How Do I Talk To My Partners
Preventing chlamydia begins with knowing more about your sexual partners and establishing safe sex practices.
You can get chlamydia by engaging in a variety of sexual behaviors with someone who has chlamydia. This includes contact with the genitals or other affected areas as well as penetrative sex.
Before having sex, talk to your partners about:
- whether theyve been tested recently for STDs
- their sexual history
- their other risk factors
Talking to your partner about STDs can be difficult. There are ways to ensure you can have an open and honest conversation about the issue before engaging in sex.
Mens symptoms can include:
- changes in the testicles, such as pain or swelling
You may also experience chlamydia away from the genitals.
Symptoms in your rectum can include pain, bleeding, and unusual discharge. You may even get chlamydia in your throat, causing redness or soreness or no symptoms at all. Conjunctivitis may be the sign of chlamydia in your eye.
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Does My Partner Need To Be Treated
Yes. Also, any other sexual partners within the previous six months should also be tested for infection.
If your sexual partner is infected and not treated then chlamydia can be passed back to you again after you are treated.
There may be certain occasions when you may not want to contact partners from previous relationships. In these cases staff at the clinic can contact previous partners for you without disclosing your details. This is because it is important that anyone who is at risk of infection with chlamydia be both identified and treated.
Use Your Health Insurance Just Like You Normally Would To See Your Doctor
Prescription antibiotics are currently the only way to get rid of chlamydia.
The two approved antibiotic treatments for chlamydia are:
These medications are not available over the counter and require a prescription from a doctor.
In special instances, if a partner is being treated with antibiotics for chlamydia, a pharmacist can prescribe azithromycin for the other partner to treat asymptomatic symptoms.
Otherwise, doctors prescribe these medications and guide treatment plans.
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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.
Will The Doctor Be Able To Write Me A Chlamydia Prescription
If you test positive for chlamydia, a PlushCare doctor can write you a prescription for antibiotics. Before writing you a prescription for chlamydia pills, the doctor will order a lab test for you. You will need to test positive for chlamydia before beginning treatment to rule out other conditions. A physician at PlushCare can help provide STD treatment online and help develop a treatment plan for you.
Can I Get Chlamydia Treatment Over The Counter
Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse
Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse
Tessa is a MSN prepared Registered Nurse with 10 years of critical care experience in healthcare. When not practicing clinical nursing, she enjoys academic writing and is passionate about helping those affected by medical aliments live healthy lives.
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.
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What Antibiotics Do You Get For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs. It can be treated easily if caught early. Some of the most recommended antibiotics used to treat chlamydia are azithromycin and doxycycline. Azithromycin is typically given as 2 tablets one time while doxycycline is given as 2 capsules a day for 7 days. These antibiotics are most effective if both partners have received treatment and have taken their prescription as directed.
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.
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How Do You Know When Chlamydia Is Gone
Improvement should occur right after receiving treatment. Some of the changes that you might notice include:
- Pain while urinating will improve within a week.
- Discharge will return to normal.
- There wont be bleeding between periods or heavier periods.
- Pelvic pain will fade away.
- Pain during sexual intercourse will decrease.
To prevent yourself from catching it again, get re-tested three months after treatment. This is essential if you engage in sexual intercourse with a partner who hasnt been tested for chlamydia.
Whats Chlamydia And What Are The Symptoms
The bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, is the organism which causes chlamydia infection. It can affect the eyes , the joints, the mouth and the genitals of males and females. Chlamydia discharge with severe discomfort while urinating may be an early sign of illness.
It can also be contacted through the sharing of infected towels. Pregnant women with poorly treated infection may transmit chlamydia to their babies during delivery.
Chlamydia can be a silent disease because you can get infected without showing any signs. About 30 70 percent of infected men and women will not have common symptoms at all.
However, this does not rule out complication of chlamydia infection in the long-term. If left for a long time without treatment, chlamydia may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal pregnancy, and difficulty conceiving.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is the upward spread of chlamydia affecting the womb, abdominal area, and Fallopian tubes. PID could potentially cause permanent damage to the Fallopian tubes ultimately causing infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
Short-term adverse effects of chlamydia in men include inflammation of the epididymis, with testes that are hurtful and swollen. This occurs very early after an infection and can contribute to infertility in men.
If youve had unprotected anal, oral, vaginal intercourse or got in real contact with someone genital fluid, you can have chlamydia.
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Does Chlamydia Treatment Have Side Effects
An antibiotic called Doxycycline is the most common medicine used to treat chlamydia. Like most medicines, it can cause mild side effects. The most common side effects of Doxycycline are nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, loss of appetite, mild diarrhea, skin rash or itching, change in skin color, vaginal itching, or discharge. These side effects should go away after you finish taking the medicine. Talk to your nurse or doctor about any medicines youre already taking and any medical issues you already have before taking Doxycycline.
How Long Does Treatment Take
Treatment time for chlamydia can vary from one to seven days. Azithromycin requires only one dose for one day, while you must take other antibiotics multiple times a day for seven days.
To cure a chlamydia infection, take the antibiotics exactly as prescribed by your doctor and for the full length of the prescription, being sure to take every dose. There should be no medication left at the end of the treatment period. You cannot save medication in case you acquire chlamydia again.
Contact your doctor if you still have symptoms but have taken all your antibiotics. You will need a follow-up test with your doctor
Why Should I Have Treatment If I Have No Symptoms
If you are infected with chlamydia, it is essential that you take treatment even if you do not have any symptoms of chlamydial infection. Reasons for this include:
- The infection may spread and cause serious complications . This can be months or years after you are first infected.
