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What Happens When You Don T Treat Chlamydia

What Do Genital Herpes Symptoms Look Like

Clinical Pearls for Chlamydia & Gonorrhea

Other symptoms can include:

  • tingling or burning around the genitals
  • feeling unwell, with aches, pains and flu-like symptoms
  • unusual vaginal discharge in women.

Many people with genital herpes wont get any symptoms, or may get symptoms for the first time months or even years after they were infected.

For most people, the blisters go away within one to two weeks. Although the outbreaks clear-up by themselves, the virus stays in the body. This means that people usually get blisters again which is called having a recurrent outbreak. Outbreaks usually become shorter and less severe over time.

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Letting Partners Know You Have Chlamydia

Sexual partners may be infected too. If you have chlamydia, anyone you have had sex with from the last 6 months needs to be informed, tested and treated.

If they dont know, they could reinfect you or infect someone else if they are not treated. dont receive treatment.

Most people will appreciate being told they may have an infection and it is an important step in preventing further infection in the community.

Your local GP and sexual health centre can help you inform your partners and let them know that they need a test. This process is called partner notification. It can be done anonymously, and your confidentiality is always respected.

You can also anonymously notify your sexual partners of the need to get tested and treated for chlamydia via the Let Them Know website if you feel unable to speak to them personally.

There are also nurses who can help you anonymously notify your partners. They can be contacted on .

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 theyre 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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Reasons Why You Should Get Screened Today

It can be difficult to motivate people to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases . In some cases, people are scared to get tested because of how it may affect their relationship. Others are terrified of being diagnosed with HIV or other incurable STDs. Others still assume that they are clear because they have no symptoms.

All of these responses, while understandable, place you at greater harm than you might think. By avoiding recommended STD tests, you could find yourself dealing with serious complications or placing others health at risk.

Here are just some of the short- and long-term consequences of avoiding STD testing:

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Untreated Chlamydia In Men And Women: How It Can Affect Your Health

KEEP CALM AND don

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

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How Long After Treatment Can I Have Sex Again

You should avoid being sexually active during treatment for chlamydia because you can still pass the infection to your sex partner during this time, even if you have no symptoms.

How long you should wait to have sex depends on the antibiotic you take.

If your doctor prescribes a single dose of antibiotics, wait until seven days after taking it. If you take a multi-dose antibiotic, wait until youve taken the full course of medication .

Because it is somewhat common to get a repeat infection of chlamydia, its a good idea to be tested for it again about three months after treatment.

What Can You Do To Relieve Your Symptoms

No home remedy for chlamydia can replace antibiotics. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, so you need to take antibiotics to cure it.

However, there are a few ways you can soothe symptoms while you wait for the antibiotics to get to work. For example:

  • Use pain medications, such as ibuprofen to reduce pain
  • Use a cold pack to soothe inflammation.
  • A herb called goldenseal might reduce inflammation and other symptoms.
  • Use an echinacea supplement aid your immune system.

Remember that these home remedies might soothe the symptoms of chlamydia, but they dont actually cure chlamydia in itself. The best way to soothe the symptoms is to use 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.

Am I At Risk For Chlamydia

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If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider. Ask them if you should get tested for chlamydia or other STDs. Gay or bisexual men and pregnant people should also get tested for chlamydia. If you are a sexually active woman, you should get tested for chlamydia every year if you are:

  • Younger than 25 years old.
  • 25 years and older with risk factors, such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.

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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.

How Can I Protect Myself From Chlamydia

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:

  • 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.

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Sensitive Issues For Men

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. This infection is easily spread because it often causes no symptoms and may be unknowingly passed to sexual partners. In fact, about 75% of infections in women and 50% in men are without symptoms.

What happens if men don’t receive treatment of chlamydia? Complications of chlamydia are often manifested in epididymitis, characterized by enlarged epididymis, hardening and tenderness, mostly unilateral, and antibodies in chlamydia are elevated in some patients.

Because chlamydia often occurs without symptoms, people who are infected may unknowingly infect their sex partners. Many doctors recommend that persons who have more than one sex partner should be tested for chlamydia regularly, even in the absence of symptoms.

Chlamydia infection is similar to mycoplasma infection. Sexual contact is the main route of transmission. At present, antibiotic treatment is the main method of treatment. Patients need to choose sensitive drugs based on drug sensitivity test. For example, from the clinical experience, chlamydia is sensitive to tetracycline, azithromycin, doxycycline and erythromycin.

Sensitive antibiotics are generally effective in treatment. However antibiotic treatment for chlamydia can not bring a complete cure due to drug tolerance and drug resistance.

What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated

STD Testing

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 Is The Treatment For Chlamydia

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. The recommended antibiotic treatment is doxycycline taken twice a day for seven days or azrithromycin taken in one single dose. Other alternative medications may be used but are not as effective as azrithromycin and doxycycline. Persons being treated for chlamydia should not have sexual intercourse for seven days after single dose therapy or until completion of all seven days of antibiotics . Patients can be re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.

