What Happens If I Dont Get Treated
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems.
If you are a woman, untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes . This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease . PID often has no symptoms, however some women may have abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if it doesnt cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, and potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy .
Men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can prevent a man from being able to have children.
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The Key Questions About Chlamydia In Men
According to 2018 figures from Public Health England, a higher percentage of young men tested positive for chlamydia compared to women. Despite this, the number of young men getting tested was half of the number of women getting testing. Weve created this article, focussing specifically on chlamydia in men, to answer the key questions surrounding the STI.
Can Men Catch Chlamydia Through Anal Sex
Whether youre performing anal sex on a man or a woman there is still a risk of catching chlamydia if the person has a rectal chlamydia infection. Likewise if you receive anal sex from someone who is infected then you may catch rectal chlamydia.
The symptoms of rectal chlamydia are different from chlamydia affecting the penis. Symptoms may include discharge, bleeding and pain in the area. Its possible to have a chlamydia in both the penis and the anus at the same time.
You can find out more about chlamydia in our advice article on the STI or visit our chlamydia landing page to see more information about our range of tests.
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Chlamydia Cdc Fact Sheet
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that can be easily cured. If left untreated, chlamydia can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.
Basic Fact Sheet | Detailed Version
Basic fact sheets are presented in plain language for individuals with general questions about sexually transmitted diseases. The content here can be syndicated .
How Do Men Get Treated For Chlamydia
Meninfected with chlamydia will receive a prescribed drug, usually calleddoxycycline. This antibiotic is most typically used for treating chlamydia.However, if the patient is allergic to any of the ingredients in thisantibiotic, they will receive a different one with similar potency. Theantibiotics used for treatment can only be prescribed by your doctor.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. These bacteria attack the cells of your bodys mucous membranes the soft, moist tissues of your body that arent covered by skin.
Here are areas of the body where mucous membranes are possible targets for chlamydia infection:
- Vagina, cervix, and fallopian tubes in women
- Urethra in women and men
- Anus and rectum
- Lining of the eyelid
Although the bacteria that cause chlamydia can reach the uterus, Chlamydia doesnt attack the uterus itself, because a woman gets her period every month, and cells inside it are sloughed off, says Dr. Rabin.
But the fallopian tubes which connect the ovaries and uterus do not clean themselves regularly, so theyre vulnerable to attack and lasting damage caused by the bacteria.
Chlamydia can be spread through any sexual contact, with or without ejaculation.
What Is The Treatment
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. It is important to follow the treatment instructions carefully. If you were given pills, finish all of them. Sexual partners from the last 2 months need to be tested and treated. If you have not had a sexual partner in the last 2 months, then your last sexual partner will need to be tested and treated. It takes time for the infection to clear from the body, so it is important that you do not have any oral, vaginal or anal sex for 7 days after you and your partner start the antibiotic treatment.
If you or your partner do not finish the treatment, miss pills or have unprotected sex before you have finished all of the medication, there is a chance that the infection will stay in your body may pass back to you or your partner and cause health problems later. If this happens, talk with your health care provider who will help you to decide if you or your partners need more treatment.
Because re-infection is common, a follow-up test is recommended 6 months after treatment. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a follow-up test 3 to 4 weeks after completing treatment.
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Chlamydia In The Rectum Throat Or Eyes
Chlamydia can also infect:
- the rectum if you have unprotected anal sex this can cause discomfort and discharge from your rectum
- the throat if you have unprotected oral sex this is uncommon and usually causes no symptoms
- the eyes if they come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid this can cause eye redness, pain and discharge
Signs And Symptoms Of Chlamydia In Men
The first thing to be aware of is that chlamydia does not always cause symptoms. It is estimated that 50% of all men who become infected with chlamydia suffer no symptoms at least to begin with. If chlamydia is left untreated it can lead to serious complications such as the infection spreading to the testicles and surrounding tissues resulting in pain and possible reduced fertility.
When chlamydia does cause symptoms, they can be very similar to other STIs such as gonorrhoea. Male symptoms of chlamydia include:
- Pain when urinating
- Discharge from the penis that is white, watery or cloudy
- Itching or burning in the urethra
- Pain and swelling in the testicles
Chlamydia can also infect the throat, eyes and rectum. This means that men can also experience:
- Redness, pain and discharge in the eye
- Discharge from and pain in the rectum
If you notice these kinds of symptoms in yourself, you should get tested as soon as possible. If you notice these kinds of symptoms in a male sexual partner its best to refrain from any sexual activity until they have been tested and received treatment.
In female sexual partners, look out for pain when urinating, abdominal pain, pain during sex and bleeding after sex as these can indicate chlamydia infection.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Many people with chlamydia dont have any symptoms. If you do get symptoms, you may not notice them until several weeks after infection. Other people might not have any symptoms for several months.
Signs of chlamydia in women include:
- increase in vaginal discharge
- pain or burning when urinating
- pain during sex and/or bleeding after sex
- pain in the lower stomach especially when having sex
- bleeding between periods and/or heavier periods.
Signs of chlamydia in men include:
- white, cloudy or watery discharge from the penis
- pain or burning when urinating
- pain and/or swelling in the testicles.
