How Is It Spread
Chlamydia is passed from one person to another by contact with body fluids containing the bacteria during unprotected oral, vaginal and anal sex.
Sometimes a person with chlamydia will have no symptoms. Even without symptoms, the infection passes easily to another person.
If you have a chlamydia infection you will be able to pass the infection on to others until you complete antibiotic treatment.
If you are pregnant, you may pass the infection to you baby’s eyes during childbirth. This may lead to blindness if the baby is not treated. If you have chlamydia during pregnancy, the baby may develop pneumonia.
Chlamydia treatment does not protect you from getting it again. If you are treated and your sex partners are not, the bacteria could pass back to you again.
Can These Stds Still Be Treated
As of 2020, the CDC recommends an injection of ceftriaxone for uncomplicated cases of gonorrhea.
Syphilis can be treated with penicillin, but Klausner says there have been shortages of the antibiotic in the United States and around the world. It can also be treated with azithromycin, though it has shown some resistance to this antibiotic, he says.
Chlamydia still responds to several antibiotics, including doxycyclin, erythromycin, amoxicillin, and azithromycin. Nevertheless, public health officials must be vigilant, says Englund.
âAny time you see resistance rising , you need to look at the others for potential rise and make sure it doesnât start to develop there as well,â she says.
Where Can I Get A Test
There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
A chlamydia test can be done at:
- a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
- your general practice
- contraception and young peoples clinics
- some pharmacies.
Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.
In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.
The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .
If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.
In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk
Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
Chlamydia can be diagnosed by several different laboratory tests. They can either use a urine sample to test for the bacteria or a cotton swab from the infected area. The chlamydia test most often uses a swab from the cervix for women and the urethra for men, but can also include a swab of the anus or other potentially infected areas. This swab is used for a culture or antigen for testing, both of which can identify if chlamydia is present. A doctor may also conduct a physical exam to examine symptoms and check for other STDs. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are very similar, so it is important to test for both to ensure you receive the right treatment. A doctor may ask:
- How often do you have unprotected sex?
- Do you have a new partner or multiple sexual partners?
- Do you exhibit any symptoms like discharge, pelvic pain, or pain when urinating?
These questions can be used to determine if you have a STD, and answering yes increases the likelihood that you may have contracted one. Getting tested for a STD can be scary and intimidating, but remember you are taking charge of your health. Seeking help can provide peace of mind knowing if you do or do not have a STD and what you can do about it.
Can You Get Chlamydia In Your Throat
Its possible, but not likely, that you could get chlamydia in your throat. To understand how or why it could happen, its important to consider how chlamydia is transmitted.
A person can get chlamydia when their mucus membranes, such as those of the vagina, penis, or rectum, come in contact with chlamydia bacteria. These bacteria enter the mucus membranes and multiply.
Chlamydia doesnt always cause symptoms. However, if not treated, the infection can result in damage that cant be reversed.
The most common way chlamydia is spread is through unprotected anal or vaginal sex. The bacteria typically infect and cause symptoms in the location they first entered the body.
Its possible that chlamydia can be transmitted to your throat if you give oral sex to a partner who has contracted a genital chlamydia infection.
Additionally, getting oral sex from someone who has contracted a chlamydia infection of the throat can potentially transmit the bacteria to your genitals.
You cant get chlamydia mouth-to-mouth kissing.
For a reason doctors dont fully understand, chlamydia bacteria more easily infect the groin area, such as the vagina, penis, or rectum, than the mouth.
- mouth sores that dont heal
- sores around lips and mouth
However, you can contract the infection in both the throat and genital area. In addition to a sore throat, you may have chlamydia symptoms in your genitals.