Do Past Infections Mean Im Immune

While some studies have looked into the potential for immunity in animals and in humans, there have been no conclusive signs of immunity.

At this point, it seems you cannot become immune to chlamydia after having it. To avoid future infections, its important to practice safe sex and get tested regularlyespecially if you are sexually active with multiple partners.

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Inflammation Of The Testicles

In men, chlamydia can spread to the testicles and epididymis , causing them to become painful and swollen. This is known as epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis. This is very rare.

The inflammation is usually treated with antibiotics. If it’s not treated, there’s a possibility it could affect your fertility.

Does Your Partner Need To Get Treated Too

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If you have a sexual partner, or if youve recently had sex with someone, talk with them about your chlamydia diagnosis. Theyll need to get tested and treated, too.

If your sexual partner doesnt seek treatment, theres a risk that they can transmit it back to you, even after your infection has been cured.

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Risk Factors And Demographic Factors For Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection

The most common demographic correlate of infection with chlamydial infection in women is young age . This could be explained by the anatomic differences in the cervix of the younger women, wherein the squamo-columnar junction, a primary host target for C. trachomatis, is everted and thus more exposed. Other factors associated with chlamydial infection include unmarried status, nulliparity, black race and poor socio-economic condition. A large number of sexual partners, a new sexual partner, lack of use of barrier contraceptive devices and concurrent gonococcal infection are also known to be associated with chlamydial infection. Cervical chlamydial infections are also found to be associated with the use of oral contraceptives.

How Do You Treat Chlamydia

Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider.

It is important to complete the full treatment, as prescribed by your healthcare provider, even if symptoms go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics. Also, do not share your medicine with anyone or take someone elses.

Some healthcare providers may give a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner so you do not re-infect each other or anyone else. Do not have sex until you have finished treatment.

Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure the infection is gone and you were not re-exposed.

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Causes And Risk Factors

Chlamydia is an STI caused by a specific strain of bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.

Chlamydia is more common in women than in men. In fact, its estimated that the overall rate of infection is for women than men in the United States.

Some of the other risk factors for infection include:

  • not using barrier methods like condoms consistently with new sexual partners
  • having a sexual partner who is having sex with other people
  • having a history of chlamydia or other STIs

What Happens If You Dont Seek Treatment

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If you take your antibiotics as directed, chlamydia is likely to go away. But if its left untreated, it can cause a few complications.

For example, if you have a vulva, you could develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a painful infection that could damage your uterus, cervix, and ovaries.

Untreated chlamydia can also lead to scarred fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility.

If youre pregnant, untreated chlamydia can be transmitted to the baby during vaginal delivery. Chlamydia can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns.

Untreated chlamydia can lead to epididymitis, which is when the epididymis becomes inflamed, causing pain.

Chlamydia can also spread to the prostate gland, which can lead to painful sex, lower back pain, and a fever.

Fortunately, treatment for chlamydia is relatively straightforward. And if its treated quickly, youre unlikely to experience any long-term complications.

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Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility

A lot of us don’t realize that some sexually transmitted diseases can cause no symptoms, meaning you could have an STD and not know it. And some STDs can silently lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or chronic pelvic pain.

Chlamydia is one of those diseases. CDC estimates that more than 2.8 million people are infected each year.

Many women, and some men, are infected with chlamydia but don’t know it. Even without symptoms, the disease can cause complications, particularly infertility. The longer the infection is untreated, the more damage that can be done.

If not treated, chlamydia can lead to damage to the reproductive system. In women, chlamydial infection can spread to the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease , according to the CDC. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and uterus and cause chronic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have chlamydia also are at much greater risk for becoming infected with HIV. In men, complications from chlamydia are rare.

In pregnant women, chlamydia can cause premature delivery, the CDC says. A child born to an infected woman can develop an infection in their eyes and respiratory tracts.

Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby

If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can give the infection to your baby during delivery. This can cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your baby. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby early.

If you are pregnant, you should receive testing for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting the correct examination, testing, and treatment. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.

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How Will I Know If I Have Chlamydia

You can only be certain you have chlamydia if you have a test.

Anyone can get chlamydia. Youre more likely to have it if youre under 25, have a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner in the last year, and if you havent used condoms.

You should have a test if:

  • you, or a partner, have or think you might have symptoms
  • youve recently had sex without a condom with a new partner
  • you, or a partner, have had sex without a condom with other partners
  • during a vaginal examination, your doctor or nurse says that the cervix is inflamed and/or theres an unusual discharge
  • a sexual partner tells you they have a sexually transmitted infection
  • you have another STI.

If you live in England, and youre a woman who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test when you change sexual partner and once a year.

If youre a man who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.

You could still have chlamydia even if a partner has tested negative. The only way to make sure you dont have chlamydia is to get tested yourself.

If you have chlamydia, youll be encouraged to be tested for other STIs as you can have more than one STI at the same time.

When To Seek Medical Advice

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If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.

Find a sexual health clinic.

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.

Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024

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