What Are The Complications Of Chlamydia In Men
Chlamydia in men can have several complications if left untreated.
Untreated epididymitis as a result of chlamydia in men can lead to infertility. The two ways it can occur include
- Untreated chlamydia in men can scar the ducts that convey sperm.
- Chlamydia can affect sperm cells by changing their DNA.
A 2017 study showed that chlamydia in men did not affect the sperm DNA nor did it cause infertility.
Proctitis can cause fistula and strictures if not treated. A fistula is an abnormal connection between the skin and the intestine.
Chlamydia in men can cause urethral strictures â narrowing of the lumen. Strictures can lead to painful urination, bloody urine, and straining. The treatment of urethral stricture is through surgery.
Lastly, chlamydia in men can cause reactive arthritis. It occurs in about 1% of men with chlamydia. A patient with reactive arthritis will complain of swelling, pain, stiffness, and redness of the joints.
It can occur in all joints in the body but occurs more in the knees, ankles, and feet. Also, reactive arthritis can cause
- Low back pain
Chlamydia is responsible for most cases of reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis is formerly known as Reiterâs syndrome. It is a form of inflammatory arthritis that results from a distant infection. This disease occurs when you come in contact with bacteria.
Some people with arthritis and urethritis later develop conjunctivitis or uveitis. The list of medical triads is Reiterâs syndrome.
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.
How Does Chlamydia Affect A Pregnant Woman
Chlamydia in pregnant women can be passed on to the baby causing serious complications in the newborn such as ophthalmia neonatorum and pneumonia. Untreated chlamydia in pregnant women is also likely to cause preterm labor . Chlamydia infection is also associated with a high risk of ectopic pregnancy .
Pregnant women should get tested for chlamydia at their first prenatal visit because testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent complications.
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Testing And Treating Sexual Partners
If you test positive for chlamydia, it’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you’ve had are also tested and treated.
A specialist sexual health adviser can help you contact your recent sexual partners, or the clinic can contact them for you if you prefer.
Either you or someone from the clinic can speak to them, or the clinic can send them a note to let them know they may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection .
The note will suggest that they go for a check-up. It will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024
Does Chlamydia Have A Smell
The majority of chlamydial infections in women do not cause any symptoms. You can get chlamydia in the cervix , rectum, or throat. You may not notice any symptoms. But if you do have symptoms, you might notice: An unusual discharge, with a strong smell, from your vagina.
Can Uncircumcised Guys Cause Bacterial Infections
Still, some research suggests that men can spread BV or similar bacterial infections to female partners. A 2015 study involving 165 uncircumcised men concluded that participants who had one or more female sexual partners, aside from their spouse, were more likely to carry bacteria associated with BV on their penis.
Chlamydia Is Only Contagious From Person To Person
You can only get chlamydia by having intimate sexual contact with an infected person, not from casual contact, touching another persons clothing, or consuming contaminated food or water.
The chlamydia organism lives only in human cells and cannot be transmitted by external contact, such as towels or toilet seats, Schaffir says.
How To Protect Yourself From Stds
HPV and both Hepatitis A and B have vaccines that can be gotten before the threat of infection. Currently, there are vaccines being developed for Herpes, HIV, and syphilis ll. Other ways of preventing infection include safe sex practices such as using condoms and making sure your partners have been tested. The only surefire way to prevent STDs is abstaining from sex. However, making sure to be safe with all partners, getting vaccines, and getting tested often are your best measures to being able to enjoy sexual activity without fear of acquiring an STD.
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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Chlamydia Trachomatis And Pregnancy
The prevalence of C. trachomatis infection in pregnant women ranges from 2-35 per cent. Pregnant women with chlamydial infection are at increased risk for adverse outcomes of pregnancy and post-partum PID. Sequelae like still birth, low birth weight, neonatal death, decrease gestational periods, preterm delivery and premature rupture of membranes have been reported. Nine per cent of the women with chlamydial infection who develop PID have tubal pregnancy. Early pregnancy loss or recurrent pregnancy loss may be induced by asymptomatic chlamydial infection through the operation of immune mechanism.
What Treatment Cures Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection , so if you test positive for it, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. There are several antibiotic treatments for chlamydia, but the most commonly recommended ones are azithromycin and doxycycline. Other frequently prescribed antibiotics include erythromycin, levofloxacin, and ofloxacin.
Whenever youve been prescribed a course of antibiotics, its vital that you take the full course, even if you start to feel better or notice symptoms disappearing. This is because an incomplete course of antibiotics exposes the chlamydia bacteria to a non-lethal dose, meaning the small remainder can adapt to become antibiotic-resistant and spread again and the previous medicine will no longer work.
While antibiotics will clear up a chlamydia infection, complications caused by extended exposure to chlamydia are harder to treat. One example is epididymitis. This is a painful inflammation of the testicles that does go away with antibiotics, but if you leave it untreated for too long, it can affect your fertility.
Equally, while Manual caters to mens health, its also important to be aware of the effects of chlamydia on women, especially if your sexual partner is female. Extended exposure to untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which leads to permanent scarring on the fallopian tubes , which can render women infertile.
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Diagnosis Of Chlamydia In Men
Your doctor will perform a series of laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia infection. These tests include a urine test, urethral discharge culture, and a swab test.
For diagnosis of chlamydia in men, your doctor inserts a thin swab into the tip of your penis. The swab collects a sample from your urethra for review. Afterward, you may need a urethral discharge culture or swab test to rule out gonorrhea. A man that has engaged in anal or oral sex would need a rectal and throat swab sample.
How Does Someone Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is passed through oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Chlamydia can be passed from one person to another even if the penis or tongue does not go all the way into the vagina or anus.Eye infections can occur when discharge caries the disease into the eye during sex or hand-to-eye contact.
