How Is It Contracted
Chlamydia is transmitted primarily through sexual activity. The following are the most common ways:
- unprotected intercourse with an infected partner
- oral sex, although a less common cause of infection as bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis targets the genital area rather than the throat. Although it is possible theoretically, the cases of infestation from mouth-to-penis and penis-to-mouth contact are rare
- vagina, cervix, anus, penis or mouth contacting infected secretions or fluids which means that contraction can occur even if the penis or tongue does not enter the vagina or anus
- bacteria can travel from the vaginal area to the anus or rectum of women while wiping with toilet paper
- sharing sex toys
- from mother to the newborn during vaginal childbirth through the infected birth channel
- infection can be transferred on fingers from the genitals to other parts of the body
Chlamydia is not contracted through simple kissing, handshaking, any casual contacts, sharing baths, towels and cups as well as from toilet seats.
Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular human pathogen, is one of four bacterial species in the genus Chlamydia. 3D illustration
How Did I Get Chlamydia If I Didnt Cheat
You can get chlamydia if your partner had vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who was infected and then had sex with you. People in relationships may have different ideas about what kinds of sexual contact counts as cheating, and this miscommunication can lead to infections. Communicate honestly with your partner about what sex youre having and what sex theyre having. Practice safer sex to reduce your risk of catching chlamydia, and get regularly screened to be sure.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It can be embarrassing to talk about anything sex-related with your healthcare provider, including STI prevention. But your sex life is an important part of your health that your provider needs to know about to care for you. Not getting the treatment you need for chlamydia can pose serious risks to your health. Speak with your provider about getting regularly screened for chlamydia and other STIs to reduce your risks of complications. Practice safer sex to prevent the spread of chlamydia.
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.
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How Do They Test For Chlamydia In Men
Chlamydia is one of the most common bacterial infections that are spread through sexual intercourse not only in the United States but in several other areas of the world too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.7 million cases of this sexually transmitted infection were reported in 2018. This data accounts for the United States alone. The World Health Organization estimates that about 2.7% of men around the world have been infected with Chlamydia between 2009 and 2016.
Due to the fact that chlamydia is a condition that affects male and female patients in unique ways, it is important to consider the differences in testing for these conditions too. In this post, we will consider some unique ways that chlamydia tends to affect men and take a look at what tests are performed to identify the presence of this bacterial infection in a male patient.
Diagnosing Chlamydial Urethritis In Men
Your doctor will perform a series of lab tests to diagnose chlamydial urethritis. Youll be asked to give a urine sample, which will be tested for the presence of the chlamydia organism.
You may also need a urethral discharge culture, or swab test, to rule out gonorrhea. Gonorrhea symptoms often look like the symptoms of chlamydia. Its possible to have both at the same time.
A technician will swab the head of your penis with alcohol or another sterile agent. Next, the technician or your doctor will insert a cotton swab into your urethra at the tip of your penis. The discharge or fluids collected will be analyzed to determine the cause of your infection.
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It Is Easy To Get Tested For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that can affect both men and women. While both genders can be affected, the specific effects and method of diagnosis for the bacterial infection differs between male patients and female patients. We looked at the methods used to assist in the diagnosis of chlamydia among men in this post, as well as some particular factors that are unique to a male patient with this condition.
When To Get Tested
What Bacteria Does Azithromycin Treat
Azithromycin is a broad-spectrum macrolide antibiotic with bacteriostatic activity against many Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including Bordetella pertussis and Legionella species. It also has activity against Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Treponema pallidum, Chlamydia species and Mycobacterium avium complex.
How Chlamydia Is Treated
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
If you have doxycycline, you should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
If you have azithromycin, you should wait 7 days after treatment before having sex .
It’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.
Under-25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated.
This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.
Sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinics can help you contact your sexual partners.
Either you or the clinic can speak to them, or they can be sent a note advising them to get tested.
The note will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
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What Puts Me At Risk For Catching Chlamydia
Young women are more likely to contract chlamydia than older women and men of any age. If you are 24 or younger and sexually active, get tested for chlamydia. Other factors that may increase your risk for chlamydia include:
- New sex partners
- A sex partner with an STD
- Swapping sex for money or drugs
- Prior history of chlamydia or other STDs
- Not using condoms during sex with new partners
Can You Get Rid Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics. The best way to cure chlamydia and keep from infecting your partners, is to avoid sex for seven days, until the antibiotics have done their job. If you do end up having sex while the antibiotics are still working it is really important to use a condom or else it is likely the medicine you took wont work. If you got medication to take at home make sure you take all of the pills, even if you start to feel better otherwise the infection might not go away completely.
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Treatment Of Chlamydial Urethritis
If youre diagnosed with chlamydial urethritis, you and any of your sexual partners must be treated with antibiotics. Its important for your partners to receive treatment, even if they dont show signs of an infection.
This helps prevent reinfection. Without proper treatment, sexual partners may continue to pass the bacteria back and forth.
Several antibiotics can eliminate chlamydial urethritis, including:
In most cases, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for 5 to 10 days. But the CDC notes that a higher dose of 1 gram of azithromycin taken once may also be an effective treatment.
Most infections will resolve within a week or two. Its important that you abstain from sexual activity for at least seven days after completing a course of antibiotics to prevent reinfection.
Its important to seek treatment for STDs as soon as symptoms occur. Untreated infections can spread and lead to more serious health complications in men, including:
- infection and pain near the testicles
- infertility or sterility
- stricture, which is a narrowing of the urethra due to inflammation or infection
Men often dont show signs of infection right away. Regular screenings for STDs can diagnose STDs even if no symptoms are present. This is especially important when changing partners or if you have multiple partners.
