Essential Facts About Chlamydia
Chlamydia often causes no symptoms in the short term, but it can have serious health consequences if it goes untreated.
If youre sexually active, you should know about chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted bacterial infection. These 10 facts will bring you up to speed on whos at risk, why regular screening is so important, and how to avoid getting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections .
In Men Untreated Chlamydia Can Lead To:
- Epididymitis painful inflammation of the inner structures of the testicles, which may cause reduced fertility or sterility. A rare complication of Epididymitisis reactive arthritis, which causes pain in the inflamed joints that can be disabling
- Occasionally, Reiters syndrome
- Urethritis inflammation of the urethra with a yellow discharge appearing at the tip of the penis. Untreated urethritis results in narrowing of the urethra which leads to painful urinating and can cause kidney problems
The Health Risks Of Chlamydia
For up to 40 percent of infected women, untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease . PID effects include abdominal pain, fever, internal abscesses and long-lasting pelvic pain effects also include scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility and increase the chance of potentially life-threatening ectopic or tubal pregnancies.
Men can develop scarring of the urethra, making urination difficult and occasionally causing infertility. Although rare, both sexes are at risk of a type of arthritis known as Reiter’s Syndrome that causes inflammation and swelling of the joints.
If a pregnant woman has chlamydia, her baby may be born prematurely, have eye infections or develop pneumonia.
You May Like: Is Chlamydia And Gonorrhea The Same
Who Should Be Tested For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Anyone with genital symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination, unusual sores, or rash should refrain from having sex until they are able to see a health care provider about their symptoms.
Also, anyone with an oral, anal, or vaginal sex partner who has been recently diagnosed with an STD should see a health care provider for evaluation.
Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs have been demonstrated to reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Rectal chlamydia testing can be considered for females based on sexual behaviors and exposure. 40 Pregnant women under 25 or older pregnant women at increased risk for chlamydia should be screened during their first prenatal visit and again during their third trimester.40 Women diagnosed with chlamydial infection should be retested approximately 3 months after treatment.40 Any woman who is sexually active should discuss her risk factors with a health care provider who can then determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Know Your Sexual Health Status
If you have recently changed sexual partners, or have multiple sex partners, getting regularly tested for STIs will tell you if you have an infection. Some people can have an STI and not have any symptoms. Finding and treating an STI reduces the chances of passing infections on to your partner.
The more partners you have, the higher your chances of getting exposed to STIs.
Also Check: What’s The Best Antibiotic For Chlamydia
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.
Will My Birth Control Work If I Am Taking Antibiotics
There is very little evidence to show that antibiotics make hormonal forms of birth control not work very well. Examples of hormonal birth control include the pill, the patch, the ring or the shot. If you are being treated with antibiotics, it is important to keep using your birth control as you normally would. If you have concerns, use condoms until your next period comes after completing the antibiotics, or speak to your health care provider for more information.
Also Check: How Can You Tell If A Girl Has Chlamydia
Complications Of Chlamydia In Males
When left untreated chlamydia can lead to other conditions and symptoms. In men, chlamydia infection can lead to the inflammation of the testicles and the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles . If you develop this complication you may experience:
- Swelling or a lump in the testicle
- Discharge from the penis
- Difficulty urinating or needing to urinate more often
- Later on, problems with fertility
Untreated chlamydia can also cause sexually acquired reactive arthritis , which can lead to:
- Pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints
- Pain and redness in the eyes
- Pain when urinating
Inflammation of the testicles and epididymis can usually be treated with antibiotics. SARA cannot be cured, it normally clears up on its own within a few months, but it is prone to recurrences. SARA occurs 10 times more frequently in men than women.
Signs And Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is known as one of the silent diseases which can produce no symptoms for a long period of time. Approximately 7095 percent of women and 50 percent of men with chlamydia do not observe chlamydia symptoms at all. The symptoms can also be mild and almost unnoticeable.
Another reason why symptoms are not the best way to determine the infection is that it is often confused with gonorrhea as the symptoms are very much alike. Asymptomatic nature of chlamydia makes it difficult to estimate how long a person remains infectious and this period is commonly believed to last until full recovery.
