Nucleic Acid Amplification Test
The most common test for chlamydia, this is a simple, non-invasive test during which you collect a swab or urine sample yourself . A doctor can assist in taking a swab if you prefer.
The sample is then sent to be tested to see if there is genetic material that indicates the presence of chlamydia bacteria. Results come back quicker than the traditional culture test.
Where Can I Get Tested
Sexual health clinics, a genitourinary medicine clinics or GP surgeries provide free and confidential chlamydia testing. In England there is a national screening program for people under 25 years test kits are available in many pharmacies, contraception clinics, or colleges. Home testing kits may also be purchased in some pharmacies and online.
Does Your Partner Need To Get Treated Too
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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Infant Pneumonia Caused By C Trachomatis
Chlamydial pneumonia among infants typically occurs at age 13 months and is a subacute pneumonia. Characteristic signs of chlamydial pneumonia among infants include a repetitive staccato cough with tachypnea and hyperinflation and bilateral diffuse infiltrates on a chest radiograph. In addition, peripheral eosinophilia occurs frequently. Because clinical presentations differ, all infants aged 13 months suspected of having pneumonia, especially those whose mothers have a history of, are at risk for , or suspected of having a chlamydial infection should be tested for C. trachomatis and treated if infected.
Specimens for chlamydial testing should be collected from the nasopharynx. Tissue culture is the definitive standard diagnostic test for chlamydial pneumonia. Nonculture tests can be used. DFA is the only nonculture FDA-cleared test for detecting C. trachomatis from nasopharyngeal specimens however, DFA of nasopharyngeal specimens has a lower sensitivity and specificity than culture. NAATs are not cleared by FDA for detecting chlamydia from nasopharyngeal specimens, and clinical laboratories should verify the procedure according to CLIA regulations . Tracheal aspirates and lung biopsy specimens, if collected, should be tested for C. trachomatis.
Erythromycin base or ethylsuccinate 50 mg/kg body weight/day orally divided into 4 doses daily for 14 days
Azithromycin suspension 20 mg/kg body weight/day orally, 1 dose daily for 3 days
Parents Have A Role In Chlamydia Prevention
Parents can do two main things to help their kids avoid getting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections , says Dombrowski. These two things are:
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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.
My Symptoms Haven’t Cleared
There are several possible explanations. The symptoms could have a cause other than chlamydia. You can have more than one sexually transmitted infection at the same time, so you will need to be tested for other infections. There are also non-STI causes such as a lower urinary tract infection or, in women, endometriosis. You may have been re-infected with chlamydia if you had unprotected sex with an infected or partially treated partner. Rarely, the infection is resistant to a particular antibiotic treatment and therefore does not clear. Your GP or local GUM clinic would be able to help work out what is happening.
You may need a repeat chlamydia test .
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What Are The Long Term Effects Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia can cause complications if it is left untreated. In men, the infection can spread to the testicles leading to epididymitis, which is where they become painful and swollen. Chlamydia can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women. This can cause pelvic discomfort and pain, fertility problems and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.
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:
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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 Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia
Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:
- An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
- Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
- Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.
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Chlamydia Symptoms In Women
Chlamydia is often known as the silent infection. Thats because people with chlamydia may not experience symptoms at all.
If a woman contracts the STI, it may take several weeks before any symptoms appear.
Some of the most common symptoms of chlamydia in women include:
- painful sexual intercourse
In some women, the infection can spread to the fallopian tubes, which may cause a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a medical emergency.
The symptoms of PID are:
- abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods
Chlamydia can also infect the rectum. Women may not experience symptoms if they have a chlamydia infection in the rectum. If symptoms of a rectal infection do occur, however, they may include rectal pain, discharge, and bleeding.
Additionally, women can develop a throat infection if they have oral sex with someone with the infection. Though its possible to contract it without knowing it, symptoms of a chlamydia infection in your throat include cough, fever, and sore throat.
The symptoms of STIs in men and women can be different, so its important to talk with a healthcare professional if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Major Symptoms Of Chlamydia And Related Complications
Medical history says that Chlamydia disease does not report any symptom so people often think about does chlamydia go away forever. Almost 80% females and 50% males stay infected without any related symptom. And in case if the symptoms start appearing, they will be observable only after 2 to 3 weeks of exposure.
Due to this trouble, sufferers are not able to receive right treatment and it leads to several issues that are more dangerous ahead. Studies reveal that almost 40% of the untreated women face pelvic inflammatory disease as the next stage of Chlamydia and this state is highly painful. The untreated female patients can face trouble in pregnancy or in some more critical cases, they can have infertility issues.
In case of males, Chlamydia generally starts from urethra and its symptoms may come or go with time. Some people can feel its symptoms during the first urination of day you can identify them as:
- Painful burning at the time of urination.
- Some people may face scrotal pain.
- It can also appear in form of Reiters Syndrome that is a kind of arthritis and usually cause major damage to eyes and body joints.
- Prostate inflammation issues.
- Infertility is one more dangerous issue when infection gets spread from urethra to testicles.
In case of women as well as men, the major complications due to Chlamydia Bacterium are:
- Reiters syndrome that is a kind of reactive arthritis.
- Genital Lymphogranuloma.
