the cervix.
In this case, following additional symptoms are observed:
- Bleeding or pain while having sex.
- Spotting in between periods.
- Some kind of heaviness can be felt by the person around hips.
- It may also lead to lower back pain or abdominal pain.
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What Happens If You Dont Seek Treatment
If you take your antibiotics as directed, chlamydia is likely to go away. 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.
If youre pregnant, untreated chlamydia can be transmitted to the baby during vaginal delivery. Chlamydia can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns.
Untreated chlamydia can lead to epididymitis, which is when the epididymis becomes inflamed, causing pain.
Chlamydia can also spread to the prostate gland, which can lead to painful sex, lower back pain, and a fever.
Fortunately, treatment for chlamydia is relatively straightforward. And if its treated quickly, youre unlikely to experience any long-term complications.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover
Both UTIs and yeast infections should clear up after taking medications within days or a few weeks. You must make sure to take prescribed or over-the-counter medication as directed for the entire recommended length of time to prevent the infection from returning.
You may be able to prevent both UTIs and yeast infections by practicing good hygiene and making changes to your wardrobe. Here are some prevention tips:
- Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing around your genital area, such as pantyhose and restrictive pants.
- Change out of wet swimsuits quickly.
- Avoid scented feminine hygiene products.
Further prevention of UTIs include:
- using the bathroom frequently
- regularly drinking lots of fluid
- urinating before and after sex
Its also possible that drinking cranberry juice can prevent UTIs. The research results are mixed. Make sure to choose a sugar-free version. If the juice is too tart, you can water it down to make the juice more palatable.
You may also be able to reduce your chances of contracting a yeast infection if you:
- avoid hot baths and hot tubs
- change your feminine products often
- control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
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Can Chlamydia Be Left Untreated
Chlamydia does not go away on its own and should not be left untreated. Why? Because not getting treated leaves you open to a myriad of risk factors.
Men who dont get treated risk several complications, including swollen testicles , reactive arthritis, and infertility.
Chlamydia may also cause problems with the reproductive system. For example, women who go without treatment run the risk of infection spreading to the uterus and fallopian tubes, resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease and even infertility.
Moreover, the infection in pregnant women can pass to the child during delivery via the birth canal. It can cause pneumonia, eye infections, preterm labour and low birth weight.
Chlamydia screening and treatment for chlamydia during pregnancy can prevent these complications. This is not part of the routine NHS antenatal screening but your midwife or GP can arrange a simple swab test.
Common antibiotic treatments like doxycycline cannot be taken during pregnancy, but azithromycin is safe and effective. If you think you have chlamydia and you are pregnant, you should see your doctor for treatment.
Symptoms Of Chlamydia In Women
Around 50% of men and 70% of women are asymptomatic which means they do not experience any physical symptoms. This means that you may have the infection and not realise it, making it easy to pass on. This is why it is very important to get tested if you have had unprotected sex or think you may have been exposed to a STI.
Women’s symptoms include:
- Bleeding between periods, heavier periods, pain or bleeding during sex
- Pain or a burning feeling when urinating
- Pain in the lower abdomen
If chlamydia is left untreated then it can have series complications for women, such as:
- Chlamydia can spread to the womb leading to pelvic inflammatory disease . PID typically causes lower abdominal or pelvic pain, fever, abnormal vaginal bleeding, discomfort during sex and an abnormal vaginal discharge. PID can lead to infertility, miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy .
- An untreated chlamydia infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage and premature labour. It can also cause infection in the eye when passed to a new born baby during delivery. If left untreated this can lead to blindness.
- Chlamydia can cause inflammation and painful joints in women known also known as sexually acquired reactive arthritis
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Faq On Chlamydia Booking Through Our Partner Labs
- Will insurance cover my Chlamydia test cost? Generally, providers do not accept insurance in order to ensure your privacy. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
- How should I book my appointment for Chlamydia testing?You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
- Can I cancel my lab test order?Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. The refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
- Do the providers offer result interpretations?Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
- How do I receive my report?In order to ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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What Can Happen If Chlamydia Isnt Treated
Untreated chlamydia can put your health at risk. Make an appointment with your provider immediately if you notice any symptoms of chlamydia, and get regular STI screenings to avoid complications later.
Complications of chlamydia for people with vaginas
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a serious condition that requires hospitalization. It can occur when an untreated STI, like chlamydia, damages your reproductive organs. PID can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain. It can also cause an ectopic pregnancy, which is life-threatening for the fetus and potentially deadly for the mother or gestational parent, too.
- Pregnancy complications. An untreated infection can lead to pre-term delivery. Also, if youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection on to your newborn. Babies born with chlamydia may have pneumonia or conjunctivitis that could lead to blindness if not treated.
Complications of chlamydia for people with penises
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Epididymitis. Infection can spread to the testicles and the tube that carries sperm to your testicles , causing symptoms like pain, swelling and tenderness in your testicles.
- Reduced fertility. Chlamydia can harm your sperm, negatively impacting your ability to conceive.
Complications of chlamydia that can affect all genders
Untreated chlamydia can:
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How Much Does Oral Chlamydia Test Cost
Chlamydia test cost ranges between $79 and $89 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days. Doctor consultation is also available for further treatment or any kind of medical advice.
The following table shows the oral chlamydia test kit cost at 3 of our partner laboratories network located across the U.S.
