What Is Reinfection With Chlamydia How Can It Be Prevented
Reinfection refers to a situation in which somebody has been treated for chlamydia, but then gets chlamydia again in the future. It is recommended that patients return for testing after three months to see if they have been reinfected. In patients who have persistent symptoms or who were treated with an inferior antibiotic , repeat testing should be done after three weeks to ensure the bacteria is no longer present.
Reinfection usually occurs because of continued contact with an untreated sexual partner. Reinfection is not uncommon in fact, 1530% of sexually active women become reinfected with chlamydia. One way to avoid reinfection is to avoid sexual activity within seven days after starting antibiotic treatment. This will both help prevent the further spread of chlamydia and will reduce the risk that somebody will get chlamydia who could pass it back to you again .
Another way to avoid reinfection is to make sure all of your sexual partners within 60 days are made aware that they might have chlamydia. This should prompt them to be tested and treated as well. In some areas of the country, public health workers may assist in notifying sexual partners .
What Does A Chlamydia Test Involve
- You may be asked to provide a urine sample. Before having this test, youre advised not to pass urine for 12 hours.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab from the entrance of the urethra .
- If you have symptoms of conjunctivitis swabs will be used to collect a sample of discharge from your eye.
A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud but is smaller and rounded. It sometimes has a small plastic loop on the end rather than a cotton tip. Its wiped over the parts of the body that could be infected. This only takes a few seconds and isnt painful, though it may be uncomfortable for a moment.
Cervical screening and routine blood tests dont detect chlamydia.
If youre not sure whether youve been tested for chlamydia, just ask.
How Can You Be Sure Youre Experiencing A New Bout
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics, usually azithromycin or doxycycline.
In order to make sure chlamydia is cured, you need to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. You need to take every single dose dont stop taking the antibiotics until there are none left.
If youve taken all your antibiotics but you still have symptoms, contact your doctor or another healthcare professional.
According to the Center for Disease Control , youll need a follow-up test three months after treatment to ensure that the infection is cured.
There are a few reasons why you might contract chlamydia a second time:
- The initial infection wasnt cured because the course of antibiotics wasnt completed as directed.
- A sexual partner transmitted chlamydia to you.
- You used a sex toy that was contaminated with chlamydia.
A 2014 study suggests that chlamydia can live in the gastrointestinal tract and reinfect the genitals, causing chlamydia symptoms to reappear after the genital infection went away.
However, this study only looked at animal models of chlamydia. Research on human participants is needed.
The symptoms of chlamydia typically disappear once you finish your antibiotics. This can vary in time, as some chlamydia antibiotic courses are one dose taken on one day, while others last longer.
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Just Diagnosed Next Steps After Testing Positive For Gonorrhea Or Chlamydia
If youve just found out that you have gonorrhea or chlamydia, you may be trying to figure out what to do next. Here are the three most important steps that you can take:
WHY?Many people with gonorrhea and chlamydia dont have symptoms. Why does this matter? Because an untreated infection can lead to serious and permanent health problems, even if you never have symptoms. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be cured with the right medicine from your doctor. Just make sure you take all of your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to.
WHERE?Your regular doctor can prescribe antibiotics to cure the STD. But if you dont have insurance or want to see someone else for treatment, there are other low-cost or free options. You can get tested and treated at your local health departments STD clinic, a family planning clinic, a student health center, or an urgent care clinic. You can also find a clinic using GetTested and ask if they offer treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- In women, untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to health problems like ectopic pregnancy or infertility .
- In men, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may prevent him from being able to have children.
- Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV the virus that causes AIDS.
How Chlamydias Passed On
Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
Chlamydia is most commonly spread through:
- sharing sex toys that arent washed or covered with a new condom each time theyre used.
It can be spread by giving or receiving oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. The risk can be lowered by using a condom or a dam to cover the genitals.
If youre pregnant its possible to pass chlamydia to the baby .
You cant get chlamydia from kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or from sharing cups, plates or cutlery.
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Sex Partners Need Treatment Too
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, you will need to tell all of your sexual partners, because they will need the same treatment you are receiving.