Chlamydia can also be passed from mother to newborn as the baby passes through the infected birth canal. This can result in eye infections, pneumonia or other complications.
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Where Can I Get More Information
Health care providers with STD consultation requests can contact the STD Clinical Consultation Network . This service is provided by the National Network of STD Clinical Prevention Training Centers and operates five days a week. STDCCN is convenient, simple, and free to health care providers and clinicians. More information is available at www.stdccn.orgexternal icon.
Division of STD Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-38271-800-783-987
1. OFarrell N, Morison L, Moodley P, et al. Genital ulcers and concomitant complaints in men attending a sexually transmitted infections clinic: implications for sexually transmitted infections management. Sexually transmitted diseases 2008 35:545-9.
2. White JA. Manifestations and management of lymphogranuloma venereum. Current opinion in infectious diseases 2009 22:57-66.
3. Kreisel KM, Spicknall IH, Gargano JW, Lewis FM, Lewis RM, Markowitz LE, Roberts H, Satcher Johnson A, Song R, St. Cyr SB, Weston EJ, Torrone EA, Weinstock HS. Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: Prevalence and incidence estimates, 2018. Sex Transm Dis 2021 in press.
4. CDC. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2019. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services April 2021.
5. Torrone E, Papp J, Weinstock H. Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis Genital Infection Among Persons Aged 1439 Years United States, 20072012. MMWR 2014 63:834-8.
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.
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Causes Of Chlamydia In Men And Women
The main cause of Chlamydia is not using condoms or having unprotected sex with your partner. This infection can also be caused without penetration and can be caused due to oral sex too. Also, by touching the genitals together this bacteria can be transmitted from one person to another.
Also, a lot of newborn babies can get the infection through their mothers. Ans, uncommon eye chlamydia can also be caused because of oral or genital contact with the eye.
You can also get chlamydia by involving a person who had a bad infection in past but successfully treated it.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Gonorrhea
Once you are infected with Gonorrhea it is unclear how long Gonorrhea can last in your system until treatment. Some estimate it can last for months. Once you have been infected, you can get tested immediately. In some cases, if you test negative but the suspected sexual encounter was recent, a doctor may advise you to come back after one week to be retested to ensure it is a fully correct diagnosis. After completing treatment, the infection usually clears in 7 to 10 days.
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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
The Sex Superbug: Gonorrhoea
Gonorrhoea may be on the verge of becoming an untreatable disease. Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacteria, and it is treated with two drugs but resistance is already developing to one of the drugs. Soon we may have no treatment options remaining for multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea infections.
Those diagnosed with gonorrhoea are at risk of serious complications and untreated, the disease can cause inflammation of the womb and infertility. The infection can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby.
Infection in pregnant women can lead to early labour and delivery or permanent blindness in a newborn baby.
There were 87 million new cases gonorrhoea amount men and women aged 15-49 years in 2016.
WHO/Yoshi Shimizu. Testing for sexually transmitted infections in Mongolia.
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Rules For Successful Treatment
The patient should make sure that the doctor is informed if the patient is pregnant or has any allergies. These conditions influence the choice of the medicine prescribed. No matter which antibiotic the patient takes treating chlamydia the following points should be remembered:
- The treatment of all partners on the infected person is obligatory
- Abstain from sex contacts during the treatment and until the negative result on chlamydia test is received
- It is unadvisable to interrupt the course of antibiotics treatment as it will result in the necessity to start again from the beginning. Although the symptoms may disappear, the infection may still remain in the body
- It is necessary to get tested after 34 months after the end of the treatment to make sure the infection is no longer in the body.
What Complications Can Result From Chlamydial Infection
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydial infections can lead to serious health problems with both short- and long-term consequences.
In women, untreated chlamydia can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease . Symptomatic PID occurs in about 10 to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia.30,31 However, chlamydia can also cause subclinical inflammation of the upper genital tract . Both acute and subclinical PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, tubal factor infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.32,33
Some patients with chlamydial PID develop perihepatitis, or Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome, an inflammation of the liver capsule and surrounding peritoneum, which is associated with right upper quadrant pain.
In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia has been associated with pre-term delivery,34 as well as ophthalmia neonatorum and pneumonia in the newborn.
Reactive arthritis can occur in men and women following symptomatic or asymptomatic chlamydial infection, sometimes as part of a triad of symptoms formerly referred to as Reiters Syndrome.35
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Can Chlamydia Go Away On Its Own
It is highly unlikely for chlamydia to go away on its own. Although the symptoms may subside temporarily, the infection may persist in the body in the absence of treatment . It is important to seek diagnosis and timely treatment to get rid of the infection.
If treatment is not sought, chlamydia can lead to the following serious complications:
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases or PID
- Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome
- Untreated chlamydia in pregnant women can cause serious consequences such as preterm delivery , ophthalmia neonatorum , and pneumonia in the newborn.
- Reactive arthritis may develop in men and women following chlamydia infection.
- Men have less symptoms linked to chlamydia compared with women. Chlamydia infection can sometimes lead to epididymitis , causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can cause infertility in men.
New Variant Of Chlamydia Trachomatis
A new variant Chlamydia trachomatis strain has been recently isolated in Sweden , which has a 377 bps deletion in a portion of the plasmid that is the target area for some of the NAATs. Consequently these tests often give false negative results when presented with this strain. Therefore, it is important to select primers for NAAT carefully particularly those targeting the endogenous plasmids. The symptoms and treatment of this strain do not differ from those for normal chlamydiae. So far, this strain has been found in Sweden and Norway. The clinicians and microbiologists should remain vigilant for suspicious negative results as well as unexplained fall in positive results. However, other commercially available NAAT systems that use a different sequence accurately detect this agent.
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