What Is A Chlamydia Infection
Chlamydia is among the most common STDs in the world. Many people have it its estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 has chlamydia.
The main cause for chlamydia is the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis that affects both men and women. The chlamydia infection is easily spread because it often has no symptoms and you can unknowingly pass it to your sexual partner.
Although you dont have outward symptoms in the early stages, its important to be careful. If you dont treat it on time, chlamydia can cause infertility or a risky pregnancy.
Chlamydia In Female Genitals
Chlamydia in female genitals is often recognized by:
- vaginal discharge
- bleeding when not on period
- Pain and discomfort whenurinating
- Bleeding immediately after sexualintercourse
For most women, chlamydia will infect the opening to their uterus, known as the cervix. This is the type of infection that causes discharge and redness. If left untreated, there is a high chance it will travel to the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. In such cases, chlamydia can result in pelvic inflammatory disease and cause painful intercourse, inflammation, and abdominal pain.
The image below depicts a cervix inflammation in the early stages and has resulted in redness and vaginal discharge. Complications have not yet occurred, but if this infection isnt properly managed, it can cause serious complications in the fallopian tubes and result in infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
In this particular example, the discharge is white andcan easily be confused with a harmless discharge. But, the infected fluid canhave a very strong smell. If the color of the discharge is yellow, it couldmean the vagina has been infected and could possibly carry chlamydia.
Aside from discharge and a cervix inflammation,chlamydia can also cause blood in the urine. Infected females can experiencevaginal bleeding or spotting after intercourse or between periods.
What Does Chlamydia Do To Your Body
Although chlamydia doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can be serious if you dont get treatment early on.
The bacteria can spread to your fallopian tubes and uterus. If this happens, it might cause pelvic inflammatory disease which results in abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if PID does not cause abdominal and pelvic pain, it can still do permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to an inability to get pregnant, long-term pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy.
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What Does Chlamydia Feel Like
In women, chlamydia usually infects the cervix first, causing cervicitis or inflammation of the cervix. Cervicitis can cause feelings of pain, irritation, or a vaginal discharge. Chlamydia bacteria can also irritate the urethrain both men and womenleading to urethritis, which is often signified by pain while urinating. In men, untreated chlamydia can also cause epididymitis, swelling in the tube in the back of the testicles, causing pain.
Scheme Of Treatment Of Chlamydia In Women
In women, chlamydia is treated more difficult and longer. But the complete treatment for chlamydia should be taken by both partners. During the intake of medicines, it is forbidden to have sex, to drink alcohol. At the end of the treatment cycle, control tests are given, in a month â a repeat. Chlamydia disease is considered defeated if no results are found in chlamydia. The attending physician individually selects medicines and draws up the scheme of reception. In addition to antibiotics, there must be drugs that stimulate the immune system and fight with dysbiosis.
- âSumamedâ.In a mild form, a single dose of 1.0 g is prescribed. When the disease is sluggish, the medicine is taken during the week: the first day is 1.0 g second, third by 0.5 g the fourth â the seventh according to 0.25 g.
- âMetacyclinâ.In acute chlamydia, 600 mg is prescribed for the first dose, then 300 mg for every 8 hours.
- âAbaktalâ.At the beginning of the disease take 7 days once a day 600 mg. In chronic form, the course is increased to 12 days.
- Doxycillin. The first reception is 0.2 g, then every 12 hours for 0.1 g for 1-2 weeks according to the doctorâs instructions.
- Candles âHexiconâ.10 days in the morning and evening in the vagina.
- Multivitamins for more than 2 months.
- Probiotics 2-4 weeks during or after taking antibiotics.
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Top Things To Know About Chlamydia:
- Chlamydia is often asymptomatic, meaning that many people donât know they have it
- Chlamydia symptoms can include pus-like yellow discharge frequent or painful urination spotting between periods or after sex and/or rectal pain, bleeding, or discharge
- Untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, and/or infertility in women and people with female reproductive tracts
- Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia infections
How Does Chlamydia Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby
In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia has been associated with pre-term delivery, and can spread to the newborn, causing an eye infection or pneumonia. Screening and treatment of chlamydia during pregnancy is the best way to prevent these complications. All pregnant women should be screened for chlamydia at their first prenatal visit.
How is chlamydia diagnosed?
There are laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia. Specimens commonly used for testing include a cotton swab of the vagina or a urine sample.
How is chlamydia treated?
Penicillin is not effective against chlamydia.
Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV-negative.