You can also get chlamydia infection in your anus, eyes and throat. For both men and women, this can cause pain, discharge or bleeding in the anus, or inflammation of the eye . Chlamydia in the throat does not usually have any symptoms.
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 personâs 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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Does Chlamydia Cause Cervical Cancer
No, chlamydia doesn’t cause cervical cancer.
It’s possible to get a sexually transmitted infection by having sex with someone who has an STI, even if they have no symptoms.
If you have an STI, they’ll also help prevent you from passing it on to someone:
- Use condoms every time you have vaginal or anal sex.
- If you have oral sex , use a condom to cover the penis, or a dam to cover the vulva or anus.
- Avoid sharing sex toys. If you do share them, wash them or cover them with a new condom before anyone else uses them.
What Are The Prominent Chlamydia Symptoms In Men
Actually, no one can easily ensure that his body has some trouble due to the silent infection because its symptoms are rarely reflected. But once if they start occurring then they can be easily noticed even within few weeks. Medical doctors say that symptoms of Chlamydia in men can be random and infrequent so most of the time patients are not able to know if they are in contact with the infection.
Some of the most common signs of Chlamydia in men include:
- Very small cloudy or clear Chlamydia discharge in men from penis tip.
- It can cause painful urination.
- Leads to itching and burning sensation around penis openings.
- Swelling and pain in the area surrounding testicles.
Major symptoms of Chlamydia are observed for genitals but in few cases it can affect rectum, eyes and throat. Note that, the actual effect varies with type of transmission. Few uncommon symptoms of chlamydia in men can include:
- Throat infections.
- Rectal bleeding, discharge or pain.
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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.
What Are The Long Term Complications In Men
Although very rare, chlamydia can affect male fertility. This happens if chlamydia causes the tubes that carry the male sperm to become inflamed.
Although the condition, also known as epididymitis, is treatable with antibiotics it can cause irreversible scarring to the tubes which restricts the flow of sperm. Luckily long term damage like this is rare, but its just another reason to get tested for chlamydia regularly.
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How Is Chlamydia Treated In Men
Both men and women are treated for chlamydia in the same way. This includes an antibiotic treatment which is taken orally, usually in one sitting. The most common treatments are azithromycin or doxycycline. To avoid reinfection its best that your partner also has treatment at the same time. You should abstain from sex for one week following treatment as you can still pass chlamydia on during this time.
Chlamydia Symptoms & Treatment
- Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that is normally passed on through sex without a condom or sharing sex toys with someone who has the infection.
- Using male or female condoms and dental dams during sex will help to protect you from getting chlamydia.
- Chlamydia is often symptomless however if left untreated it can lead to long-term health problems.
- Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics.
- Chlamydia can be passed on from mother to child during pregnancy, so its important for pregnant women to get tested.
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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 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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Does Discharge From Your Penis Mean You Have Chlamydia
Not necessarily the presence of a white, cloudy or watery discharge from the end of your penis is a symptom of chlamydia in men. However, discharge can also be a sign of other issues such as:
- a urinary tract infection
- genital herpes
In cases of chlamydia other symptoms which may occur alongside penile discharge include:
- Pain when you pee
- Burning or itching in the tube that carries urine out of your body
- Painful testicles
If you have discharge it may be:
- Yellow and pus like
No discharge doesnt mean no chlamydia it’s important to remember that most cases of chlamydia are symptom-free, particularly in men. If you’ve had unprotected sex, i.e. you didnt use a condom, there’s every possibility you could have caught chlamydia. You should get tested even if you have no symptoms, so you can be sure. If chlamydia is left untreated it can cause serious health complications, including some that could affect your fertility.
Can Men Catch Chlamydia Through Oral Sex
Whether performing oral sex on a man or a woman, chlamydia can be transmitted through oral sex. In these instances chlamydia will usually cause an infection of the throat. This may cause symptoms including a sore throat, fever or a cold. Its also possible that someone can be infected within the throat without noticing any symptoms at all.
Although less common, you can also catch chlamydia if you receive oral sex from an infected individual. The symptoms in these instances would be exactly the same as if you caught it through vaginal sex.
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Can Chlamydia Be Cured
Yes, chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. You should not share medication for chlamydia with anyone.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner was treated.
Research And Statistics: How Many People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a very common infection, constituting the largest proportion of all STDs reported to the CDC since 1994.
The American Sexual Health Association , for instance, estimates that as many as three million people have chlamydia each year in the United States.
Certain groups are much more likely to get chlamydia than the general population. For example, the rate of reported chlamydia in 2017 was about 39.9 cases per 1,000 people among women ages 20 to 24, and about 32.7 per 1,000 people among women ages 15 to 19.
Among men age 19 or younger who visited an STD clinic in 2017, nearly 40 percent of those who had sex with women tested positive for chlamydia. This number was nearly 30 percent for men ages 20 to 24 who had sex with women, and only slightly lower for men who had sex with men.
The rate of reported chlamydia varies widely throughout the United States at the county and state level. In 2017, West Virginia, Vermont, and New Hampshire had the lowest reported rates of chlamydia, while the highest rates were found in the District of Columbia, Alaska, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The region with the highest rate of chlamydia was the South, while the Northeast had the lowest rate.
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