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Summary Of The Evidence
There is no evidence relating to patient values and preferences but the Guideline Development Group agreed that there is probably no variability in the values people place on the outcomes. Research related to other conditions indicates that adherence may be improved with simpler medication regimens. The GDG therefore agreed that azithromycin may be more acceptable to patients since it is a single dose regimen . There is little to no evidence for equity issues and feasibility. Resistance in other infections that often co-occur with chlamydia may restrict the use of some medicines, such as ofloxacin. For many of these medicines, costs may differ between countries in places with high incidence of chlamydia, the cost differences between azithromycin and doxycycline may be large due to greater numbers of people requiring treatment.
In summary, there was moderate quality evidence for trivial differences in benefits and harms between azithromycin and doxycycline, and although the cost of azithromycin is higher, the single dose may make it more convenient to use than doxycycline. While the differences are also trivial with the other medicines, the evidence is low quality and these are therefore provided as alternatives, with the exception of delayed-release doxycycline, which is currently expensive.
See for list of references of reviewed evidence, and for details of the evidence reviewed, including evidence profiles and evidence-to-decision frameworks .
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.
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How Long Does It Take For Chlamydia To Go Away After Treatment
Chlamydia infection usually clears after one week of completing your antibiotic treatment. During treatment, you should avoid drinking alcohol as this can reduce how effective the antibiotic is.
You should also avoid having sex during treatment as you could still pass on the infection to your partner. It is common for partners to pass chlamydia between one another if they continue to have sex without completing their treatment, causing repeated infections.
How Accurate Are The Tests
The accuracy of a chlamydia test depends on the kind of test used and the type of sample thats collected. The recommended tests are over 95% accurate in picking up chlamydia. As no test is 100% accurate theres a small chance that the test will give a negative result when you do have chlamydia. This is known as a false negative result. This can sometimes explain why you might get a different result from another test or why you and a partner might get a different test result.
Its possible for the test to be positive if you havent got chlamydia, but this is rare.
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What Health Problems Can Result From Chlamydia
The initial damage that chlamydia causes is often unnoticed. However, infections can lead to serious health problems with both short- and long-term effects.
If a woman does not receive treatment, chlamydia can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes, causing PID. Symptomatic PID occurs in about 10-15% of women who do not receive treatment.30,31 However, chlamydia can also cause subclinical inflammation of the upper genital tract . Both acute and subclinical PID can cause long-term damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, tubal factor infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.32,33
Some patients with PID develop perihepatitis, or Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome. This syndrome includes inflammation of the liver capsule and surrounding peritoneum, which can cause right upper quadrant pain.
In pregnant people, untreated chlamydia can lead to pre-term delivery,34 ophthalmia neonatorum , and pneumonia in the newborn.
Reactive arthritis can occur in men and women, following infection with or without symptoms. This is sometimes part of a triad of symptoms formerly referred to as Reiters Syndrome.35
What Do I Need To Know If I Get Treated For Chlamydia
If youre getting treated for chlamydia:
- Take all of your medicine the way your nurse or doctor tells you to, even if any symptoms you may be having go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics.
- Your partner should also get treated for chlamydia so you dont re-infect each other or anyone else.
- Dont have sex for 7 days. If you only have 1 dose of medication, wait for 7 days after you take it before having sex. If youre taking medicine for 7 days, dont have sex until youve finished all of your pills.
- Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure your infection is gone.
- Dont share your medicine with anyone. Your nurse or doctor may give you a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner. Make sure you both take all of the medicine you get.
- Even if you finish your treatment and the chlamydia is totally gone, its possible to get a new chlamydia infection again if youre exposed in the future. Chlamydia isnt a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and get tested regularly.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia is known as one of the silent diseases which can produce no symptoms for a long period of time. Approximately 7095 percent of women and 50 percent of men with chlamydia do not observe chlamydia symptoms at all. The symptoms can also be mild and almost unnoticeable.
Another reason why symptoms are not the best way to determine the infection is that it is often confused with gonorrhea as the symptoms are very much alike. Asymptomatic nature of chlamydia makes it difficult to estimate how long a person remains infectious and this period is commonly believed to last until full recovery.
Chlamydia symptoms show up between 1 and 3 weeks after the contraction.
How Long Does It Take For Chlamydia Symptoms To Clear
When taking antibiotics , symptoms usually settle quickly. Pain on passing urine and discharge go within a week, pelvic or testicular pain can take two weeks and menstrual irregularities should improve by the next cycle. Always complete the full course of antibiotic.
Chlamydia is unlikely to go away without treatment. Although symptoms may subside temporarily, infection may persist in the body without treatment. It is important to seek diagnosis and treatment to get rid of the infection.
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What Happens If I Get Chlamydia When I’m Pregnant
- Chlamydia during pregnancy has been associated in very rare cases with problems such as premature birth, and infection of the uterus lining after the birth.
- It can be passed to the baby during the birth and before the baby is born. This can cause inflammation and discharge in the babys eye and/or pneumonia.
- You may be offered a chlamydia test as part of your antenatal care.
- Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics when youre pregnant and when youre breastfeeding. The antibiotics wont harm the baby, but do tell the doctor or nurse that youre pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Youll be advised to have another test after you complete your treatment.