How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. The bacteria are usually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids .
You can get chlamydia through:
- unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex
- sharing sex toys that are not washed or covered with a new condom each time theyre used
- your genitals coming into contact with your partners genitals this means you can get chlamydia from someone even if theres no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation
- infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye
It can also be passed by a pregnant woman to her baby.
Chlamydia cannot be passed on through casual contact, such as kissing and hugging, or from sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or cutlery.
How Will I Get My Results
It can take a few days to get your results from a swab test, similar to a Pap smear test in women. If youre a woman, you may also be able to obtain an at-home kit to do the vaginal testing on your own.
Your doctor will call you with the results of your test. Be sure you give your doctor your preferred phone number where you can have privacy, such as a mobile phone number. If you dont want them to leave you a voicemail, be sure you tell them before you leave your appointment.
A urine test is much faster to analyze. Your doctor should be able to tell you the results during the same day as your appointment. The downside is that urine tests may not be as accurate as traditional swab testing.
However, urine testing may be more suitable for men. Its also used for more advanced signs of chlamydia, as your body will have a greater number of bacteria to detect at this stage.
You can obtain a chlamydia test from:
- your primary doctor
- a home testing kit and service
find affordable testing
There are clinics that can perform chlamydia testing at a low cost. In some cases, you may obtain testing free-of-charge. You can find a clinic through the American Sexual Health Associations free locator here. All results are confidential.
How To Reduce Your Risk Of Getting Chlamydia
Here are some ways to decrease your risk of getting chlamydia:
- Use condoms when you have sex.
- Get a sexual health check-up at least once a year. This should include tests for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea. If you often change sexual partners, get more frequent check-ups.
- Three months after youve finished treatment for chlamydia, you should get tested to check that youve not been re-infected. Its common to be reinfected with chlamydia.
- Inform your sexual partners about your chlamydia. Anyone you have had sex with in the last 6 months should be tested. If theyre not told or treated, they could infect someone else or reinfect you. Offering this information will help stop the spread of chlamydia in your community.
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What Increases Your Risk
Risk factors for getting chlamydia include:
- Having unprotected sex .
- Having more than one sex partner.
- Having a high-risk partner or partners. This includes people who have more than one sex partner or sex partners who have chlamydia.
- Starting sexual activity before age 18.
Any child with chlamydia needs to be seen by a doctor to determine the cause and to assess for possible sexual abuse. For more information, see the topic Child Abuse and Neglect.
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.
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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.
Chlamydia Infection May Have Long
For women, the long-term effects of an untreated chlamydia infection may include:
- Severe infection with pain and fever requiring a hospital stay
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the upper reproductive tract
- Scarring in the reproductive tract that causes infertility
- Higher risk of ectopic pregnancy
Men are less likely than women to have major health problems linked to chlamydia, although they can develop epididymitis, an inflammation of a structure within the testicles called the epididymis that can result in infertility.
A chlamydia infection can sometimes result in reactive arthritis in both men and women.
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Can Chlamydia Go Away And Come Back
If youve had unprotected intercourse, its likely you may not have chlamydia if your partner is not infected. If treated chlamydia can go away and not come back if you abstain or ensure protected sex.
However, dont assume chlamydia will go away without taking medications. You may not have symptoms immediately and may still have chlamydia long-term problems.
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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 babys 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.
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Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
The only sure way to prevent chlamydia is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading chlamydia. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How Is It Treated
Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia. It’s important to take all of the medicine as directed. Otherwise the medicine may not work. Both sex partners need treatment to keep from passing the infection back and forth.
As soon as you find out you have chlamydia, be sure to let your sex partners know. Experts recommend that you notify everyone you’ve had sex with in the past 2 months. If you have not had sex in the past 2 months, contact the last person you had sex with.
Having a chlamydia infection that was cured does not protect you from getting it again. If you are treated and your sex partner is not, you probably will get it again.
Some people who have chlamydia also have other STIs, such as gonorrhea.
Finding out that you have an STI may make you feel bad about yourself or about sex. Counseling or a support group may help you feel better.
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Whats The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is usually easy to get rid of. Your nurse or doctor will get you antibiotics to treat the infection. Sometimes you only have to take one dose of medication. Another chlamydia treatment lasts for 7 days. Your doctor will help you figure out which treatment is best for you.
If youre treated for chlamydia, its really important for your sexual partners to get treated also. Otherwise, you can keep passing the infection back and forth, or to other people. Sometimes your doctor will give you medicine for both you and your partner.
How Do You Get Tested
There are several different reliable tests for chlamydia. Newer tests, called NAATs , are very accurate and easy to take. Your healthcare provider can explain what testing options are available . If you dont have a regular healthcare provider, you can search here for a clinic near you.
People infected with chlamydia are often also infected with gonorrhea, so patients with chlamydia are often treated for gonorrhea at the same time, since the cost of treatment is generally less than the cost of testing.
If you live in Alaska, Maryland, or Washington, D.C., you can have a free at-home chlamydia test. Visit iwantthekit.org for more information.
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Inflammation Of The Testicles
In men, chlamydia can spread to the testicles and epididymis , causing them to become painful and swollen. This is known as epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis. This is very rare.
The inflammation is usually treated with antibiotics. If it’s not treated, there’s a possibility it could affect your fertility.
