How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is spread when a person has unprotected sex with an infected person.
Because chlamydial infection often has no symptoms, many people do not realise they have the infection.
Even if you know a person well, you may not be able to tell they have an STI, because people can look healthy and still have chlamydia.
Remember, you can get chlamydia and other STIs from a new sexual partner who has in the past had sex with someone who is infected.
It can also be spread from a long-term partner who has had sex with other people.
How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
Most people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system.
Women with symptoms may notice
- An abnormal vaginal discharge
- A burning sensation when urinating.
Symptoms in men can include
- A discharge from their penis
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles .
Men and women can also get infected with chlamydia in their rectum. This happens either by having receptive anal sex, or by spread from another infected site . While these infections often cause no symptoms, they can cause
- Rectal pain
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD. STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
How To Tell Your Partner You Have Chlamydia
The first thing you need to do when your test comes back positive is to tell your partner. Your sexual partner should know about the infection so that they too can be tested and treated. If you dont tell them about your condition, youre risking getting reinfected.
Here are some tips for handling the conversation:
- Educate yourself about the STD youve contracted so you can thoroughly explain to your partner what exactly you have, the treatment, and how you plan on keeping them safe.
- Inform your current or most recent sexual partner about a positive STD test by telling them face-to-face, or by calling them. Sending them a message is not the most respectful way.
- When telling them the news, stay calm and collected. Sit them down and tell them youve been tested. Tell them that the results are positive and discuss the next steps.
- Make sure you keep your partner from getting infected. Use condoms at all times, take antibiotics, and abstain from intercourse during your treatment.
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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.
Will I Be Infertile After Chlamydia
Untreated, about 10-15% of women with chlamydia will develop PID. Chlamydia can also cause fallopian tube infection without any symptoms. PID and silent infection in the upper genital tract may cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues, which can lead to infertility.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia During Pregnancy
In most cases, there are no symptoms. Some women may experience vaginal discharge and/or pelvic or abdominal pain.Males usually have pain while urinating and may have a discharge from the penis. If you are pregnant and you notice your partner is experiencing these symptoms, you should both be screened for STIs like chlamydia.
Probability Of Chlamydia Transmission
If someone knows or suspects they have been exposed to chlamydia, they should get tested as soon as possible, so that they can have the infection diagnosed and treated if necessary. They should also abstain from sexual activities until they have been tested and received the all-clear.
That said, if someone has had unprotected sex with an infected person, it does not necessarily mean they definitely have chlamydia.
Estimated transmission rates tend to vary and, as discussed above, the likelihood of infection depends on the sexual act performed but Professor Victoria von Sadovszky, an expert from the Ohio State University College of Nursing, states that the transmission rate from a single unprotected exposure is thought to be around 25 percent.
Other estimates put the male-to-female transmission rate from one sexual instance at 40 percent and the female-to-male transmission rate at 32 percent.
Obviously, the more someone has sex with an infected person, the higher the chances of transmission become.
Using barrier protection can reduce the chances of picking up the infection dramatically. Provided they are used accordingly, condoms are thought to be 99 percent effective at reducing the transmission of STIs.
Find out more about preventing chlamydia transmission on our information page.
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Is It Possible To Prevent Chlamydia
Since most people who have the infection do not have symptoms and may not be aware they are infected, it is commonly spread, and it can be difficult to prevent the infection. Male condoms can reduce the risk of spreading or acquiring the infection. Having a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested or treated also reduces the risk of contracting chlamydia infection.
What It Looks Like
Symptoms of oral chlamydia look very similar to tonsillitis or strep throat. The throat will be red, and the tonsils will be swollen. White spots might appear on the back of the throat. In addition, a person might feel swollen lymph nodes on the sides of the neck.
The most accurate way to know whether you have oral chlamydia is through swab testing. Testing for chlamydia outside of the genital area is not a routine part of STD screening, which means that throat infections can go undiagnosed and untreated.
Untreated chlamydia of the throat could be a reason for the ongoing spread of the disease.
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What Can Happen If You Have Chlamydia For A Long Time
- Problems getting pregnant
- Pregnancy outside of the uterus
- Swelling in the anus
- Before anal sex
- Before oral sex
For more information, see Safer Sex.
How Can You Tell If You Have Chlamydia
You can have chlamydia without experiencing any symptoms. In fact, many womenâapproximately 70% of those who are infectedâare completely asymptomatic, which means that they are also unaware that they are carrying Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria.
The lack of symptoms can cause health problems over time because an untreated chlamydia infection can lead to complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease . Also, if you become pregnant and have chlamydia, you may develop an ectopic pregnancy . Some people with untreated chlamydia may develop reactive arthritis, a form of joint inflammation thatâs caused by the chlamydia bacterium . Untreated chlamydia can also damage your reproductive organs, which could potentially lead to infertility.
Thankfully, effective treatments exist for chlamydial infections. But to get treatment, you first need to determine if you have chlamydia in the first place. As mentioned above, you could have chlamydia without any symptoms. But there are certain telltale symptoms you may experience that can help identify it.
Chlamydia symptoms look very different in men and women. If your male partner experiences urethritis , or has discharge from his penis, he may have chlamydia. If thatâs the case, you should both test for sexually transmitted infections.