Chlamydia symptoms show up between 1 and 3 weeks after the contraction.
Don’t Miss: How Can A Man Catch Chlamydia
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.
What Problems Can Happen
If it’s not treated, chlamydia can lead to:
- in girls: pelvic inflammatory disease , which can damage the reproductive system, making it hard or impossible for a woman to get pregnant later on
- in guys: swelling in the testicles and tubes at the back of the testicles, possibly preventing a man from fathering kids later on
- joint problems
Recommended Reading: What Are The Symptoms Of Gonorrhea And Chlamydia
What Will Happen If Chlamydia Infections Is Ignored So Long
Trachoma of the eye. Progression of trachoma. Trachoma, an infection of the eye caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. Trachoma is a bacterial infection that affects your eyes
If you are thinking hard to know about how is chlamydia transmitted then the only answer is via sexual contact. Unfortunately, the side effects of Chlamydia over male infertility are generally underestimated. But it is observed that this infection can damage sperm and may also lead to some serious or non curable reproductive disorder like permanent infertility.
Males that are suffering with Chlamydia use to have DNA level 3 times higher than its normal amount in DNA. It clearly means that the genetic material is not perfectly packed inside and it is more susceptible to breakage.
Structure of Mycoplasma cell. the bacterium is the causative agent of sexually transmitted diseases, pneumoniae, atypical pneumonia and other respiratory disorders. unaffected by many antibiotics.
Mycoplasma is also similar kind of disease and it is also transferred with sexual contact both these diseases can have direct effect on sperm production in male body. Once a person gets infected with Chlamydia then his rate of abnormal sperm reproduction gets increased up to 80% and it has about 10% lesser mobility inside body when compared with normal peers.
Other than this, male Chlamydia patients are observed to experience urethritis, conjunctivitis and rheumatological conditions along with reactive arthritis issues.
How Do People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected partner. Ejaculation does not have to occur for chlamydia to be transmitted or acquired. Chlamydia can also be spread perinatally from an untreated mother to her baby during childbirth, resulting in ophthalmia neonatorum or pneumonia in some exposed infants. In published prospective studies, chlamydial conjunctivitis has been identified in 18-44% and chlamydial pneumonia in 3-16% of infants born to women with untreated chlamydial cervical infection at the time of delivery.9-12 While rectal or genital chlamydial infection has been shown to persist one year or longer in infants infected at birth,13 the possibility of sexual abuse should be considered in prepubertal children beyond the neonatal period with vaginal, urethral, or rectal chlamydial infection.
People who have had chlamydia and have been treated may get infected again if they have sexual contact with a person infected with chlamydia.14
Don’t Miss: How Do Men Get Tested For Chlamydia
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Not all women and men will show symptoms of the disease. About 70 percent of women and 50 percent of men will not show symptoms of chlamydia. Therefore, if you have had unprotected sexual intercourse then its important to get tested. Early diagnosis and treatment are important in infected women to prevent complications.
Getting Tested And Treated For Chlamydia
If you have had unprotected sex and you think you may have been exposed to chlamydia or another STI you should get tested. If you’re diagnosed you should let your partner know and get treated before you have sex again.
You can do this for free at your GP surgery, a sexual health clinic or a GUM clinic. You can also order home test kits from LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor.You should get tested if you are experiencing the kinds of symptoms described above, or if your sexual partner has been diagnosed with chlamydia. If you are under 25 and sexually active its recommended that you get tested at least once a year, and every time you change sexual partners whether or not you have symptoms.
Click here to visit our sexual health tests for men page and order test kits for chlamydia and other STIs.
Also Check: How Soon Can You Feel Symptoms Of Chlamydia
What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated
If a person is not treated for chlamydia, complications may occur. Women frequently develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, tubal pregnancies, and the continued spread of the disease. In men, untreated chlamydia can cause urethral infection and complications such as swollen and tender testicles. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy may result in premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery and possible tubal pregnancy in a small percent of women. In addition, chlamydia can cause conjunctival and pneumonic infection in the newborn. Persons with a chlamydia infection have an increased chance of getting other infections such as gonorrhea or HIV.
