When To See A Healthcare Provider
It’s 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 you’ve 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 sexually transmitted infections 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.
How Easy Is It To Get An Sti
Although vaginal-penile sex is one of the most common means of STI transmission, people can contract them through anal sex, oral sex, and, in rare cases, heavy petting.
STIs are very common.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that in 2018, there were more than 2 million cases of STIs..
Can Men Catch Chlamydia Through Anal Sex
Whether youre performing anal sex on a man or a woman there is still a risk of catching chlamydia if the person has a rectal chlamydia infection. Likewise if you receive anal sex from someone who is infected then you may catch rectal chlamydia.
The symptoms of rectal chlamydia are different from chlamydia affecting the penis. Symptoms may include discharge, bleeding and pain in the area. Its possible to have a chlamydia in both the penis and the anus at the same time.
You can find out more about chlamydia in our advice article on the STI or visit our chlamydia landing page to see more information about our range of tests.
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Can A Man Have A Discharge And Not Have A Std
Most STDs are highly treatable, and treatment prevents severe complications. Male discharge that has a non-STD cause may be a variation of normal discharge, or it could be a sign of an infection that requires treatment. In this article, we look at the non-STD causes of penile discharge and explain when to see a doctor.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated
If a person is not treated for chlamydia, complications may occur. Women frequently develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, tubal pregnancies, and the continued spread of the disease. In men, untreated chlamydia can cause urethral infection and complications such as swollen and tender testicles. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy may result in premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery and possible tubal pregnancy in a small percent of women. In addition, chlamydia can cause conjunctival and pneumonic infection in the newborn. Persons with a chlamydia infection have an increased chance of getting other infections such as gonorrhea or HIV.
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What Happens If A Man Doesnt Treat His Chlamydia
If chlamydia is left untreated, it can become a more severe infection. Its also possible for it to have long term effects, including on fertility.
Chlamydia can affect the whole of the male reproductive system, causing inflammation in the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles, as well as the testicles themselves and the prostate gland. If this inflammation isnt treated, it may lead to scarring, which can have an effect on fertility.
There have also been some studies that suggest the infection itself can affect sperm being produced properly, but the evidence around this isnt conclusive at the moment.
Chlamydia can also cause a condition called reactive arthritis. This is when there is inflammation that affects the eyes, joints, and the urethra . The knees, feet, toes, hips, and ankles are also commonly affected. Its unclear exactly why this happens, but it may be related to the body overreacting to the infection. The symptoms can take months to recover, and you should treat this with anti-inflammatory medicines.
Treating chlamydia is also very important because it can easily be passed on to other partners, even if you dont have symptoms.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Chlamydia
The only way to completely avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
If you are sexually active, the following things can lower your chances of getting chlamydia:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and does not have chlamydia and
- Using condoms the right way every time you have sex.
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When Can I Have Sex Again
If you were diagnosed with chlamydia, wait to have sex again until you have finished your treatment.
For some antibiotics, such as doxycycline, this means may need to wait 1 week to have sex, or until you have completed your prescribed course of treatment.
If you were prescribed a single dose of medication, like azithromycin, wait 7 days after taking the medication before having sex.
Essential Facts About Chlamydia
Chlamydia often causes no symptoms in the short term, but it can have serious health consequences if it goes untreated.
If youre sexually active, you should know about chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted bacterial infection. These 10 facts will bring you up to speed on whos at risk, why regular screening is so important, and how to avoid getting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections .
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Do Condoms Prevent Stds 100 Percent
When used correctly and consistently, condoms are highly effective at preventing STIs that are transmitted through bodily fluids, including chlamydia and gonorrhea. They also effectively prevent the spread of HIV. They provide less protection against infections spread through skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes, HPV, and syphilis.
So, can you catch an STD with a condom? Yes. Abstinence is the only method that is 100 percent effective at preventing all STIs. But among people who use condoms for protection, the chances are greatly reduced.
Here are some tips for getting the most protection from using condoms:
- Read the package label of the condom before using it.
- Choose condoms with a label that says they prevent disease.
- Use a new condom each time you have sex.
- Store condoms in a cool, dry place, as heat may weaken them and reduce their effectiveness.
- When using lubricant with condoms, always choose a water-based one oil-based lubricants like baby oil, petroleum jelly, and cold cream can weaken the condom.
Chlamydia Is Common But Many People Dont Realize They Have It
About 1.7 million chlamydia infections were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017, but the real number is likely higher because chlamydia is considered an underreported infection.