In most states, a doctor or other healthcare provider can give you the medicine that your partner or partners will need to take. Then you can deliver it to those partners. This practice is called expedited partner therapy or patient delivered partner therapy.
These options can help a lot if your partner doesnt have a healthcare provider or feels embarrassed about seeking care, says Dr. Dombrowski.
Its natural to feel nervous or upset about having to tell your partner or partners about having an STD. Your healthcare provider can help with this problem. They may even rehearse the conversation with you, says Dombrowksi.
Learning about chlamydia and seeking advice from a healthcare provider about how to discuss it with your partner can help you handle the conversation with less anxiety and more confidence.
Remember, chlamydia is not just common: It is the most common infection reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . You are being helpful, mature, and responsible by telling your partners.
What Is The Best Chlamydia Treatment
The best antibiotic to treat chlamydia is doxycycline. If doxycycline cannot be taken, the second line choice of medication to treat chlamydia is azithromycin. Both treatments are over 90% effective and should only be taken if you, or a recent sexual partner, has tested positive for chlamydia.
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Im Not Sure I Have Chlamydia
If you have chlamydia symptoms but havent gotten tested, you should book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor and request STD testing. The doctor will write you a lab order and direct you to a lab close to you where you can get tested. Your results will be sent back to the PlushCare doctor who can then begin treatment.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
When it comes to chlamydia, its a good idea to be proactive. Speak with your healthcare provider about your risks of infection. Make a plan to get screened regularly for STIs based on your providers recommendations for how often you should be tested. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if your partner tests positive for chlamydia or if you notice any signs or symptoms that you may be infected.
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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:
Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Azithromycin For Chlamydia
Yes, you may drink a small amount of alcohol while you are taking azithromycin but there is a chance large amounts of alcohol may increase the gastrointestinal side effects of azithromycin, such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, or flatulence. Too much alcohol with azithromycin may also give you a headache.
Because azithromycin is usually taken as a one-off dose, drinking alcohol is unlikely to stop azithromycin from curing chlamydia.
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How Much Cranberry Is In Azo Cranberry Gummies
AZO Cranberry Gummies contain 500 mg of cranberry powder: the equivalent of 25,000 mg of cranberry fruit in each serving and provides the same urinary tract benefits as one glass of cranberry juice.*
Note: High density PAC cranberry concentrate equivalent to 25,000mg of fresh cranberries per serving.
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What Are The Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to several complications in men and women.
In men, chlamydia can infect the prostate and the epididymis, leading to pain. It can also be a cause of urethral strictures , can lead to issues in the rectum , and can trigger an immune response known as reactive arthritis or Reiters syndrome.
In women, untreated chlamydia can spread to the reproductive organs causing PID, which can lead to infertility, pelvic pain, and increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. It can also spread to the lining of the liver, causing perihepatitis and adhesions and scarring around the organs in the abdomen.
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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.
How Easy Is It To Get Rid Of Chlamydia
It is relatively simple to get rid of chlamydia after receiving a diagnosis. The typical recovery time isnt much longer than two weeks for an average case. One of the largest hurdles for many patients comes with detecting chlamydia in the first place. This is why its important to regularly schedule STD screenings that include chlamydia and gonorrhea while sexually active with multiple partners.
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Put Sex On Hold During And After Chlamydia Treatment
If you were given a single dose of antibiotics to treat your chlamydia, you should not have any kind of sex for a full seven days after the day you took the medicine. If youre taking antibiotics for a week, wait another seven days after the last day of your treatment. Be sure to take all of the medicine that is prescribed for you.
Not having sex for seven days after treatment is important so you dont spread the infection to your partner or partners.
Medication stops the infection and can keep you from spreading the disease, but it wont cure any permanent damage that the infection caused before you started treatment. In women, such damage can include blocking the fallopian tubes, causing infertility.
If you still have symptoms for more than a few days after you stop taking your medicine, go back to see your doctor or other healthcare provider so they can check you again.
How To Treat Chlamydia In Men And Women
If you have symptoms of a chlamydial infection or a sexual partner has told you that they tested positive for chlamydia, your healthcare provider will likely treat you even before your test results come back. This is called presumptive or empiric therapy. Doing it this way reduces the amount of time you may continue to spread the infection to others. First-line treatment for a chlamydia infection is one of two antibiotics: azithromycin or doxycycline . Both medications are generally well-tolerated and inexpensive.