Persons with chlamydia should abstain from having sex for seven days after single dose antibiotics, or until completion of a seven-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. Persons whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a womans risk of serious reproductive health complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. Women and men with chlamydia should be retested about three months after treatment of an initial infection, regardless of whether they believe that their sex partners were successfully treated.
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Can You Prevent Chlamydia
You can lower your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs by:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal, oral or anal sex
- not having sex with someone with chlamydia, even with a condom, until theyve finished treatment and 1 week has passed since their last dose of antibiotics
- regularly getting tested for STIs, especially if you are under 30 and sexually active
Remember that most people with chlamydia dont show any symptoms and dont know they have it, so feeling ‘well’ does not mean that you or your partner are not infected. If in doubt, get tested.
If you have chlamydia, you can help reduce the spread by letting your recent sexual partners know so they can get tested and treated.
Possible Complications And Consequences
When a woman is not timely appealed for help to a medical facility, chlamydia, by the time he could go into the chronic stage, which is very difficult to treat. Even a long struggle against sexual infection does not always give positive results, often there are complications, lesions of internal organs. Diseases that result from the transferred chlamydiosis:
- endometriosis – proliferation of the endometrium outside the uterus
- cervical erosion
- proctitis – inflammation in the rectum
- inflammation of the ovaries
- colpitis – inflammation of the walls of the vagina
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Chlamydia Symptoms For Men Having Sex With Men
Besides the above-stated symptoms, MSM may also have the following symptoms 1. Bleeding Anal discharge Chlamydia can also infect the rectum. If symptoms of a rectal infection do occur they may include rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding.
2. Chlamydia in mouth and throat Another type of Oral Chlamydia, often this type of Chlamydia goes unnoticed, it brings low fever and swollen lymph nodes around the neck.
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus Risk
Chlamydia infections may also increase the risk of becoming infected with or transmitting HIV.
The reasons for this are two-fold:
First, the infection can cause genital inflammation that can undermine the integrity of the mucosal tissue that lines the vagina, cervix, urethra, and rectum. This provides HIV a more direct route into the bloodstream and lymphatic system.
Secondly, an active chlamydia infection can increase HIV viral activity around the genitals. When this happens, a person can potentially have an undetectable viral load on a blood test but a detectable viral load in semen or vaginal secretions.
Some studies have suggested that chlamydia infections have been noted in as many as 15% of men who have sex with men newly infected with HIV.
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Research And Statistics: How Many People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a very common infection, constituting the largest proportion of all STDs reported to the CDC since 1994.
The American Sexual Health Association , for instance, estimates that as many as three million people have chlamydia each year in the United States.
Certain groups are much more likely to get chlamydia than the general population. For example, the rate of reported chlamydia in 2017 was about 39.9 cases per 1,000 people among women ages 20 to 24, and about 32.7 per 1,000 people among women ages 15 to 19.
Among men age 19 or younger who visited an STD clinic in 2017, nearly 40 percent of those who had sex with women tested positive for chlamydia. This number was nearly 30 percent for men ages 20 to 24 who had sex with women, and only slightly lower for men who had sex with men.
The rate of reported chlamydia varies widely throughout the United States at the county and state level. In 2017, West Virginia, Vermont, and New Hampshire had the lowest reported rates of chlamydia, while the highest rates were found in the District of Columbia, Alaska, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The region with the highest rate of chlamydia was the South, while the Northeast had the lowest rate.
What Is Chlamydia And What Causes It
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that affect about 10 percent of women under 24 years old. It is contacted by vaginal, anal and oral intercourse. It caused by Chlamydia trachomatis.
Women that practice unsafe sexual intercourse are more likely have the disease. Sexual contact is the commonest mode of transmission. However, it could be transmitted during childbirth and women with poor hygiene.
It is often recommended that women who are sexually active conduct yearly testing for the disease. This is more important for women that are pregnant. This is because in pregnancy chlamydia can cause miscarriage, preterm babies, and ectopic pregnancy.
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Symptoms In The Throat
Chlamydia symptoms can sometimes appear in the throat, although this is uncommon. When it does occur, the time frame is likely to be similar to that of chlamydia infections of the genitals.
In people who experience symptoms, the main one is a persistent sore throat. A doctor may refer to a chlamydia infection in the throat as pharyngeal chlamydia.
Testing for chlamydia in the throat is not a common practice in STI testing, as it does not have approval from the Food and Drug Administration . However, if a person suspects that they have pharyngeal chlamydia, a doctor may take a swab from the throat.
