More About Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
For women, one of the most serious complications from untreated chlamydia is pelvic inflammatory disease .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1020% of women with untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea infections may develop PID. And 1 in 8 women with a history of PID experience difficulties getting pregnant. PID can also cause ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.
Like chlamydia, it is possible for a woman to have PID and not have any symptoms, or have symptoms too mild to notice, for an unknown period of time. If symptoms do occur, they could include:
- Dull pain or tenderness in the lower abdomen
- Burning or pain when you urinate
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased or changed vaginal discharge
- Pain during sex
Chlamydia: In Fashion Again
In 1974 a review article in the Lancet on chlamydia began with the statement: The Chlamydia genus is in fashion again. The previous occasion alluded to was work on trachoma, but the new attention was because of evidence of its role in genital infection and PID. The article was prompted by the investigations that were finding a considerable proportion of non-specific genital infection is due to Chlamydia. There was similar evidence from the United States, where a study of 113 men with NGU showed 42 tested positive for C. trachomatis and commented that the cause of chlamydia-negative NGU remains obscure. The reference to non-specific genital infection reflected a shift in terminology as NGU was replaced by NSGI or the more common NSU, which I use from now on. In Britain the key researcher was Eric Dunlop, who is now remembered as the person who first put chlamydial genital infection in the medical and general public domain this was work published in 1972. He was an ophthalmologist, and his suggestion that C. trachomatis was a cause of pelvic inflammatory disease came from observations of the number of mothers, whose babies had chlamydial ophthalmia neonatorum, suffered from salpingitis.
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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Tips For Sti Screening Treatment And Follow
Reported cases of STI in Canada are increasing
121,244 cases of Chlamydia trachomatis
- 76% of cases are aged 15 to 29
- The highest increase in rates is in adults over 40
23,708 cases of Neisseria gonorrhoeae
- 57% of cases are aged 15 to 29
- The highest increase in rates is in adults over 30
3,829 cases of infectious Syphilis
- 92% of cases are men
Organization:Public Health Agency of Canada
Do you know if the person in front of you has ever been screened for sexually transmitted infections ?
In 2018, over 60% of Canadians reported that they had never been screened for STI.
Normalize discussions about sexual health and offer STI screening to sexually active people as part of routine care.
STI screening provides an opportunity to discuss transmission, signs and symptoms, risk reduction and preventive measures.
What Can Happen If Chlamydia Is Not Treated
Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a serious infection of the reproductive organs. PID can cause:
- Tubal pregnancies, which can lead to death of the mother and unborn child.
- Inflammation surrounding the liver.
A mother also can pass the infection to her child during birth. Infection in newborns can lead to:
- Eye infections .
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Home Remedies For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterial infection. The only true cure for this type of infection is antibiotics.
But some alternative treatments may help ease symptoms. Its important to remember that untreated chlamydia can lead to long-term complications, including fertility problems and chronic inflammation.
Home remedies for chlamydia that may be effective include:
- Goldenseal.This medicinal plant may limit symptoms during an infection by reducing inflammation.
- Echinacea. This plant has been widely used to boost the immune system in order to help people overcome infections of many types, from the common cold to skin wounds. It may help reduce symptoms of chlamydia.
Although compounds in these plants might help to ease inflammation and infection in general, there arent any quality studies that show theyre effective specifically for chlamydia symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is known as a silent infection because most infected people are asymptomatic and lack abnormal physical examination findings. Estimates of the proportion of chlamydia-infected people who develop symptoms vary by setting and study methodology two published studies that incorporated modeling techniques to address limitations of point prevalence surveys estimated that only about 10% of men and 5-30% of women with laboratory-confirmed chlamydial infection develop symptoms.21.22 The incubation period of chlamydia is poorly defined. However, given the relatively slow replication cycle of the organism, symptoms may not appear until several weeks after exposure in those persons who develop symptoms.