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How Common Is It
Oral chlamydia is not as common as genital chlamydia. Research shows that approximately 10% of people who visited a sexually transmitted disease clinic had genital chlamydia, but only 1.5% also had an infection in the throat.
Genital gonorrhea is not as common as genital chlamydia, but oral gonorrhea is more common than oral chlamydia.
What Happens If I Dont Get Treated
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems.
If you are a woman, untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes . This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease . PID often has no symptoms, however some women may have abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if it doesnt cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, and potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy .
Men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can prevent a man from being able to have children.
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What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be easily 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 sexual activity for 7 days after single dose antibiotics or until completion of a 7-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners. It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure chlamydia. Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will cure the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. If a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common.49 Women 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.50,51 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.40
Infants infected with chlamydia may develop ophthalmia neonatorum and/or pneumonia.10 Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
Chlamydia Symptoms In Women
In cases of chlamydia where symptoms occur, women may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
- Abnormal vaginal discharge that may be watery or milky
- Painful discharge or bleeding from the anus
- Inflamed eyelids
Advanced chlamydia may cause additional symptoms in women. The following symptoms indicate that chlamydia infection has spread to the fallopian tubes:
- Pain during sex
- Nausea or fever
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Chlamydia Cdc Fact Sheet
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that can be easily cured. If left untreated, chlamydia can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.
Basic Fact Sheet | Detailed Version
Basic fact sheets are presented in plain language for individuals with general questions about sexually transmitted diseases. The content here can be syndicated .
What Is Chlamydia And Is It Common
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and is the most commonly reported bacterial STI. It is often symptomless, making it difficult to diagnose without running tests. The Centers for Disease Control suggests that all pregnant women be screened at their first prenatal visit, and additionally if any symptoms appear or if risk factors are present.The CDC estimates that there are 2.86 million infections each year in the USA, with some individuals accounting for multiple cases.
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What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia In Women
Treatment of chlamydia involves antibiotics.
- A convenient single-dose therapy for chlamydia is 1 gm of azithromycin by mouth.
- Alternative treatments can also be used, however, because of the high cost of this medication.
- The most common alternative treatment is a 100 mg oral dose of doxycycline twice per day for seven days.
- Unlike gonorrhea, there has been little, if any, resistance of chlamydia to currently used antibiotics.
- There are many other antibiotics that also have been effective against chlamydia.
- As with gonorrhea, a condom or other protective barrier prevents the spread of the infection.
- Sexual partners also require treatment.
- Follow-up testing to confirm the success of the treatment is important.
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How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is usually spread during sexual contact with someone who has the infection. It can happen even if no one cums. The main ways people get chlamydia are from having vaginal sex and anal sex, but it can also be spread through oral sex.
Rarely, you can get chlamydia by touching your eye if you have infected fluids on your hand. Chlamydia can also be spread to a baby during birth if the mother has it.
Chlamydia isnt spread through casual contact, so you CANT get chlamydia from sharing food or drinks, kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on the toilet.
Using condoms and/or dental dams every time you have sex is the best way to help prevent chlamydia.
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Why Wait Seven Days After Chlamydia Treatment
If youre getting treatment for chlamydia, avoid oral, anal, or vaginal sex until seven days after the treatment is over. As chlamydia is a bacteria, your health care provider will most likely prescribe you antibiotics that need time to be effective.
If your partner is getting treatment, you should wait seven days after they take all of their medicine. If you dont wait for the treatment to be effective and have sex earlier, you can get the infection again.
Chlamydia In Women: A Complete Guide
To help women protect themselves against this common type of sexually transmitted disease , Flo has prepared a guide that explains the basics of chlamydia.
STDs are infections that are transmitted from one person to another via sexual contact. Today, there are over 20 types of STDs and chlamydia is one of them.
Whether you suspect that you might have it or want to educate yourself, let this guide help you find all the answers you were looking for.
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How Can I Protect Myself From Chlamydia
The only way to avoid getting chlamydia is to abstain from having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has a chlamydia infection. And be sure that sex toys that carry the bacteria dont come in contact with your genitals.
Its not always possible to know if a current or potential partner has chlamydia, though, especially since many people with chlamydia never notice symptoms. With prevention in mind, its a good idea to make safer sex practices a regular part of your sex life:
- Use condoms during intercourse, anal sex and oral sex.
- Use dental dams during oral sex or vagina-to-vagina contact.
- Dont share sex toys, but if you do, wash them after each use and cover toys used for penetration with a condom.
- Have sex with only one partner, who only has sex with you.
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.
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
What Does Chlamydia Look Like In The Mouth
Chlamydia in the throat may take on a similar appearance to a throat infection. The throat may simply look red and swollen.
Sometimes chlamydia in the throat will have no appearance at all, especially where no symptoms are present.
If you have been experiencing a sore throat that doesnt seem to be going away, or you have had oral sex with a partner recently who has tested positive for chlamydia, you need to get tested as soon as possible.
Chlamydia in the throat is tested using a swab. You will need to visit a medical professional in person for a diagnosis. A doctor will send a swab sample to a laboratory, which tests the specimen for the presence of DNA from the bacteria that cause chlamydia.
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