How Can You Be Sure Youre Experiencing A New Bout
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics, usually azithromycin or doxycycline.
In order to make sure chlamydia is cured, you need to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. You need to take every single dose dont stop taking the antibiotics until there are none left.
If youve taken all your antibiotics but you still have symptoms, contact your doctor or another healthcare professional.
According to the Center for Disease Control , youll need a follow-up test three months after treatment to ensure that the infection is cured.
There are a few reasons why you might contract chlamydia a second time:
- The initial infection wasnt cured because the course of antibiotics wasnt completed as directed.
- A sexual partner transmitted chlamydia to you.
- You used a sex toy that was contaminated with chlamydia.
A 2014 study suggests that chlamydia can live in the gastrointestinal tract and reinfect the genitals, causing chlamydia symptoms to reappear after the genital infection went away.
However, this study only looked at animal models of chlamydia. Research on human participants is needed.
The symptoms of chlamydia typically disappear once you finish your antibiotics. This can vary in time, as some chlamydia antibiotic courses are one dose taken on one day, while others last longer.
Symptoms In The Throat
Chlamydia symptoms can sometimes appear in the throat, although this is uncommon. When it does occur, the time frame is likely to be similar to that of chlamydia infections of the genitals.
In people who experience symptoms, the main one is a persistent sore throat. A doctor may refer to a chlamydia infection in the throat as pharyngeal chlamydia.
Testing for chlamydia in the throat is not a common practice in STI testing, as it does not have approval from the Food and Drug Administration . However, if a person suspects that they have pharyngeal chlamydia, a doctor may take a swab from the throat.
A person can undergo testing for chlamydia at their:
- doctors office
- local health department
- local planned parenthood center
A person can also order a chlamydia test online, take it at home, and then send it off for testing.
If people are at high risk of chlamydia, they may need screening for all types of chlamydia every 36 months.
At risk groups include people who have:
- multiple or unknown sexual partners
- sex in combination with illegal drug use
- sexual partners who use illegal drugs or have multiple partners
7 days .
People should avoid having sex until their treatment is complete. If a person is experiencing symptoms even after the treatment, they should see a doctor.
People who menstruate should notice that their periods return to normal or that bleeding between periods stops by their next period.
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.
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When Can I Have Sex Again
If you were diagnosed with chlamydia, wait to have sex again until you have finished your treatment.
For some antibiotics, such as doxycycline, this means may need to wait 1 week to have sex, or until you have completed your prescribed course of treatment.
If you were prescribed a single dose of medication, like azithromycin, wait 7 days after taking the medication before having sex.
Does Your Partner Need To Get Treated Too
If you have a sexual partner, or if youve recently had sex with someone, talk with them about your chlamydia diagnosis. Theyll need to get tested and treated, too.
If your sexual partner doesnt seek treatment, theres a risk that they can transmit it back to you, even after your infection has been cured.
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How Will I Know If The Chlamydia Has Affected My Fertility
Chlamydia is just one of many factors that can affect your fertility. Most people whove had chlamydia wont become infertile or have an ectopic pregnancy . If youve had chlamydia you wont normally be offered any routine tests to see if youre fertile unless you or a partner are having difficulty getting pregnant. If youre concerned, talk to your doctor or practice nurse.
How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
Chlamydia is sometimes called a silent infection because the majority of people who have chlamydia regardless of gender never notice symptoms. People who do notice symptoms often dont recognize the signs that they have chlamydia until a few weeks after theyve been infected. Because chlamydia cases are often asymptomatic, its easy to spread chlamydia to someone else without realizing it. And its easy to miss out on receiving the treatment needed to prevent the serious complications that can result from chlamydia.
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First How Can Untreated Chlamydia Affect Your Health
Untreated chlamydia is especially problematic for people with uteruses, because it can have very serious consequences on reproductive health. For one, it can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease , an infection of the reproductive organs, David Soper, M.D., director of the division of benign ob-gyn and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical University of South Carolina, tells SELF. When it comes to the numbers, he says the condition affects about 10 to 15% of people assigned female at birth with untreated chlamydia.
Some people who develop PID from chlamydia then go on to develop an even more serious issue called perihepatitis or Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome. While rare, this causes inflammation in the lining of the stomach and tissues surrounding the liver. One tip-off that you do have this condition is upper quadrant pain, Dr. Soper says. Its often paired with other symptoms like fever or chills.
Infertility is another concern. Both PID and untreated chlamydia can cause permanent scarring in the reproductive organs, blocking sperm and eggs from meeting. In fact, about 25% of infertility cases are due to obstructed fallopian tubes, Meike L. Uhler, M.D., a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at the Fertility Centers of Illinois, tells SELF. In some cases, this can be fixed surgically, but not always.
What Happens If You Have Chlamydia For Over A Year
The majority of people who have chlamydia aren’t aware of any signs or symptoms, even after several months or years with infection. Nonetheless the impact of untreated chlamydia can be serious for women, causing significant damage to the reproductive organs.
Researchers don’t know exactly how long it takes for such effects to occur or exactly what proportion of women with untreated chlamydia suffer such consequences. It is probably only a minority of women who have these serious complications.
In men, serious consequences are rare. Occasionally, men can experience epididymitis, which is an inflammation of the coiled tube at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm.
Treatment for chlamydia is simple, requiring a short course of antibiotics. However if the infection is left untreated in women it can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease . Pelvic inflammatory disease can result in serious complications, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy and long-term abdominal pain.