In women, the bacteria initially infect the cervix, where the infection may cause signs and symptoms of cervicitis , and sometimes the urethra, which may result in signs and symptoms of urethritis . Infection can spread from the cervix to the upper reproductive tract , causing pelvic inflammatory disease , which may be asymptomatic 23 or acute, with typical symptoms of abdominal and/or pelvic pain, along with signs of cervical motion tenderness, and uterine or adnexal tenderness on examination.
Men who are symptomatic typically have urethritis, with a mucoid or watery urethral discharge and dysuria. A minority of infected men develop epididymitis , presenting with unilateral testicular pain, tenderness, and swelling.24
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Other Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia In All People
- Conjunctivitis, spread by touching the infected area and then touching the hand to the eye
- Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the rectum , if the chlamydia is from anal sex
- Varied symptoms, such as joint and eye inflammation, caused by bacterial infection
- Lymphogranuloma venereum, or LGV. This is caused by a type of chlamydia that is usually rare in the United States, but it is becoming more common in men who have sex with men. It causes open sores in the genital area, headache, fever, fatigue, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin. It also causes proctitis in people who get chlamydia through anal sex.
Chlamydia Trachomatis And Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Twenty per cent of the women with chlamydial lower genital tract infection will develop PID and 4 per cent will develop chronic pelvic pain. The clinical spectrum of chlamydial PID ranges from subclinical endometritis to frank salpingitis, tubo-ovarian masses, pelvic peritonitis, periappendicitis and perihepatitis. However, symptomatic chlamydial infections represent only the tip of the iceberg of all chlamydial infections as majority of genital chlamydial infections are asymptomatic.
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How Chlamydia Is Treated
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
If you have doxycycline, you should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
If you have azithromycin, you should wait 7 days after treatment before having sex .
It’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.
Under-25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated.
This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.
Sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinics can help you contact your sexual partners.
Either you or the clinic can speak to them, or they can be sent a note advising them to get tested.
The note will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection to your baby during delivery. This could cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your newborn. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby too early.
If you are pregnant, you should get tested for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.
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What Does Chlamydia Infection Mean For My Health
Chlamydia can be treated and cured easily, but that doesnt mean that chlamydia infection isnt potentially dangerous. If chlamydia isnt diagnosed and left untreated, it can cause serious complications.
Untreated chlamydia infections in women may lead to:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease , a serious infection of the reproductive organs . Left untreated, PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, or ectopic pregnancy.
- A condition called mucopurulent cervicitis, characterized by a yellow discharge from the cervix
Untreated chlamydia in men may lead to:
- Scarring of the urethra
How Is Chlamydia Infection Diagnosed
Doctors have several tests they can use to screen for chlamydia. Note that screening for chlamydia in the throat isnt a part of usual STI testing.
If youve had a sore throat that doesnt seem to go away or have a partner that youve had oral sex with who tested positive for chlamydia, you might want to ask your doctor about pharyngeal chlamydia screening.
Doctors can use urine samples to diagnose chlamydia, but that doesnt help them diagnose chlamydia in the throat.
As a result, a doctor may swab your throat to test for chlamydia there. They send this swab to a laboratory, which tests the specimen for the presence of DNA from the bacteria that cause chlamydia.
This test is a little tricky because the Food and Drug Administration hasnt approved a swab test for pharyngeal chlamydia. Your throat contains a lot of bacteria, and this can make it hard to pinpoint chlamydia bacteria.
When a doctor uses a swab to test for chlamydia in the throat, its possible theyre doing so in an off-label fashion. This means the FDA hasnt specifically given the OK to use the test for pharyngeal chlamydia, but some doctors think swabs can help in detection.
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What Are The Potential Complications
If treated in time, chlamydia causes no lasting concerns. Untreated chlamydia can lead to complications as the infection spreads to other areas of the body.
