How Do I Test For Chlamydia
You can get tested for chlamydia even if you dont have any symptoms.
Getting tested for chlamydia is easy and doesnt hurt. A healthcare professional will ask for a urine sample and/or take a swab from the area that might be infected. This is usually the lower part of the womb or the vagina for women, and the tip of the penis for men. If youve had anal or oral sex, you may have a swab taken from your anus or throat.
In some countries you can get a self-testing kit to do at home.
If you test positive for chlamydia, its important to tell any recent sexual partner/s so they can also get tested, and treated if necessary. If you need advice about how to do this, speak to your healthcare professional. You should also test for other STIs.
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Complications Of Oral Chlamydia
Chlamydia of the throat does not lead to complications in that area. The biggest concern with oral chlamydia is that people without symptoms are more likely to continue having sex and spreading the infection to other people.
Long-standing chlamydia infection most commonly leads to pelvic inflammatory disease , an infection and inflammation of the uterus and fallopian tubes. People with PID often have difficulties getting pregnant or are at risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Chlamydia infection can also cause an inflammatory reaction throughout the body that causes joint pain or conjunctivitis, an inflammation or infection in the eye.
Its Possible To Get Chlamydia Through Oral Or Anal Sex
You may have heard that its not possible to get chlamydia through oral or anal sex, but this is just a myth. If you have unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex, you could get chlamydia.
While its possible to get chlamydia through any of these sex acts, the risk varies depending on the type of sex youre having. Chlamydia isnt commonly passed through cunnilingus, but its possible. The infection is commonly passed through fellatio and anal sex.
No matter what type of sex youre having, its a good idea to use protection. This may include dental dams or condoms, depending on the sex act. Other types of contraception, like birth control pills and IUDs, dont provide any protection against chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections.
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Symptoms That Indicates You Are Infected With Chlamydia Std
Sexually Transmitted Disease is getting worrisome for many individuals, particularly teenagers who are sexually active. New STD cases are ramping up all across the globe, with infections like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis ranking the top 3 in the STD toll. STDs like HIV/AIDS have gone down drastically due to active HIV awareness campaigns and technological advancements in medicine that can help detect HIV in its early stages. In this article we walk you through on Chlamydia STD, its symptoms, treatment and much more.
Chlamydia Can Return Even After Antibiotic Treatment Because It Survives In The Stomach
Chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted infection and often a symptom-less one, can usually be treated with antibiotics effectively. But new research shows that oftentimes chlamydia can return with a vengeance, even after treatment.
Research out of the Arkansas Childrens Research Institute has found that if chlamydia survives in the persons stomach, even after it has been cleared away from the genitals by antibiotics, it can re-infect the person.
It is possible that women, cured of genital infection by antibiotics, remain infected in the gastrointestinal tract and can become re-infected by auto-inoculation from that site, Roger Rank, the lead author of the study, wrote.
Though their study was completed in mice, the scientists believe it can be related to humans as well. People who have undergone treatment for chlamydia may still be able to infect others, or re-infect themselves, through oral or anal sex.
In a small percentage of recurrent infections, Rank said, infection cannot be attributed to reinfection from a partner or treatment failure so it would appear that in these cases, the organism has remained persistent in the individual. Based on the studies in animals and the experimental mouse model studies and evidence for gastrointestinal infection in humans, we propose that chlamydiae shed in the GI tract may infect the genital tract via auto-inoculation.
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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 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.
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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.
Chlamydia Can Be Prevented
The most effective way to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection is to not have sex. However, if you wish to have sexual contact, you can reduce your risk of infection with these actions:
- Minimizing the number of partners with whom you have intimate contact
- Asking your partners to get screened for STDs before engaging in sexual activity
- Always using latex condoms when having intercourse of any kind
Additional reporting by Ingrid Strauch.
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Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
The only sure way to prevent chlamydia is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading chlamydia. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How Is Chlamydia Prevented
You already know chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection. Therefore, the safest and easiest way to prevent chlamydia is sexual abstinence. Other ways chlamydia can be prevented in men and women are
- Use condoms for intercourse
- Get your male or female sexual partners tested for the infection
- Recheck for chlamydia infection after 5 weeks of treatment
- Avoid intercourse while on chlamydia treatment
- Use adult toys with condoms
Now its your turn. Do you have any chlamydia symptoms? Let us know if we can help.
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Chlamydia Infection May Have Long
For women, the long-term effects of an untreated chlamydia infection may include:
- Severe infection with pain and fever requiring a hospital stay
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the upper reproductive tract
- Scarring in the reproductive tract that causes infertility
- Higher risk of ectopic pregnancy
Men are less likely than women to have major health problems linked to chlamydia, although they can develop epididymitis, an inflammation of a structure within the testicles called the epididymis that can result in infertility.