- You can still pass on the infection to your sexual partner even if you do not have symptoms.
Gonorrhea And Chlamydia: Understanding The Differences
After chlamydia, gonorrhea is the second most common STD. Gonorrhea, also called the clap, is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which produces an infection in the mucus membranes. Like chlamydia, gonorrhea bacteria can grow and infect women in the cervix, uterus, or fallopian tubes and in men, in the urethra. It can also infect the anus, mouth, and throat.
Also like chlamydia, gonorrhea can be passed onto newborns during childbirth if the mother is infected and remains untreated. The same risk factors, like having unprotected sex, having multiple sexual partners in a given time frame, and being between the ages of 14 and 24, apply to gonorrhea.
Once infected, gonorrhea can begin to show symptoms in one to two weeks or even after one month. Gonorrhea produces similar symptoms to chlamydia:
- Discharge This discharge can be white or greenish-yellow from the vagina or penis.
- Burning sensation while urinating This occurs in both men and women.
- Pain or swollen sexual organs For men, this originates in the testicles, and for women, this is in the pelvis and vulva.
Similar to chlamydia, gonorrhea can exhibit little or no symptoms. This often leads women to believe they have a yeast infection and self-treat with over-the-counter medication. It is crucial to consult a doctor to ensure you receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.
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Why Is It Important To Treat Chlamydia
If left untreated chlamydia is unlikely to go away. It can be passed onto sexual partners and can cause serious harm. Women can get cervicitis or pelvic inflammatory disease. This can result in permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, which may lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia also can cause a reactive arthritis. Men can suffer with urethritis , this can spread to the contents of the scrotal sac epididymis and testicles. This causes pain, and in severe cases infertility. Men can also get a reactive arthritis.
The Costs Of Infertility
Treating chlamydia is easy, but for those who do not get treated or get treated too late, living with the damage caused by the infection can be hard.
Rabin has treated many women who never knew they had had chlamydia until they couldnt get pregnant due to blocked fallopian tubes. These women often wind up trying in vitro fertilization , which does not always succeed.
There are all kinds of costs involved for these women, say Rabin. There are emotional costs and physical costs. There are also financial costs with IVF. Its much better to not let the tubes get damaged, she says, and get pregnant the old-fashioned way.
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Getting A Chlamydia Test
Because you can have and transmit the infection without symptoms, a test is necessary to detect the presence of the bacteria and begin treatment. Even if you had sex once, you could still contract chlamydia.
Men should have a chlamydia screening if they experience any symptoms that could be an infection. They should also see a doctor if their partner tests positive for chlamydia regardless of their sexual orientation.
For women, testing should occur at least once a year if youre under 25 and sexually active. Younger people are more likely to contract an STD because they tend to have more unprotected sex or multiple partners. Women should also undergo an annual screening if theyre over 25 and have a new partner.
Another reason for women to have a chlamydia test is pregnancy. A mother can pass chlamydia to their baby during birth, resulting in medical issues for the newborn.
What Exactly Causes Chlamydia
Chlamydia can also be transmitted to a baby during vaginal delivery if the person giving birth has an untreated chlamydia infection.
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What Are Oral Chlamydia Symptoms
Like most STDs, partners exposed to chlamydia may exhibit no symptoms. Similarly, in oral chlamydia, most people have no symptoms. When symptoms arise, some experience a sore throat. While others, may experience redness of the throat. In any situation, if you or a partner have been exposed to someone who has chlamydia, it is best to get treated as soon as possible to avoid complications.
What Happens If You Dont Get Treated For Chlamydia
Even though chlamydia is common and doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can become a big deal if its not caught and treated early.
Chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes if it goes untreated for a long time. This can cause you to have pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage that leads to pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. So getting tested regularly for chlamydia really lowers your chances of getting PID.
If you have a penis, a chlamydia infection can spread to your epididymis if its left untreated, and can cause chronic joint pain. Rarely, it can make you infertile.
Having chlamydia may increase your chances of getting or spreading HIV.
If you have chlamydia during your pregnancy and dont treat it, you can pass it to your baby when youre giving birth. Chlamydia can also cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and it also increases the risk of delivering your baby too early.
Testing and treatment for chlamydia is quick, easy, and the best way to avoid all of these problems.
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Potential Symptoms For Chlamydia
Although many people may be asymptomatic and not experience any signs of infection, those that do have symptoms typically experience pain or burning when urinating and/or discharge from the penis or vagina.
Only approx. 10% of penis infections show symptoms, while about 5-30% of vaginal infections will develop symptoms.
For an in-depth view of all the potential symptoms associated with chlamydia, please look at our article about chlamydia symptoms.
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Getting Treated For Chlamydia And Often Gonorrhea
If you have your own doctor, he will prescribe the antibiotics you need to treat chlamydia. If you dont have your own doctor, you can often find free or low-cost care at either a Planned Parenthood site or a community health clinic.
Listen carefully to the instructions for taking the medicine that you are given by the doctor or other healthcare provider, and follow them closely.
Ask questions if you dont understand something. Also, if you have other questions as you take your medicine, you can always call the pharmacist for help. They are often easier to reach than the doctor.
If you test positive for chlamydia, your healthcare provider is likely to also recommend that you be treated for gonorrhea. This is because the cost of treating gonorrhea is less than the cost of testing for the infection.
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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