Sex Partners Need Treatment Too
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, you will need to tell all of your sexual partners, because they will need the same treatment you are receiving.
In most states, a doctor or other healthcare provider can give you the medicine that your partner or partners will need to take. Then you can deliver it to those partners. This practice is called expedited partner therapy or patient delivered partner therapy.
These options can help a lot if your partner doesnt have a healthcare provider or feels embarrassed about seeking care, says Dr. Dombrowski.
Its natural to feel nervous or upset about having to tell your partner or partners about having an STD. Your healthcare provider can help with this problem. They may even rehearse the conversation with you, says Dombrowksi.
Learning about chlamydia and seeking advice from a healthcare provider about how to discuss it with your partner can help you handle the conversation with less anxiety and more confidence.
Remember, chlamydia is not just common: It is the most common infection reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . You are being helpful, mature, and responsible by telling your partners.
What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV-negative.
Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual activity for 7 days after single dose antibiotics or until completion of a 7-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners. It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure chlamydia. Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. If a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a womans risk of serious reproductive health complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. Women and men with chlamydia should be retested about three months after treatment of an initial infection, regardless of whether they believe that their sex partners were successfully treated.
Infants infected with chlamydia may develop ophthalmia neonatorum and/or pneumonia. Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
How Common Is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is the most common STI caused by bacteria. Nearly 2 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the CDC in 2019. The number of infections is likely even higher. When compared to previous years, 2019 infection rates increased among people of all genders, all races and ethnicities, and in every region of the U.S. Most cases of chlamydia are asymptomatic, which means there are no signs or symptoms of an infection. Many of these cases likely go unreported.
Certain demographic characteristics may make you more likely to get diagnosed with chlamydia. Youre more likely to get diagnosed if youre:
- A teen or young adult aged 15 to 24. More than half of all diagnosed chlamydia cases in the U.S. occur in this age group.
- A cisgender woman aged 15 to 24. Young women in this age group are targeted for chlamydia screenings, and the rate of infection among those who are tested is high.
- A man who has sex with men . Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect men who have sex with men.
- Black and non-Hispanic. Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect non-Hispanic Black populations.
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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.
Preventing The Spread Of Infection
It is absolutely necessary to inform the partner if you get a positive test for Chlamydia. The sooner the partner is told the more effective and simple the treatment can be. Make sure your partner gets tested and receives the treatment as well and abstain from the intercourse until the treatment of both you and the partner is finished.
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Is There An Over Counter Treatment For Chlamydia
No, the CDC recommended treatment for chlamydia requires a prescription, but you do not need to visit the doctors office in person to get a prescription. Technology has made doctor visits online quick and easy. Just complete an online consultation visit and a prescription can be sent to a local pharmacy.
Chlamydia Is Really Common
Chlamydia is a SUPER common bacterial infection that you can get from sexual contact with another person. Close to 3 million Americans get it every year, most commonly among 14-24-year-olds.
Chlamydia can be easily cleared up with antibiotics. But if you dont treat chlamydia, it may lead to major health problems in the future. Thats why STD testing is so important the sooner you know you have chlamydia, the faster you can cure it. You can prevent chlamydia by using condoms every time you have sex.
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Do I Need To Have A Test To Check That The Chlamydia Has Gone
If you take the treatment according to the instructions, you wont usually need a test to check the chlamydia has gone.
If youre aged under 25, you should be offered a repeat test 3 months after finishing the treatment. This is because youre at a higher risk of getting chlamydia again.
Whatever your age, you may need a repeat test or more treatment if:
- you think youve come into contact with chlamydia again
- you had sex without a condom with a partner before the treatment for both of you was finished
- you didnt complete the treatment or didnt take it according to the instructions
- the signs and symptoms dont go away
- your test was negative but you develop signs or symptoms of chlamydia
- youre pregnant.
A repeat test can be done 56 weeks after the first test.
If the chlamydia was in your rectum , you may need another test around 3 weeks after finishing the treatment. Your doctor, nurse or clinic will let you know if you need another test.