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Can You Prevent Chlamydia
You can lower your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs by:
- not having sex with someone with chlamydia, even with a condom, until theyve finished treatment and 1 week has passed since their last dose of antibiotics
- regularly getting tested for STIs, especially if you are under 30 and sexually active
Remember that most people with chlamydia dont show any symptoms and dont know they have it, so feeling ‘well’ does not mean that you or your partner are not infected. If in doubt, get tested.
If you have chlamydia, you can help reduce the spread by letting your recent sexual partners know so they can get tested and treated.
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Chlamydia: Symptoms Treatments And Complications
One of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the UK, chlamydia can affect anyone whos sexually active.According to Patient the most current figures suggest more than 200,000 new cases of chlamydia are diagnosed each year in England . Younger people are most commonly affected the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence claims around seven in every 10 people diagnosed with chlamydia are aged 25 or younger . Indeed if you live in England and are under 25 and sexually active, health experts recommend that you get tested for chlamydia every year or whenever you have a new sexual partner .Youre also at risk of getting chlamydia if you dont use condoms or if youve had more than one sexual partner in the last year.
How Is It Treated
Oral infections are harder to cure than genital or rectal infections but can be treated with the right antibiotics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends treating uncomplicated gonorrhea with a single 500-milligram intramuscular dose of ceftriaxone. People who weigh 330 lbs. or more should receive a single 1-gram dose of ceftriaxone.
If its possible that you have chlamydial infection, the CDC recommends 100 mg of doxycycliwork twice a day for 7 days.
If you have a cephalosporin allergy, a 240-mg intramuscular dose of gentamicin plus a 2-g oral dose of azithromycin may be considered.
You should avoid all sexual contact, including oral sex and kissing, for 7 days after completing treatment.
If your symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.
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Chlamydia Treatment: How Do You Treat Chlamydia
Chlamydia treatment involves oral antibiotics.
Your doctor will prescribe the antibiotics should you receive a chlamydia diagnosis. Antibiotics may also be recommended for your sexual partner if you have been having unprotected sex within that given timeframe.
There are different therapeutic options available to treat chlamydia, including:
- Doxycycline 100 mg 2 twice a day for 7 days
- Azithromycin 1 g
- Levofloxacin 500 mg once a day for 7 days
From the beginning of your treatment process, the infection should clear up in around one week. Your health practitioner may recommend that you abstain from sex until you have been re-tested for chlamydia.
Causes And Risk Factors
Chlamydia is an STI caused by a specific strain of bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.
Chlamydia is more common in women than in men. In fact, its estimated that the overall rate of infection is for women than men in the United States.
Some of the other risk factors for infection include:
- not using barrier methods like condoms consistently with new sexual partners
- having a sexual partner who is having sex with other people
- having a history of chlamydia or other STIs
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Are Your Vaginal Flora Out Of Balance
- Low vitamin D: Vaginas need sunshine too!
- Scented toilet paper and tampons : Even though a pumpkin spice tampon does actually exist, it is not our friend! .
- Food sensitivities and too much sugar: Food intolerances affect the gut flora, which often translate to the vaginal flora. Sugar is also a motivating fuel source for pathogens.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated
If a person is not treated for chlamydia, complications may occur. Women frequently develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, tubal pregnancies, and the continued spread of the disease. In men, untreated chlamydia can cause urethral infection and complications such as swollen and tender testicles. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy may result in premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery and possible tubal pregnancy in a small percent of women. In addition, chlamydia can cause conjunctival and pneumonic infection in the newborn. Persons with a chlamydia infection have an increased chance of getting other infections such as gonorrhea or HIV.
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Can I Test Myself For Chlamydia At Home
Home testing kits for chlamydia are widely available and can be purchased at many pharmacies or online.
These kits typically require a urine sample or tissue swab, which you can collect at home and securely ship back to the lab to receive your results.
Some companies also include a free medical consultation with a doctor if your test results are positive to review your treatment options.
Possible Treatment For Chlamydia
As per medical professionals, Chlamydia can be easily treated with the help of antibiotic therapy. These antibiotics can be assigned for the 7-day course with a single dose per day. It is essential to stay away from sexual activity for these 7 days so that infection can be controlled with ease and your partner does not get infected with it.
The commonly known antibiotics for this chlamydia in women treatment are Doxycycline and Azithromycin but professionals may also recommend few other antibiotics for this treatment. In case if the lady affected with Chlamydia is pregnant that few other antibiotics can also be used as like ethyl succinate, erythromycin, and amoxicillin but pregnant ladies should not consume doxycycline. It is also essential to make your partner aware about the disease and bring him to the medical professional to undergo important tests.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.
You should also get tested if you dont have any symptoms but are concerned you could have a sexually transmitted infection .
If youre a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If youre a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Chlamydia
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting chlamydia:
- Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results
- Use latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
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What Are The Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to several complications in men and women.
In men, chlamydia can infect the prostate and the epididymis, leading to pain. It can also be a cause of urethral strictures , can lead to issues in the rectum , and can trigger an immune response known as reactive arthritis or Reiters syndrome.
In women, untreated chlamydia can spread to the reproductive organs causing PID, which can lead to infertility, pelvic pain, and increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. It can also spread to the lining of the liver, causing perihepatitis and adhesions and scarring around the organs in the abdomen.