A chlamydia infection can sometimes result in reactive arthritis in both men and women.
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.
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Whats Chlamydia And What Are The Symptoms
The bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, is the organism which causes chlamydia infection. It can affect the eyes , the joints, the mouth and the genitals of males and females. Chlamydia discharge with severe discomfort while urinating may be an early sign of illness.
It can also be contacted through the sharing of infected towels. Pregnant women with poorly treated infection may transmit chlamydia to their babies during delivery.
Chlamydia can be a silent disease because you can get infected without showing any signs. About 30 70 percent of infected men and women will not have common symptoms at all.
However, this does not rule out complication of chlamydia infection in the long-term. If left for a long time without treatment, chlamydia may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal pregnancy, and difficulty conceiving.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is the upward spread of chlamydia affecting the womb, abdominal area, and Fallopian tubes. PID could potentially cause permanent damage to the Fallopian tubes ultimately causing infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
Short-term adverse effects of chlamydia in men include inflammation of the epididymis, with testes that are hurtful and swollen. This occurs very early after an infection and can contribute to infertility in men.
If youve had unprotected anal, oral, vaginal intercourse or got in real contact with someone genital fluid, you can have chlamydia.
When To See A Healthcare Professional
If you suspect you have chlamydia, see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Abstain from allsexual activity until your appointment.
If you arent comfortable getting tested for STIs with your usual provider, you can find a clinic in your area.
There are many free or low-cost clinics. Heres how to find one near you.
You can also visit GetTested or call CDC Info at 800-232-4636 to find local clinics.
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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.
What Are The Treatments For Chlamydia
Antibiotics will cure the infection. You may get a one-time dose of the antibiotics, or you may need to take medicine every day for 7 days. Antibiotics cannot repair any permanent damage that the disease has caused.
To prevent spreading the disease to your partner, you should not have sex until the infection has cleared up. If you got a one-time dose of antibiotics, you should wait 7 days after taking the medicine to have sex again. If you have to take medicine every day for 7 days, you should not have sex again until you have finished taking all of the doses of your medicine.
It is common to get a repeat infection, so you should get tested again about three months after treatment.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Is Left Untreated In Males
Chlamydia is an usual STD that can infect both males and females. It can trigger major, permanent damages to a females reproductive system. What Happens If Chlamydia Is Left Untreated In Males
This can make it difficult or impossible for her to get expecting later on. Chlamydia can also create a possibly fatal ectopic pregnancy a pregnancy that happens outside the womb.
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Complicationsin Men And Women
A number of complications have been found to be a risk factor for chlamydia in both male and female patients. The first concern is the fact that there seems to be an increased risk of being infected with the HIV virus in men and women who have acquired the chlamydia infection. At the same time, a patient with chlamydia and HIV are also more likely to transmit the HIV virus to another partner during sexual intercourse, compared to a person only infected with HIV.
Another concern that needs to be raised is the risk of Reiters syndrome. In modern times, doctors are rather referring to Reiters syndrome as reactive arthritis. This is a serious complication of chlamydia, but it is an exceptionally rare one. Even though rare, the possibility still exists making it even more crucial for sexually active individuals to be tested for chlamydia frequently.
Thedevelopment of reactive arthritis can cause typical symptoms that are generallyassociated with arthritis. This includes joint pain, inflammation, and areduced range of motion. Additionally, reactive arthritis is also known tocause swelling in both the urethra and the eyes. Skin lesions may also developin patients with reactive arthritis.
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What Causes Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is caused by a different strain of the virus, Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 , and infects the genital area. However, HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes if the virus is transmitted from sores around the mouth of one person to the genital area of another during oral sex. Treatment is available for both types of herpes.
How To Help Avoid Oral Chlamydia
The most effective way to avoid getting oral chlamydia is to refrain from engaging in any form of sexual activity. However, its understandable that this prevention method may not be ideal or realistic for many people.
The NIH recommends using a barrier method every time you engage in oral sex to reduce your risk for oral chlamydia. Use a condom for oral sex on the penis, and a dental dam for oral sex on the vagina or anus. Another step you can take is to stay in a long-term monogamous relationship with your partner, as having multiple sex partners can often increase your risk for STDs including oral chlamydia.
If youre in need of chlamydia testing, visit Solv today to browse and locate chlamydia testing providers in your area. Solv can help you find a walk-in clinic in your area that offers same-day STD testing, as well as lab testing for other health conditions.
Michael is an experienced healthcare marketer and father of two. He has worked alongside healthcare leader at Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, St. Lukeâs, Baylor Scott and White, HCA, and many more, and currently leads growth marketing at Solv.
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