Researchers are not sure of what proportion of cases of untreated chlamydia progress to PID and of how long this takes. Now that treatments are available, it would be unethical for researchers to identify women with chlamydia, withhold treatment and simply observe the damage the infection causes.
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Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider. Ask them if you should get tested for chlamydia or other STDs. Gay or bisexual men and pregnant people should also get tested for chlamydia. If you are a sexually active woman, you should get tested for chlamydia every year if you are:
- Younger than 25 years old.
- 25 years and older with risk factors, such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
Can Chlamydia Make Men Infertile
Yes, untreated chlamydia may make men infertile in rare cases.
Chlamydia can spread to a manâs testicles and the tubes which carry sperm from the testicles, called epididymis. Both the testicles and epididymis can become painful and swollen. This is a condition known as epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis. It is very rare. Chlamydia infections in testicular tissue may affect a manâs fertility, due to a lower sperm count and lower quality sperm. Antibiotics can treat the infection effectively.
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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.
When Will The Signs And Symptoms Go Away
You should notice an improvement quite quickly after having treatment.
- Discharge or pain when you urinate should improve within a week.
- Bleeding between periods or heavier periods should improve by your next period.
- Pelvic pain and pain in the testicles should start to improve quickly but may take up to two weeks to go away.
If you have pelvic pain or painful sex that doesnt improve, see your doctor or nurse as it may be necessary to have some further treatment or investigate other possible causes of the pain.
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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:
- , cervix, and fallopian tubes in women
- Urethra in women and men
- 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.
Can Women Who Have Sex With Women Get Chlamydia
Yes. It is possible to get chlamydia, or any other STI, if you are a woman who has sex only with women. Chlamydia lives in the reproductive tract of an infected woman and can pass to a sex partner, whether male or female.
Talk to your partner about her sexual history before having sex, and ask your doctor or nurse for an STI test if you are at risk.
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How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
The most common test for chlamydia is called a nucleic acid amplification test . Your provider takes a sample of fluid by doing a vaginal/cervical swab or collecting a urine sample. Then, they send the sample off to a lab to check for the bacteria that causes chlamydia. Your provider may do the test in an office, or they may ask you to do an at-home chlamydia test. Follow your providers instructions carefully to ensure you get accurate test results.
Because most chlamydia cases are asymptomatic, its important to get screened for chlamydia even if you dont notice any signs of infection. The CDC recommends that sexually active cisgender women who are high-risk for chlamydia get screened regularly. Women, more so than men, experience the most severe complications from chlamydia. Transgender men and nonbinary individuals with vaginas should be screened regularly, too, as they can experience the same complications of chlamydia.
Youre considered high-risk if you:
- Have had chlamydia infections previously.
Cisgender men, or trans and nonbinary individuals with penises, should be screened for chlamydia if:
- They live in a setting where chlamydia spreads frequently, like correctional facilities, adolescent clinics and sexual health clinics.
- They have sex with other men.
How To Prepare For The Test
If you think you may have chlamydia, avoid sexual intercourse until you get your test results.
has found that home tests may be as effective for diagnosing chlamydia as swabs collected at your doctors office.
However, its important to note that home testing kits can sometimes return false-negative results. A 2017 study asked men to self-collect a sample for chlamydia testing both at a clinic and at home using a mail-in kit. Researchers found that over one-third of the mail-in samples missed a positive result that was detected in the samples collected at the clinic.
The researchers note that its possible that the collection technique when using a home test may affect the quality of the sample and therefore affect your result. Because of this, be sure to follow all sample collection instructions carefully if you choose to do a home test for chlamydia.
If you receive a positive result from a home testing kit, you will need to go immediately to a doctor to receive treatment. Until you have completed treatment, you can give chlamydia to your sexual partners.
If youre diagnosed with chlamydia, prompt treatment will help prevent any long-term complications. The key is to test for this bacterial infection before it spreads.
You can get a chlamydia test from:
- your primary care doctor
Due to the prevalence of chlamydia, its important to get yearly tests if you:
You may need to get tested more often than once a year.
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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 .
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Male Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
Men can also experience complications when chlamydia is left untreated. The epididymis the tube that holds the testicles in place may become inflamed, causing pain. This is known as epididymitis.
The infection can also spread to the prostate gland, causing a fever, painful intercourse, and discomfort in the lower back. Another possible complication is male chlamydial urethritis.
These are just some of the most common complications of untreated chlamydia, which is why its important to get medical attention right away. Most people who get treatment quickly have no long-term medical problems.
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Should My Partners Be Tested For Chlamydia
If you receive a chlamydia diagnosis, your partners need to be tested, too. Since this bacterial infection is highly contagious, it spreads easily through sexual contact.
You and your partners may need regular testing until the infection fully disappears. In the meantime, its a good idea to use barrier methods during sexual contact, such as using condoms.
How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is spread when a person has unprotected sex with an infected person.
Because chlamydial infection often has no symptoms, many people do not realise they have the infection.
Even if you know a person well, you may not be able to tell they have an STI, because people can look healthy and still have chlamydia.
Remember, you can get chlamydia and other STIs from a new sexual partner who has in the past had sex with someone who is infected.
It can also be spread from a long-term partner who has had sex with other people.
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You Wont Immediately Know If You Or Your Partner Have Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a serious disease, but if you or your partner become infected, you might not know right away. Early-stage infections often dont cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can be easily overlooked.
For most women with chlamydia, the infection doesnt cause any symptoms. About half of men dont experience symptoms, either. This is why its so important to get tested regularly. For sexually active women under 25, yearly testing is recommended. Women who are over 25 should get tested when they have new partners or have other risk factors for chlamydia.