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.
Where Can I Get A Test
There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
A chlamydia test can be done at:
- a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
- your general practice
- contraception and young peoples clinics
- some pharmacies.
Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.
In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.
The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .
If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.
In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk
Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.
What Are The Symptoms
Chlamydia is known as a silent infection because most infected people have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may not appear until several weeks after exposure. Even when it causes no symptoms, chlamydia can damage a womans reproductive organs.
In women, the bacteria first infect the cervix and/or the urethra . Some infected women have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. Untreated infections can spread upward to the uterus and fallopian tubes , causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can be silent, or can cause symptoms such as abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if PID causes no symptoms initially, it can lead to infertility and other complications later on.
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How Quickly Do Symptoms Show
In many cases, chlamydia symptoms do not show up at all, making it possible for the infection to lie dormant in the body and cause long-term side effects when not treated.
If someone with chlamydia does experience symptoms, the time it takes for them to show up may vary.
For most people, though, it takes about 7-21 days after having unprotected sex with an infected partner. However, it can take longer.
How Long Can I Go With Chlamydia Untreated
Being tested means that you can be treated, and the proper treatment will help clear up a chlamydial infection in a matter of weeks. On the other hand, if you don’t get tested or don’t see a healthcare provider for treatment, chlamydia can live in the body for weeks, months, or even years without being detected.
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Treatment Of Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection And Its Complications
Doxycycline for seven days and a stat dose of azithromycin are the preferred drugs for use in the treatment of chlamydia trachomatis infection. However, the drugs are not safe in pregnancy hence the use of amoxicillin or erythromycin for seven days to treat the same disease in pregnancy. It is important to institute treatment in the early stages of the disease and also carry out retesting three weeks after completing of therapy to confirm cure from the disease more so in pregnancy to avoid occurrence of complications of the disease.
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Does Chlamydia Have A Smell
In some cases, chlamydia can cause unusual vaginal discharge, which could have a strong or pungent smell.
However, this could also be a sign of several other STIs, including bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. It could also be caused by many other factors, including sweat, changes in pH, or shifts in hormone levels.
Consider talking with a healthcare professional to address any concerns regarding abnormal discharge or odor, especially if its accompanied by other symptoms like pain, bleeding, itching, or burning.
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How Is Chlamydia Transmitted
Newborn babies can acquire chlamydia from their mother during birth. Most prenatal testing includes a chlamydia test, but it doesnt hurt to double-check with an OB-GYN during the first prenatal checkup.
A chlamydia infection in the eye can occur through oral or genital contact with the eyes, but this isnt common.
- bleeding from this area
Having oral sex with someone who has the infection raises the risk of getting chlamydia in the throat. Symptoms can include a sore throat, cough, or fever. Its also possible to carry bacteria in the throat and not know it.
How Did I Get Chlamydia If I Didnt Cheat
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.
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Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
The only way to prevent chlamydia and other STDs is to not have sex . If someone decides to have sex, they can lower their risk of getting an STD by:
- using a latex condom every time they have sex
- getting tested with any new partners before having sex
- only having sex with one partner
Anyone who is sexually active should get tested for STDs every year .
How Can I Prevent Getting Chlamydia
Anyone who is sexually active can catch chlamydia. Youâre most at risk if you have a new sexual partner or donât use a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom, when having sex. You can help to prevent the spread of chlamydia by:
- using a dam to cover the female genitals during oral sex or when rubbing female genitals together
- not sharing sex toys. If you do share sex toys, wash them or cover them with a new condom between each person who uses them.
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Telling A New Partner About An Std
If you have an active STD, its normal to be nervous about telling someone new. Everyone raises the subject differently.
Here are some ideas for handling the conversation:
Imagine that your roles are reversed. What would you expect your partner to do and say if he or she were in your shoes? Be proud of your intentions. Your willingness to have this hard conversation shows that you care about the other person and your relationship. Were more likely to trust and respect people who are honest enough to talk about tough topics like STDs.
Its best to be direct. You could start by saying, Before we have sex, I want us to talk about STDs and protection because I have an STD. Say what type of STD you have and how you got it. You dont have to share every detail of your past relationships, but showing that youre open to talking and answering questions can help your partner feel more comfortable.
Its best to be honest. Its better for your partner to find out because you said something before getting an infection.
Let the conversation proceed naturally. Listen rather than doing all the talking. Prepare for your partner to be surprised. Each person reacts differently to the news. Some might get panic. Some might be full of questions. Others might just need to time to think.
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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:
- sharing sex toys that are not washed or covered with a new condom each time they’re used
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.