Untreated chlamydia may cause sexually-acquired reactive arthritis, which includes skin, eye and joint problems. It is also associated with a higher chance of getting HIV.
In women, complications may include difficulty getting pregnant, ectopic or tubal pregnancy or pelvic inflammatory disease . See HealthLinkBC File #08c Pelvic Inflammatory Disease for more information.
In men, complications may include an infection in the testicles, which can lead to infertility.
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 .
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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
Chlamydia Is Really Common
Chlamydia is a SUPER common bacterial infection that you can get from sexual contact with another person. Close to 3 million Americans get it every year, most commonly among 14-24-year-olds.
Chlamydia is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The infection is carried in semen , pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. Chlamydia can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, eyes, and throat. Most people with chlamydia dont have any symptoms and feel totally fine, so they might not even know theyre infected.
Chlamydia can be easily cleared up with antibiotics. But if you dont treat chlamydia, it may lead to major health problems in the future. Thats why STD testing is so important the sooner you know you have chlamydia, the faster you can cure it. You can prevent chlamydia by using condoms every time you have sex.
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How Do The Symptoms Compare
Both men and women can get chlamydia or gonorrhea and never develop any symptoms.
With chlamydia, symptoms may not appear for a few weeks after youve contracted the infection. And with gonorrhea, women may never experience any symptoms at all or may only show mild symptoms, while men are more likely to have symptoms that are more severe.
A couple of the most telltale symptoms of these STIs overlap between the two , such as:
- burning when you pee
- abnormal, discolored discharge from the penis or vagina
- abnormal discharge from the rectum
- pain in the rectum
- bleeding from the rectum
With both gonorrhea and chlamydia, men may also experience abnormal swelling in their testicles and scrotum, and pain when they ejaculate.
You may also develop symptoms that affect your throat if you engage in oral sex with someone who has one of these conditions. This can cause mouth and throat symptoms, including sore throat and a cough.
Detoxing Or Passing A Drug Test
Some believe that goldenseal can help your body detox from toxins and harmful substances. Yet, very little evidence exists to support this claim.
Your body is naturally designed to detoxify itself. It does so by converting toxic compounds into harmless substances in your liver or making sure theyre eliminated from your body through urine and sweat .
Research suggests that goldenseal may reduce the activity of certain liver enzymes responsible for breaking down drugs. As such, this herbal supplement may slow the detox process rather than promote it .
However, theres also evidence that goldenseal may help your body get rid of certain drugs more quickly through the urine. Because of this, some believe goldenseal may help hide the use of illegal drugs to pass a drug test .
Keep in mind that newer drug testing methods are now able to detect the use of goldenseal in urine samples, reducing the likelihood of a false negative result on a drug test .
While goldenseals detoxifying potential may depend on the type of toxin or harmful substance at hand, more studies are needed to confirm this.
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Behaviour Change Is Complex
Despite considerable efforts to identify simple interventions that can reduce risky sexual behaviour, behaviour change remains a complex challenge. Research has demonstrated the need to focus on carefully defined populations, consult extensively with the identified target populations, and involve them in design, implementation and evaluation.
Who Is At Risk For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. It is a very common STD, especially among young people.3 It is estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 years has chlamydia.5
Sexually active young people are at high risk of acquiring chlamydia for a combination of behavioral, biological, and cultural reasons. Some young people dont use condoms consistently.15 Some adolescents may move from one monogamous relationship to the next more rapidly than the likely infectivity period of chlamydia, thus increasing risk of transmission.16 Teenage girls and young women may have cervical ectopy .17 Cervical ectopy may increase susceptibility to chlamydial infection. The higher prevalence of chlamydia among young people also may reflect multiple barriers to accessing STD prevention services, such as lack of transportation, cost, and perceived stigma.16-20
Men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydial infection since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex. Among MSM screened for rectal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 3.0% to 10.5%.6.7 Among MSM screened for pharyngeal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 0.5% to 2.3%.7.8
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