“The number of reported cases is substantially lower than the true estimated incidence,” says Bradley Stoner, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and former president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.
The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System relies on state and local public health departments to collect and report data on chlamydia to the CDC. Those public health departments depend on individual physicians, hospitals, and laboratories to report cases of chlamydia to them. Accurate statistics require all parties to routinely comply with disease-reporting mandates.
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Can You Die From Chlamydia If Not Treated
According to this study, about 200 people were killed from infections in 2015 which include chlamydia.
However, the chances you could die from chlamydia is very slim.
Chlamydia may cause death through infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic abscess, chronic abdominal pain and increased chance of catching HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs after a tubal surgery or disruption of inner lining covering the Fallopian tube due to infections. This may cause severe bleeding and death if not urgently treated.
Though chlamydia can easily be treated and cured, any damage from the infection is hardly reversed after treatment.
Male Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
These are just some of the most common complications of untreated chlamydia, which is why its important to get medical attention right away. Most people who get treatment quickly have no long-term medical problems.
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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 they’re used
- your genitals coming into contact with your partner’s genitals this means you can get chlamydia from someone even if there’s 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.
Chlamydia Is Caused By Sexually Transmitted Bacteria
The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis causes chlamydia infection, which usually occurs in the genital tract, so the cervix in women and the penis in men. In both women and men, the bacteria may also infect the rectum and the throat.
“Infections are spread during any kind of sexual activity: vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse,” says Jonathan Schaffir, MD, an ob-gyn at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
Chlamydia trachomatis can also cause conjunctivitis if the bacteria come into contact with the eyelids or the clear membrane covering the white of the eye.
Because chlamydia infections often cause no symptoms, individuals who have one may not seek medical attention or get treated for it. However, anyone who is infected with chlamydia can pass it to other people, who can, in turn, pass it to others.
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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 Chlamydia Cause Long
Think of the clichés associated with chlamydia. One that springs to mind might be that chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that affects women much more than it does men. And, you wouldnt be entirely wrong – the chlamydia rates among females was almost two times higher than the rate among males in 2018 . However, chlamydia is so common that it can impact just about anyone who is sexually active, and it also has the potential to cause long-term complications in both males and females.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , chlamydia is the most common notifiable disease in the United States – with rates among adult males steadily increasing over recent years. Without regular testing, chlamydia cases can often go unnoticed and as a result, untreated this can sometimes cause complications in men, including:
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What Happens If You Leave Chlamydia Untreated Male
Chlamydias infamous silent infection nickname originates from the fact that the infection sometimes shows little to no symptoms. In fact, according to the NHS, over half of all men with chlamydia dont notice any symptoms at all which is why it can often go untreated . If the infection goes unnoticed and is left untreated, it can spread and can result in some potentially serious complications in men.
What Other Problems Can Chlamydia Cause
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Men often don’t have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis . This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a “reaction” to an infection in the body.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.
Common Symptoms Of Syphilis
Syphilis has four different phases:
Each phase has its own set of symptoms. The symptoms of primary syphilis in men and people with a penis may include:
- a very small, firm, and painless sore where the bacteria entered the body, usually on the penis, anus, or lips that can be easily missed
- swollen lymph nodes in the area near the sore
Symptoms of secondary syphilis may include:
- a skin rash that doesnt itch, commonly found over the body that includes the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
- swollen lymph nodes
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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Untreated Chlamydia In Men
Chlamydia can mostly go unnoticed in men as most of them are asymptomatic. The most common symptoms include discharge from the penis, pain on urination and swelling of testicles. Chlamydia also goes undetected in men like in women that might lead to complications in men too. Untreated Chlamydia can cause internal scarring of genitals, low sperm count with decrease in fertile sperms and also can lead to additional health conditions. These can be prevented with antibiotic treatment.
Untreated Chlamydia can lead to infertility in men by interfering with the sperm count and also abnormalities with genetic material. It causes damage to the sperms and causes scarring of the reproductive tract and may lead to permanent infertility. Men infected with Chlamydia have shown sperms with 80% more physical abnormalities and 10% less motility in 10%. Also males infected with Chlamydia are at increased risk of developing rheumatological conditions, conjunctivitis, urethritis , epididymitis and sexually acquired reactive arthritis . Reactive arthritis causes inflammation of the joints, eyes and urethra. There is no cure of SARA, but it improves over a period of few months and is symptomatically treated with NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen.
Thus, one should avoid high risk sexual behavior and should follow up regularly with a doctor for STD testing, and if detected positive should complete antibiotic course.
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.
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