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How Do You Know If Chlamydia Is Gone After Treatment
Your chlamydia symptoms should improve within a week of completing your course of antibiotics.
You do not need an immediate follow-up test to check if your chlamydia treatment has worked, as dead chlamydia bacteria may be detected 3 to 5 weeks after treatment, which would give a false positive result. But, if you have a rectal infection, you should have a test after treatment is completed.
If you are under 25 and have tested positive for chlamydia, it is recommended you take a repeat test 3 months after completing your treatment, to check you have not caught chlamydia again.
Why Is Azithromycin Not A Chlamydia Treatment Anymore
The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV recently released guidelines explaining that Azithromycin is no longer an effective treatment for chlamydia. This is because of increasing levels of bacterial resistance to azithromycin. Instead, the recommended first-line treatment is now only doxycycline.
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How Will I Know If The Chlamydia Has Affected My Fertility
Chlamydia is just one of many factors that can affect your fertility. Most people whove had chlamydia wont become infertile or have an ectopic pregnancy . If youve had chlamydia you wont normally be offered any routine tests to see if youre fertile unless you or a partner are having difficulty getting pregnant. If youre concerned, talk to your doctor or practice nurse.
What Happens If You Dont Seek Treatment
If you take your antibiotics as directed, chlamydia is likely to go away. But if its left untreated, it can cause a few complications.
For example, if you have a vulva, you could develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a painful infection that could damage your uterus, cervix, and ovaries.
Untreated chlamydia can also lead to scarred fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility.
If youre pregnant, untreated chlamydia can be transmitted to the baby during vaginal delivery. Chlamydia can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns.
Untreated chlamydia can lead to epididymitis, which is when the epididymis becomes inflamed, causing pain.
Chlamydia can also spread to the prostate gland, which can lead to painful sex, lower back pain, and a fever.
Fortunately, treatment for chlamydia is relatively straightforward. And if its treated quickly, youre unlikely to experience any long-term complications.
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How Is Chlamydia Treated
Chlamydia can be cleared up with antibiotics in about a week or two. But dont stop taking your medication just because your symptoms improve. Ask your provider about what follow-up is needed to be sure your infection is gone after youve finished taking your medicine.
Part of your treatment should also include avoiding sexual activities that could cause you to get re-infected and ensuring that any sexual partners who may be infected also get treatment. You should:
- Abstain from sex until your infection has cleared up. Starting treatment doesnt mean that youre in the clear. Take all your medication as your provider directs, and avoid all sexual contact in the meantime.
- Contact all sexual partners. Tell any sexual partners from the last 3 months that youre infected so that they can get tested, too.
- Get tested for other STIs . Its common to have multiple STIs, and its important to receive treatment thats tailored to each infection.
Antibiotics can get rid of your infection, but they cant reverse any harm the bacteria may have caused to your body before treatment. This is why its so important to get screened regularly for chlamydia, to see your provider at the first sign of symptoms, and get treatment immediately if youre infected.
Does Azithromycin Cure Chlamydia
Cure rates of 97% were reported in an analysis of 12 randomized clinical trials that investigated the use of azithromycin 1 gram for the treatment of chlamydia. That means for every 100 people with chlamydia who take azithromycin, 97 will be cured and 3 will not be cured.
This relies on the person with chlamydia taking azithromycin exactly as directed and not sharing the medication with anyone. Any sexual partners must be also treated.
Although azithromycin cures chlamydia in most people, it will not repair any permanent damage done to tissues by the disease.
If you have been symptomatic with chlamydia before treatment and your symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, then ask to be re-evaluated by your health care provider.
Unfortunately, repeat infection with chlamydia is common. This means that even though azithromycin has cured your current infection with chlamydia, this does not mean you will not get chlamydia again. If your sexual partners have not been appropriately treated, you are at high-risk for reinfection. Having chlamydia multiple times puts women at high risk of fertility problems, ectopic pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Infants born to mothers who are infected with chlamydia may develop chlamydial conjunctivitis and/or pneumonia. Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.