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
Gonorrhea Compared To Similar Conditions: Uti Chlamydia And Bv
In this chapter, we compare gonorrhea to other common medical conditions. This will help you understand the most important differences from a doctorÃ¢s viewpoint.
Often, different conditions have similar symptoms and signs. Any experienced doctor keeps in mind other conditions that look and present similarly. ItÃ¢s called making a differential diagnosis.
The differences between similar conditions can be subtle. So, all signs and symptoms should be analyzed carefully:
- WhatÃ¢s the timing of the symptoms?
- How did the symptoms begin?
- How are the symptoms evolving over time?
- What do statistics tell us about the prevalence in the relevant geographic area of the conditions youÃ¢re considering?
- Other relevant questions
In this section, weÃ¢ll help you distinguish the gonorrhea infection from other similar conditions: UTI, chlamydia, and BV.
We present side-by-side comparisons in tables so it will be easier to see the similarities of and differences between those conditions and gonorrhea.
After the tables youÃ¢ll see frequently asked questions from real patients and an expert physicianÃ¢s answers.
Chlamydia Infection: Signs Of Chlamydia In Men And Women
This is one of the most common STDs as far as the US is concerned- the lack of obvious symptoms make the spread rate much higher and therefore many people are affected.
Almost three-quarters of the women suffering from Chlamydia do not show any symptoms- neither do half of the men suffering from this bacterial infection.
How to know if you have Chlamydia? Even though the symptoms are vague and not at all obvious, the following symptoms can be seen in men and women respectively,
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How Can You Prevent Chlamydia
Whether or not youâve had chlamydia before, you can take simple actions to protect your sexual health going forward.
- Unprotected sex is one of the main ways this STD is transmitted, so use protection every time you have sex.
- Routinely screen for STDs like chlamydia .
- If you have a new sex partner, consider talking with them about both of you getting tested so you can enjoy physical intimacy with greater peace of mind.
- Speak with your healthcare providerâand consider getting testedâif youâre experiencing symptoms of this or any other STD.
To easily test for chlamydia from the privacy of home, take the Everlywell at-home Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test. You can also check for 6 common sexually transmitted infections with the Everlywell at-home STD Test for men or women.
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
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Painin The Stomach Or Pelvic Area
When chlamydia is left untreated, there is a 30% chance, and the infection will spread towards the pelvicorgans and cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This disease is often associatedwith sharp, dull, or cramping pelvic pain. The pain will usually start from thepelvic area and travel to the abdomen.
The image below is a clear representation of pelvic inflammation. In this particular example, chlamydia has infected the entire uterus and fallopian tubes.
The second picture is a typical example of a normal versus an inflamed fallopian tube. The left side of the image shows a healthy fallopian tube, while on the right side, inflammation has affected the area and caused the tube to double in size.
Effects Of Chlamydia In Men
If the chlamydia trachomatis is not diagnosed and is left untreated serious health complications can occur. However, this can happen more commonly with chlamydia in women.
The bacterial infection can spread from the vagina or cervix to the females productive organs such as the uterus and lead to a condition know as PID or pelvic inflammatory disease. This condition can lead to permanent damage to the womens productive organs and in many cases result in infertility.
Fortunately, for men serious complications as as result of chlamydia or rare. However, if the bacterial infections spreads to the epididymis then this could lead to the man becoming sterile. The epididymis is the tube where the sperm flows from the testicles.
In rare occasions the disease could lead to further health complications in the form of chlamydia conjunctivitis or trachoma. This is an bacterial eye infection and is often spread to the eyes from the fingers of people who have chlamydia. With this infection one or both eyes become swollen with a sticky discharge. With serious cases the cornea of the eye can also become infected.
Another rare condition of untreated chlamydia is Reiter syndrome. According to the American Academic of Family Physicians Reiter syndrome is,
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What Other Problems Can Chlamydia Cause
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Men often don’t have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis . This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a “reaction” to an infection in the body.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.
How Is Chlamydia In Men Diagnosed
It is hard to diagnose chlamydia in men because up to 50% of those infected show little to no symptoms. However, if you are sexually active with more than one partner and sex is unprotected then, it would be highly advisable to have a check.
For men the most common way to diagnose chlamydia is to either take a urine test or a swab sample from inside the urethra. The latter procedure can be painful if the tip is already inflamed. Urine samples are a less painful and evasive way of taking a sample for diagnosis.
In the UK a faster way of testing men has been developed. The BBC News website reported that
The new Chlamydia Rapid Test is designed to be used with a device for collecting urine from men called FirstBurst. FirstBurst can collect six times the amount of chlamydia bacteria contained in a standard urine sample.
The test then uses a signal amplification system to boost its sensitivity, giving the results in less than an hour. An evaluation, published in the British Medical Journal, found the test was significantly more accurate than existing urine-based rapid tests
Unlike women there is no international agreement that sets out guidelines for health care providers when screening for chlamydia in males. Therefore the onus is on men to take the initiative and get themselves tested.
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How Can You Tell If A Man Has Chlamydia
In 2017, more than 577,000 men had chlamydia, that is 33.9% more than all infected in 2013. From 2016 to 2017, the number of infected increased by 10.5% and is only expected to grow every year. Thats exactly what makes this STI infection one of the most common and prevalent infections on the globe.