What Are The Symptoms
Often people with chlamydia will have no symptoms and will not know that they have the infection.
A chlamydia infection in the rectum may cause discharge from the anus, rectal pain, mucous with stools, painful bowel movements and redness in the anal area.
For men, symptoms can include:
- Clear or mucous-like fluid from the penis
- Pain or a burning feeling when urinating
- Itching or irritation in the urethra the tube that urine passes through
For women, symptoms can include:
- Change in amount and/or colour of fluid from the vagina
- Pain or a burning feeling when urinating
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods or after sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain during vaginal sex
Chlamydia infection may occur in the throat but does not usually cause symptoms.
Symptoms may appear 2 to 3 weeks after exposure to the bacteria. Sometimes it can take as long as 6 weeks for the symptoms to appear, if at all.
Recommended Reading: Why Is Penicillin Ineffective Against Chlamydia
Possible Treatments For Chlamydia
It is good to stay aware about how to treat Chlamydia. In case of your test is found positive then you have to undergo Chlamydia treatment. Most of the doctors prescribe just a single dose of some antibiotics like azithromycin. But in case if you are allergic to its content then you may have to take other standard antibiotic.Note that if you are infected then let your previous sex partners know about the infection so that they can also undergo tests and treatments at right time. It is also possible to start Chlamydia treatment online because most of the experts are delivering fast and reliable services over internet for complete treatment of this Silent Infection.
I Was Treated For Chlamydia When Can I Have Sex Again
You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex.
Don’t Miss: How Can A Man Know If He Has Chlamydia
What Happens If A Man Doesnt Treat His Chlamydia
If chlamydia is left untreated, it can become a more severe infection. Its also possible for it to have long term effects, including on fertility.
Chlamydia can affect the whole of the male reproductive system, causing inflammation in the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles, as well as the testicles themselves and the prostate gland. If this inflammation isnt treated, it may lead to scarring, which can have an effect on fertility.
There have also been some studies that suggest the infection itself can affect sperm being produced properly, but the evidence around this isnt conclusive at the moment.
Chlamydia can also cause a condition called reactive arthritis. This is when there is inflammation that affects the eyes, joints, and the urethra . The knees, feet, toes, hips, and ankles are also commonly affected. Its unclear exactly why this happens, but it may be related to the body overreacting to the infection. The symptoms can take months to recover, and you should treat this with anti-inflammatory medicines.
Treating chlamydia is also very important because it can easily be passed on to other partners, even if you dont have symptoms.
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.
You May Like: Why Wont My Chlamydia Go Away
Chlamydia Can Be Prevented
The most effective way to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection is to not have sex. However, if you wish to have sexual contact, you can reduce your risk of infection with these actions:
- Minimizing the number of partners with whom you have intimate contact
- Asking your partners to get screened for STDs before engaging in sexual activity
- Always using latex condoms when having intercourse of any kind
Additional reporting by Ingrid Strauch.
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.
Don’t Miss: Can Chlamydia Feel Like A Uti
Chlamydia: Frequently Asked Questions
What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, which results in substantial morbidity and economic cost worldwide. It is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection worldwide. Different strains of C. trachomatis cause genital infections , lymphogranuloma venereum a genital ulcer disease that affects lymphoid tissue-, and trachoma .
How common is chlamydia?
The World Health Organization estimates that in 2012, 131 million new cases of chlamydia infections happened among adults and youth aged 1549 years worldwide, with around 128 million cases already present. The highest number of cases are found in WHO Region of the Americas and the WHO Western Pacific Region.
In the region of the Americas there were around 17.8 million new cases for females and 7 million for men in 2012, adding to the already around 18.8 million existing cases for females and 4.5 million existing cases for males. In many countries, the number of chlamydia is highest among girls aged 1519 years, followed by young women aged 20-24 years.
10-40% of people infected with gonorrhea is also infected with chlamydia.
How is chlamydia spread?
How chlamydia can be prevented?
Correct and consistent use of condoms significantly decreases the risk of infection during anal, vaginal or oral sexual contact. For all neonates, the WHO STI guideline recommends topical ocular prophylaxis for the prevention of gonococcal and chlamydial ophthalmia neonatorum .