A person can undergo testing for chlamydia at their:
- doctors office
- local health department
- local planned parenthood center
A person can also order a chlamydia test online, take it at home, and then send it off for testing.
If people are at high risk of chlamydia, they may need screening for all types of chlamydia every 36 months.
At risk groups include people who have:
- multiple or unknown sexual partners
- sex in combination with illegal drug use
- sexual partners who use illegal drugs or have multiple partners
7 days .
People should avoid having sex until their treatment is complete. If a person is experiencing symptoms even after the treatment, they should see a doctor.
People who menstruate should notice that their periods return to normal or that bleeding between periods stops by their next period.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. These bacteria attack the cells of your bodys mucous membranes the soft, moist tissues of your body that arent covered by skin.
Here are areas of the body where mucous membranes are possible targets for chlamydia infection:
- Vagina, cervix, and fallopian tubes in women
- Urethra in women and men
- Anus and rectum
- Lining of the eyelid
Although the bacteria that cause chlamydia can reach the uterus, Chlamydia doesnt attack the uterus itself, because a woman gets her period every month, and cells inside it are sloughed off, says Dr. Rabin.
But the fallopian tubes which connect the ovaries and uterus do not clean themselves regularly, so theyre vulnerable to attack and lasting damage caused by the bacteria.
Chlamydia can be spread through any sexual contact, with or without ejaculation.
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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.
Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024
Your Partners Reproductive Issues
Chlamydia shows its signs in about 50% of all male sufferers, which means women should monitor their partners closely. It may feel uneasy to question a long-term partner, but it will surely help you find out crucial information. Unfortunately, these talks are taboo most of the time. Women can also find out about their partners difficulties if they choose to state them. However, no woman should count on this occurrence. They should always ask about these things when suspicious. Ultimately, it is better to feel uncomfortable during a conversation than remain ignorant of a potentially grave threat.
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Where Can I Get Tested For Chlamydia
You can get tested for chlamydia and other STDs at your doctors office, a community health clinic, the health department, or your local Planned Parenthood health center. In some states, you can do an online visit and take a chlamydia test at home.
STD testing isnt always part of your regular checkup or gynecologist exam you have to ask for it. Be open and honest with your nurse or doctor so they can help you figure out which tests you may need. Dont be embarrassed: Your doctor is there to help, not to judge.
Chlamydia Symptoms In Men:
- White or cloudy discharge from the tip of the penis
- Burning, pain or discomfort when urinating
- Burning or pain in or around the testicles
- Rectal pain, discharge, and bleeding
- Abnormal Vaginal discharge that may have an odor
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal pain sometimes with fever
- Pain during Sex
- Itching or burning in or around the vagina
- Burning or pain when urinating
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Are There Complications Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia can cause serious complications if it isnt treated promptly and properly.
Untreated chlamydia can trigger arthritis, skin rashes, and inflammation in the eye or rectum.
For women, chlamydia can spread into the uterus and the fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease . This can cause problems with pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancy. Women with untreated chlamydia have up to a 1 in 12 chance of becoming infertile. In men, chlamydia can spread to the testicles and the tubes that carry sperm, causing pain and fertility problems.
Pregnant women who are infected with chlamydia have a higher chance of miscarriage or premature birth. Their babies may also get an eye or lung infection. You can read more about chlamydia and pregnancy here.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Its important to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any signs or symptoms of chlamydia, any other symptoms that concern you, or if you know or think youve been exposed to the infection.
According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, women 25 and under and those who are sexually active should be screened for chlamydia every year, as should older women who have an increased risk of infection.
Screening for other STIs/STDs is important as well, as the risk factors for chlamydia also increase the likelihood of contracting these other infections. If you are treated for chlamydia, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if any symptoms persist.
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Possible Treatment For Chlamydia
As per medical professionals, Chlamydia can be easily treated with the help of antibiotic therapy. These antibiotics can be assigned for the 7-day course with a single dose per day. It is essential to stay away from sexual activity for these 7 days so that infection can be controlled with ease and your partner does not get infected with it.
The commonly known antibiotics for this chlamydia in women treatment are Doxycycline and Azithromycin but professionals may also recommend few other antibiotics for this treatment. In case if the lady affected with Chlamydia is pregnant that few other antibiotics can also be used as like ethyl succinate, erythromycin, and amoxicillin but pregnant ladies should not consume doxycycline. It is also essential to make your partner aware about the disease and bring him to the medical professional to undergo important tests.