But, there is one major problem, from 25% to 50% of men have no clue they are infected, so they will unknowingly transmit the infection to their sexual partner. The reason for that is relatively simple: this tiny bacteria we know as chlamydia may not show any recognizable symptoms. This makes it incredibly difficult for both men and women alike to figure out if they have an infection or not.
Here, we will shed some light on this infection and show you how to tell if a man has chlamydia. Lets take a look at all the warning signs of this infection.
How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
If you suspect you have chlamydia, your doctor may want to test cervical or penile discharge or urine using one of several available methods.
In most cases of chlamydia, the cure rate is 95%. However, because many women don’t know they have the disease until it has caused serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually active women under age 25 and others at higher risk should be tested for chlamydia once a year during their annual pelvic exam even if they dont have symptoms.
Pregnant women should also be tested as part of their routine lab work.
How Do You Treat Chlamydia In Men
If you test positive, the chlamydia treatment youll be prescribed is an antibiotic called doxycycline, or an alternative one if youre allergic to this. Its very important that you contact all previous partners and make them aware that they, too, may have contracted chlamydia. If youve been diagnosed with chlamydia, you can order your treatment online from our discreet service and have it delivered.
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 Common Is Chlamydia In Men
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the world. According to the Aids charity Avert,
Global chlamydia statistics show that an estimated 92 million new chlamydia infections occur each year, affecting more women than men
It is the most sexually transmitted disease in the United States with estimates that nearly 3 million people are infected each year with the disease. This story does not get any better in the UK either. The following report from the BBC News website stated that,
In 2008, young people accounted for two-thirds of all new standard chlamydia infections diagnosed in sexual health clinics.
In England, as many as 68 young men in every 1,000 and 84 young women in every 1,000 carry the infection.
Since the mid-1990s, the number of diagnosed infections has risen an average of 7,500 per year to over 123,000.
As you can clearly see chlamydia in men and women is a growing problem. But why is this sexually transmitted disease on the rise?
What Are The Complications Of Chlamydia Infection
Because chlamydia does not show symptoms in everyone that is infected, it can easily cause long term problems in both men and women. If treatment does not occur early some of this complications are possible.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease . This is an ascending infection that affects the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus and abdomen. It can cause severe pain and infertility in women.
- Peri-hepatitis. This is due to inflammation of the covering of the liver.
- In children, chlamydia can cause red eyes and pneumonia.
- If the fallopian tubes are affected, the baby may grow outside the uterus. This will cause severe pain or fainting attack if it ruptures
- Infertility or inability to conceive
- Increased chance of contacting other sexually transmitted infections like HIV, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis.
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Treatment Of Chlamydia Is There A Cure For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be cured easily and effectively with simple antibiotics once it has been diagnosed. The treatment can consist of a single dose or last up to 2 weeks depending on the type of chlamydia. The infected person should not have penetrative sex until receiving a negative Chlamydia test at an after-treatment check-up. Both partners must be treated for chlamydia and undergo re-testing after 34 months.
How Can Men Test For Chlamydia
Men can test for chlamydia by doing a urine or swab test. The most common chlamydia test for men is a urine test, which involves urinating in a sample tube. This sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Test results are usually reliable and should be available within 2 to 3 days. This is the most accurate test.
Men and women can get free chlamydia test from a local sexual health service. If you prefer, you can order a self-test kit for chlamydia from online pharmacies or buy them from high street chemists. Chemist Click offer discreet home-testing chlamydia kits that require a urine sample. Simply send the sample to our partner NHS accredited laboratory using the prepaid envelope provided, and you will receive your results in 2 to 3 days, by your preferred method of communication.
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Knowing Other Bodily Symptoms Of Chlamydia
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Gonorrhea
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 gonorrhea:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results
- Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.
You should also get tested if you don’t have any symptoms but are concerned you could have a sexually transmitted infection .
If you’re a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If you’re a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
Read more about chlamydia diagnosis.
What Can Happen If Chlamydia Isnt Treated
Untreated chlamydia can put your health at risk. Make an appointment with your provider immediately if you notice any symptoms of chlamydia, and get regular STI screenings to avoid complications later.
Complications of chlamydia for people with vaginas
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a serious condition that requires hospitalization. It can occur when an untreated STI, like chlamydia, damages your reproductive organs. PID can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain. It can also cause an ectopic pregnancy,which is life-threatening for the fetus and potentially deadly for the mother or gestational parent, too.
- Pregnancy complications. An untreated infection can lead to pre-term delivery. Also, if youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection on to your newborn. Babies born with chlamydia may have pneumonia or conjunctivitis that could lead to blindness if not treated.
Complications of chlamydia for people with penises
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Epididymitis. Infection can spread to the testicles and the tube that carries sperm to your testicles , causing symptoms like pain, swelling and tenderness in your testicles.
- Reduced fertility. Chlamydia can harm your sperm, negatively impacting your ability to conceive.
Complications of chlamydia that can affect all genders
Untreated chlamydia can:
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