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When To Visit Doctor And When Not For Chlamydia Case
You can cure chlamydia without visiting doctor. Chlamydia is a silent disease and it is very difficult to find out the symptoms of it. If women or males even face minute symptoms of it then should visit a doctor for checking it. Now, one can find Chlamydia testing Center near to their doorsteps. Nowadays samples are taken for Nucleic acid amplification tests which are the most efficient test for detecting Chlamydia. In women, a swab is taken. There are various antibiotic medicines available in the market for Chlamydia and it is fully curable. If someone tests positive then he/she can take medicine available in the market. But if someone faces complications even after consuming over the counter chlamydia antibiotics and medicine then he/she should visit a doctor immediately.
You Can Catch Chlamydia If Youve Only Had Sex Once
You may have heard that its not possible to get chlamydia from a single sex act. If youve had sex with someone who has the infection, you could get it, too. One encounter is all it takes to pass on the bacteria, so get tested.
In up to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia, the infection spreads to the uterus and uterine tubes, leading to symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease.
If youve had unprotected sex and are worried that you might have chlamydia, get tested. The test is easy and painless. Your doctor could take a sample of your cells with a cotton swab or ask you to pee in a cup. The sample is tested for chlamydia bacteria. If your doctor says you have chlamydia, dont worry. Its treatable.
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What Does A Chlamydia Test Involve
- If you have a vulva, you may be asked to take a swab around the inside of your vagina yourself.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab during an internal examination of your vagina and cervix .
- You may be asked to provide a urine sample. Before having this test, youre advised not to pass urine for 12 hours.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab from the entrance of the urethra .
- If youve had anal or oral sex, a doctor or nurse may swab your rectum or throat . These swabs arent done routinely on everyone.
- If you have symptoms of conjunctivitis swabs will be used to collect a sample of discharge from your eye.
A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud but is smaller and rounded. It sometimes has a small plastic loop on the end rather than a cotton tip. Its wiped over the parts of the body that could be infected. This only takes a few seconds and isnt painful, though it may be uncomfortable for a moment.
Cervical screening and routine blood tests dont detect chlamydia.
If youre not sure whether youve been tested for chlamydia, just ask.
Untreated Chlamydia Infections Can Cause Other Issues
If you remain untreated, your Chlamydia infection may spread and trigger further complications that can affect your health.
Men could suffer from Epididymitis, which is an inflammation of the Epididymis a small tube that carries semen from the testicles. This will cause the testicles to become swollen and painful. Men may also experience reactive arthritis. With this condition, the joints, eyes or urethra can become inflamed which could happen within a few weeks of a Chlamydia infection.
Untreated Chlamydia in women can cause the infection to spread to the womb, fallopian tubes or ovaries. This results in a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease a potentially life-threatening condition that may also cause infertility if left untreated. A pregnant woman is also at a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy if this occurs.
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Chlamydia Is Caused By Sexually Transmitted Bacteria
The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis causes chlamydia infection, which usually occurs in the genital tract, so the cervix in women and the penis in men. In both women and men, the bacteria may also infect the rectum and the throat.
“Infections are spread during any kind of sexual activity: vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse,” says Jonathan Schaffir, MD, an ob-gyn at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
Chlamydia trachomatis can also cause conjunctivitis if the bacteria come into contact with the eyelids or the clear membrane covering the white of the eye.
Because chlamydia infections often cause no symptoms, individuals who have one may not seek medical attention or get treated for it. However, anyone who is infected with chlamydia can pass it to other people, who can, in turn, pass it to others.