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How Can You Avoid Chlamydia And Pregnancy
- Chlamydia and pregnancy can both be avoided by not having sex, but this is not a valid option for many people
- You can avoid pregnancy and reduce the risk of contracting STIs by using condoms
- You can also take the contraceptive pill to avoid pregnancy, but it will not protect you from STIs like chlamydia
Can chlamydia treatment affect the pill most broad-spectrum antibiotics do not affect the combined contraceptive pill or the mini pill. This includes the antibiotics used to treat chlamydia. The only exception is if you vomit or have severe diarrhoea whilst taking the contraceptive pill and antibiotics. You would need to read your patient information leaflet or speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Can other antibiotics affect the pill? antibiotics that have consistently proven to have an effect on the contraceptive pill are rifampicin-like antibiotics. They include rifampicin or rifabutin and are not used to treat chlamydia.
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Is It Possible To Pass Chlamydia To Your Baby
When thinking about pregnancy and chlamydia, you may be wondering if your baby can get infected. The answer is yes, it is possible to infect your baby if you do not get proper treatment for chlamydia in pregnancy.
Chlamydia during pregnancy can infect newborn babies during vaginal delivery as they pass through the birth canal, and some common health concerns for the baby are eye and lung infections.
If you have chlamydia during early pregnancy but are treated for it, there is a good chance that your infection will clear up before your baby is born. If the infection is gone during delivery, it cannot pass on to the baby. The treatment for chlamydia in pregnancy and follow-up screenings to ensure your infection is cleared are very important.
There are some telltale signs that you have chlamydia in pregnancy. The symptoms of chlamydia are the same whether you are pregnant or not.
If you are pregnant and think you might have chlamydia, look for these common signs:
- A burning sensation during urination
- Yellow or green discharge from the vaginal area
- Low back pain and abdominal pain
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When Can I Have Unprotected Sex After Chlamydia Treatment
Even if your chlamydia infection has been cured, its not recommended to practice unsafe sex. Having your STD treated doesnt guarantee that the infection will never come back. In fact, many people become infected with STDs multiple times because they continue to have unprotected sex with partners who have untreated STDs.
If you have a regular sexual partner, tell them about your infection so they can get treatment as well. Once youre sure you both got treated, you have to wait until the treatment has had time to be effective before you start having unprotected sex again.
Can I Test Myself For Chlamydia At Home
Home testing kits for chlamydia are widely available and can be purchased at many pharmacies or online.
These kits typically require a urine sample or tissue swab, which you can collect at home and securely ship back to the lab to receive your results.
Some companies also include a free medical consultation with a doctor if your test results are positive to review your treatment options.
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What Happens If You Have Chlamydia For Over A Year
The majority of people who have chlamydia aren’t aware of any signs or symptoms, even after several months or years with infection. Nonetheless the impact of untreated chlamydia can be serious for women, causing significant damage to the reproductive organs.
Researchers don’t know exactly how long it takes for such effects to occur or exactly what proportion of women with untreated chlamydia suffer such consequences. It is probably only a minority of women who have these serious complications.
In men, serious consequences are rare. Occasionally, men can experience epididymitis, which is an inflammation of the coiled tube at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm.
Treatment for chlamydia is simple, requiring a short course of antibiotics. However if the infection is left untreated in women it can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease . Pelvic inflammatory disease can result in serious complications, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy and long-term abdominal pain.
Researchers are not sure of what proportion of cases of untreated chlamydia progress to PID and of how long this takes. Now that treatments are available, it would be unethical for researchers to identify women with chlamydia, withhold treatment and simply observe the damage the infection causes.
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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Untreated Chlamydia In Men And Women: How It Can Affect Your Health
If a chlamydial infection isnât detected and treated promptly, it can harm your healthâeven if you didnât experience symptoms when the infection first began.
Untreated chlamydia in men can lead to:
- Nongonococcal urethritis , or an infection of the urethra that can cause symptoms like painful or frequent urination, abnormal genital discharge, and more
- Epididymitis, or an infection of the epididymis , which can result in testicular pain and swelling
- Proctitis, or inflammation of the rectum
Untreated chlamydia in women may lead to:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease , which can cause chronic pelvic pain and infertility
- Ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside of the uterus, often in a fallopian tube
- Preterm birth in pregnant womenâas well as eye infection, blindness, or pneumonia in babies born through vaginal delivery
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Chlamydia Test
Chlamydia testing can help you avoid lasting health problems and stop the spread of this disease. You can also take steps to protect yourself from getting chlamydia.
- Having sex with only one partner who has tested negative for STDs and who has sex only with you
- Using condoms correctly every time you have sex
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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.
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What If You Dont Treat Chlamydia On Time
Chlamydia is easy to treat, but be sure to catch it on time! If you dont treat chlamydia in time, the infection can spread further inwards. This can lead to inflammation, such as:
- Inflammation of your prostate: You may suffer from fever and pain in your lower abdomen.
- Inflammation of your epididymis : You may have a lot of pain in your scrotum which sometimes radiates to your groin. You may also feel a swelling.
- Inflammation of your fallopian tubes : This can be accompanied by a fever and pain in your lower abdomen. The fallopian tubes can also become blocked, which gives a chance of infertility or an ectopic pregnancy.
If you are concerned or if you suffer from severe complaints, please contact your doctor.