How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be passed on through genital contact. This means you can get chlamydia from someone who has the infection if your genitals touch, even if you dont have sex or ejaculate .
You can also get chlamydia if you come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid, or get them in your eye.
Chlamydia cant be passed on through kissing, hugging, sharing towels or using the same toilet as someone with the infection.
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Diagnostic Tests For Chlamydia In Male Patients
The process of diagnosing chlamydia in men works slightly different from how the procedure works in female patients. There are certain laboratory tests that a doctor will need to perform on a male patient to determine if they have been infected with chlamydia. Additionally, the doctor will also need to rule out the presence of other sexually transmitted infections. This is critical due to the fact that some of the other STIs that can affect a man may have similar symptoms as chlamydia.
The first test performed on men who are suspected of having been infected with the chlamydia bacterial infection is a urine sample test. The doctor will ask the male patient to provide them with a urine sample. The sample will then be sent toward a laboratory.
A scientist at the laboratory facility will analyze the urine sample that was sent to them. This will help them determine if the organism that causes chlamydia is present in the urine of the patient. This may provide an indication of chlamydia urethritis, which means the urethra of the patient has been infected with the bacterial infection.
If the patient experiences discharge from the tip of their penis, then a swab might also be conducted. This test is called a urethral discharge culture. A technician or a doctor will be able to perform the swab itself.
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.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Isn’t Treated
Only some people who have chlamydia will have complications. If chlamydia is treated early, its unlikely to cause any long-term problems. But, without proper treatment, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. The more times you have chlamydia the more likely you are to get complications.
- If you have a vulva, chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease . This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy .
- In people with a vulva, chlamydia can also cause pain and inflammation around the liver, though this is rare. This usually gets better with the correct antibiotic treatment.
- If you have a penis, chlamydia can lead to infection in the testicles. If this isnt treated, theres a possibility it could affect your fertility but more research is needed to understand how likely this is.
- Rarely, chlamydia can lead to inflammation of the joints. This is known as Sexually Acquired Reactive Arthritis and is sometimes accompanied by inflammation of the urethra and the eye. This is more likely to occur in people with a penis than people with a vulva.
How To Treat Chlamydia
Many people just want to know how do you get rid of chlamydia. Since chlamydia is caused by a bacterial infection, treatment for chlamydia is a regimen of oral antibiotics. The most common recommended course of treatment is to prescribe doxycycline or azithromycin . The infection should clear after one to two weeks. You should never stop taking antibiotics until the recommended course is finished, even if you think the infection cleared or you are feeling better. If you do not finish the antibiotics, the infection can come back and be resistant to the antibiotics you were taking.
Is chlamydia curable? Yes, chlamydia is curable by taking the appropriate medication as directed however, repeat infections are common. You and your sexual partner should always be tested after three months of completing treatment, especially if you are unsure whether your partner received treatment.
You and your sexual partner should not have sex again until treatment is complete. You should wait at least one week after completing a prescribed single dose medication and finish all doses if you are prescribed a seven-day treatment. In some cases, the infection may still be present so you should wait until you and your partner are sure the disease is no longer present.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated In Women
Untreated chlamydia in women leads to serious health problems. The bacteria can affect your reproductive organs, mouth, throat, and even your eyes.
Between 10% and 15% of chlamydia cases in women lead to PID. The chlamydia bacteria can spread to your reproductive organs and scar your fallopian tubes. This condition is called pelvic inflammatory disease. If untreated chlamydia in women leads to PID, you may feel severe pelvic pain.
Chlamydia bacteria in female reproductive organs can make it difficult to get pregnant. Long-term chlamydia infections may cause infertility by scarring your fallopian tubes. PID is a medical emergency. It requires prompt treatment from your doctor.
Chlamydia may infect your rectum during anal sex. Rectal infections may not cause symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, they may include:
- Pain around your anus
Chlamydia may leave you with open sores. Bacteria enter your bloodstream easier through open sores, increasing your risk for HIV.
Passing chlamydia to your baby
Treatment For Gonorrhea Is Quick And Easy Too
The CDC currently recommends a shot of the antibiotic Rocephin and an oral dose of the antibiotic azithromycin, given at the same time, to treat gonorrhea.
Treatment recommendations for gonorrhea have changed over the years as the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, has become resistant to a growing number of antibiotics.
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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.
Treating Chlamydia In Women
Doctors use antibiotics to treat bacterial infections like chlamydia. Antibiotics cure chlamydia infections in women but can’t heal existing damage from the bacteria. Damage to your reproductive organs is not reversible.
Finish your antibiotic prescription. Your doctor prescribes a dosage based on your individual needs. Do not share a prescription antibiotic with your partner if you both have chlamydia.
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Chlamydia Treatment And Prevention
Chlamydia is easy to cure. If you test positive for chlamydia, basically you take an antibiotic, says Jill Rabin, MD, cochief in the division of ambulatory care for women’s health programs and prenatal care assistance program services for Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York.
Your partner must take an antibiotic, too, to keep them from reinfecting you, she says.
You have to have your partner treated, and if you have more than one partner, they should all be treated, says Dr. Rabin, regardless of your partners genders.
Even if you dont have chlamydia now, its wise to learn how to protect yourself so you wont develop this common infection in the first place. In women, chlamydia can create serious health problems, including infertility. Besides, no one ever wants to have a sexually transmitted disease and then have to tell other people about it.