How Do You Avoid Getting Mouth Chlamydia
How to avoid getting infected the only guaranteed way to avoid chlamydia is not having sex, but this is not a suitable options for most people. To reduce your chance of getting chlamydia you can try the following:
- Choose sexual partners carefully however difficult, you should try to discuss any previous sexual history with a new partner before you first have sex
- Get tested before the start of a new relationship and do not have unprotected sex until you know your test results and your partners an extended STI test kit which tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis is recommended
- Use barrier contraception such as the male condom carefully and correctly always apply the condom before any sexual contact, including oral sex
- If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, always follow the advice about treatment very carefully try to make sure, if you have had chlamydia once, you dont get it again and keep getting tested regularly
- Use condoms at the same time as other contraceptives other contraceptives dont protect against STIs and using condoms alone as a method of contraception has a high failure rate. Women are advised to use a reliable contraceptive method to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, but to use condoms as well, to reduce the chance of acquiring an STI
Who is it at a higher risk of STIs like oral chlamydia? risk factors for chlamydia include:
- Young age
- Multiple partners/frequent change of partner/overlapping partners
- Gay/bisexual men
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Youre Not Immune To Chlamydia Once Youve Had It
Once youve had some diseases, you cant catch them again. Unfortunately, this isnt true for chlamydia. Repeat chlamydia infections are common.
If youve had chlamydia in the past, you have no immunity against the infection. If youre sexually active with somebody who has the infection, you could catch it again. Since reinfection is common, you should get tested for chlamydia about three months after being treated for the infection.
Pharmacokinetic Properties Of Azithromycin And Doxycycline In Rectal Tissue
Several factors may be contributing to treatment failure for rectal chlamydia. Firstly, it is possible that the bioavailability of azithromycin in rectal tissue is less than that observed in urethral or cervical tissue. Early studies found that azithromycin concentrations were above the MIC for chlamydia in cervical mucus 14 days following a single 1 g dose and exceeded the MIC for chlamydia in gynaecological tissue for at least 8 days following a 500 mg dose. With no pharmacokinetic data evaluating azithromycin in rectal tissue available, it is not known whether the drug reaches effective concentrations in rectal tissue. However, data from a study in 1990 reported lower azithromycin concentrations in gastric mucosa compared with urological and gynaecological tissue, which could imply that concentrations may be lower in rectal tissue.
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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.
Can You Get Stds From Kissing
Although kissing is considered to be low-risk when compared to intercourse and oral sex, its possible for kissing to transmit CMV, herpes, and syphilis. CMV can be present in saliva, and herpes and syphilis can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, particularly at times when sores are present.
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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.
Growing Antibiotic Resistance Forces Updates To Recommended Treatment For Sexually Transmitted Infections
WHO releases new treatment guidelines for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis
Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are all caused by bacteria and are generally curable with antibiotics. However, these STIs often go undiagnosed and are becoming more difficult to treat, with some antibiotics now failing as a result of misuse and overuse. It is estimated that, each year, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhoea, and 5.6 million with syphilis.
Resistance of these STIs to the effect of antibiotics has increased rapidly in recent years and has reduced treatment options. Of the 3 STIs, gonorrhoea has developed the strongest resistance to antibiotics. Strains of multidrug-resistant gonorrhoea that do not respond to any available antibiotics have already been detected. Antibiotic resistance in chlamydia and syphilis, though less common, also exists, making prevention and prompt treatment critical.
When left undiagnosed and untreated, these STIs can result in serious complications and long-term health problems for women, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage, and untreated gonorrhoea and chlamydia can cause infertility in both men and women. Infection with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis can also increase a persons risk of being infected with HIV two- to three-fold. An untreated STI in a pregnant woman increases the chances of stillbirth and newborn death.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Chlamydia
The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
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.
How Common Are These Stds In General How Common Are The Antibiotic
The CDC estimates there are 820,000 cases of gonorrhea in the United States each year. Klausner says that less than 1% fail to respond to the currently recommended treatment. However, he says, resistance to older, less expensive antibiotics is much higher.
Chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States, with nearly 3 million cases occurring annually. So far, no treatment-resistant cases have been reported.
In 2019, nearly 130,000 cases of syphilis were reported in the U.S., with the most infectious types increasing 11% from 2018 to 2019, according to CDC statistics.
The numbers for these three STDs, which are the most common, are at a record high, according to the CDC.
âWeâre absolutely seeing an increase in overall rates of STDs, particularly in younger patients,â says Englund. âHalf of cases are diagnosed in patients aged 15 to 24.â
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