Who Should Be Tested For Chlamydia
You should go to your health provider for a test if you have symptoms of chlamydia, or if you have a partner who has a sexually transmitted disease. Pregnant women should get a test when they go to their first prenatal visit.
People at higher risk should get checked for chlamydia every year:
- Sexually active women 25 and younger
- Older women who have new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted disease
- Men who have sex with men
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Is Also You Combat Chlamydia
Fact: Your body is most unlikely to get rid of chlamydia into the its very own. Which misconception will be a dangerous one. The really unusual that immune protection system will be able to tackle chlamydia by itself and you may eliminate your of it by by itself. In the event that the thought very early adequate, chlamydia can usually be treated which have antibiotics.
Normally Chlamydia Get Rid Of Alone
It is highly impractical to have chlamydia to go away toward their individual. Whilst the episodes will get relax temporarily, the brand new problems may persist in the torso regarding the lack of cures . It is important to look for prognosis and you can punctual cures to obtain eliminate the newest infection.
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Young Sexually Active Women Are Most Susceptible
Women between ages 15 and 24 are most likely to be newly infected with chlamydia, according to the CDC, but anyone who is sexually active male or female can be infected. Men who have oral or anal sex with men are also at risk, notes the CDC. The CDC recommends regular chlamydia screenings for people at an increased risk of contracting it.
You should be screened annually for chlamydia if you are:
- A sexually active woman under age 25
- A woman age 25 or older who has multiple sexual partners
- A woman whose sexual partner may have multiple sexual partners
- Pregnant and under age 25 or pregnant and age 25 or older with an increased risk
- A man who has sex with men
- At an increased risk for other health reasons
I would emphasize that young women should be screened if they engage in any sexual behavior that puts them at risk because often has no symptoms, and early treatment is important to avoid long-term damage and infertility, Dr. Schaffir says.
Screening for chlamydia is painless: It usually involves testing a urine sample or a specimen swabbed from the vagina or penis. Some lab tests for chlamydia can use specimens from the throat or rectum.
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Increased Chance Of Other Infections
Untreated chlamydia can increase a persons chances of contracting another sexually transmitted infection. According to the CDC, when a chlamydia infection doesnt receive the correct treatment, it can potentially increase a persons chance of acquiring or transmitting the human immunodeficiency virus .
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Women Complications Of Without Treatment Chlamydia
Some ladies develop PID, an infection that can harm the womb, cervix, and also ovaries. PID is a painful disease that frequently needs healthcare facility therapy.
Women can additionally become sterile if chlamydia is left without treatment because the fallopian tubes might come to be marked.
Expecting females with the infection can pass the microorganisms to their children throughout birth, which can cause eye infections and also pneumonia in newborns. What Happens If You Have Chlamydia For Too Long
How Soon Should I Get Tested For Std After Unprotected Sex
We would recommend waiting at least 14 days after having unprotected sex before booking a private STI test to allow for the incubation period.
The incubation period is the period between coming in contact with the virus and when your antibodies begin to fight it. If the antibodies do not have time to develop and you get tested before the incubation period has ended then the test will show up as a false negative.
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What To Think About
Some people who have chlamydia may also have gonorrhea. In that case, treatment includes antibiotics that kill both chlamydia and gonorrhea. For more information, see the topic Gonorrhea.
Reinfection can occur. Symptoms that continue after treatment are probably caused by another chlamydia infection rather than treatment failure. To prevent reinfection, sex partners need to be evaluated and treated.
Repeated chlamydia infections increase the risk for pelvic inflammatory disease . Even one infection can lead to PID without proper treatment. Make sure to take your antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Take the full course of medicine, even if you feel better in a couple of days.
Some doctors recommend retesting 3 to 12 months after treatment to reduce the risk of complications from reinfection.footnote 4
If you have chlamydia, your doctor will send a report to the state health department. Your personal information is kept confidential. The health department may contact you about telling your sex partner or partners that they may need treatment.
How Do You Know If You Have Chlamydia
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can get chlamydia via unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with someone who has it.
“It’s entirely possible to have chlamydia and not know it, because most people are asymptomatic. Even if you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after your sexual encounter,” says Kakani. The symptoms may persist or disappear in a few days, but that may not mean the infection has gone. The infection can still harm you if you are asymptomatic.
The symptoms of chlamydia can vary among women and men.
If you have a vagina, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Vaginal discharge or bleeding in between menstrual periods
- Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
- Abdominal pain
If you have a penis, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Unusual discharge from the penis
- Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
- Pain or swelling in the genitals
- Increased frequency of urination
- Rectal discharge or bleeding
You can also get chlamydia in the throat, which can give you a sore throat however, it often doesn’t cause any symptoms at all.
While all sexually active people could get chlamydia, it is especially common among women between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the CDC. The CDC recommends that you get tested for chlamydia every year, especially if you are:
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Thecomplications Of Untreated Chlamydia
In the majority of cases, the use of antibiotics has been shown to act as an effective treatment for patients infected with chlamydia. Many people do not have symptoms, however which is why testing for the condition, especially in sexually active men and women, should be important. Take a look at chlamydia syptoms with pictures, where you can see how the diesease looks like in real life.
Bothmen and women need to understand the potential complications that can happenwhen they are infected by chlamydia. While there are some short-termcomplications like an infection in the urethra, a number of long-term adverseeffects are also to be taken into account here.