You can go back to the doctor, nurse or clinic if you have any questions or need advice on how to protect yourself from infection in the future.
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.
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What Does A Chlamydia Test Involve
- You may be asked to provide a urine sample. Before having this test, youre advised not to pass urine for 12 hours.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab from the entrance of the urethra .
- If you have symptoms of conjunctivitis swabs will be used to collect a sample of discharge from your eye.
A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud but is smaller and rounded. It sometimes has a small plastic loop on the end rather than a cotton tip. Its wiped over the parts of the body that could be infected. This only takes a few seconds and isnt painful, though it may be uncomfortable for a moment.
Cervical screening and routine blood tests dont detect chlamydia.
If youre not sure whether youve been tested for chlamydia, just ask.
Getting Treated For Chlamydia And Often Gonorrhea
If you have your own doctor, he will prescribe the antibiotics you need to treat chlamydia. If you dont have your own doctor, you can often find free or low-cost care at either a Planned Parenthood site or a community health clinic.
Listen carefully to the instructions for taking the medicine that you are given by the doctor or other healthcare provider, and follow them closely.
Ask questions if you dont understand something. Also, if you have other questions as you take your medicine, you can always call the pharmacist for help. They are often easier to reach than the doctor.
If you test positive for chlamydia, your healthcare provider is likely to also recommend that you be treated for gonorrhea. This is because the cost of treating gonorrhea is less than the cost of testing for the infection.
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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.
What Are The Treatments For Chlamydia
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe oral antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or taking doxycycline twice daily for 7 to 14 days are the most common treatments and are the same for those with or without HIV.
With treatment, the infection should clear up in about a week. Do not have sex for at least 7 days until you have taken all of your medication, and do not stop taking the antibiotics even if you feel better.
Your doctor will also recommend that your partner be treated as well to prevent reinfection and further spread of the disease.
Women with serious infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, may require a longer course of antibiotics or hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics. Some severe pelvic infections may require surgery in addition to antibiotic therapy.
Make sure you get retested after three months to be certain the infection is gone. Do this even if your partner has been treated and appears to be infection free.
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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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Always follow the directions from your doctor or pharmacist for taking azithromycin.
Azithromycin is taken as a single dose, one time.
It should be taken as soon as you receive the prescription. Azithromycin can be taken with or without food, however, the extended-release form is typically taken on an empty stomach.
If you take the liquid form, shake it well before using and use a dosing spoon to measure an accurate dose. If you are prescribed the powder, mix it with water according to directions.
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What Should I Expect During A Chlamydia Test
Your provider gives you a clean cup and asks you to urinate in it. Follow your providers instructions carefully when collecting a urine sample. Youll need to collect the urine as soon as it starts to come out .
If youre using an at-home chlamydia test, you will collect the sample yourself. Be sure to follow the instructions on the test kit carefully.
When Should I Call My Doctor About A Chlamydia Test
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A chlamydia test is essential to limiting the spread of this sexually transmitted infection. Its especially important to get screened for chlamydia regularly if youre at a higher risk of this STI. Untreated, the infection can cause health problems and you can spread it to your partner. While youre waiting for results and during treatment, avoid having sex. Wait until your provider says its safe to have sex again. Be sure to use a condom and practice safe sex to avoid getting an STI.
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Put Sex On Hold During And After Chlamydia Treatment
If you were given a single dose of antibiotics to treat your chlamydia, you should not have any kind of sex for a full seven days after the day you took the medicine. If youre taking antibiotics for a week, wait another seven days after the last day of your treatment. Be sure to take all of the medicine that is prescribed for you.
Not having sex for seven days after treatment is important so you dont spread the infection to your partner or partners.
Medication stops the infection and can keep you from spreading the disease, but it wont cure any permanent damage that the infection caused before you started treatment. In women, such damage can include blocking the fallopian tubes, causing infertility.
If you still have symptoms for more than a few days after you stop taking your medicine, go back to see your doctor or other healthcare provider so they can check you again.
How Easy Is It To Get Rid Of Chlamydia
It is relatively simple to get rid of chlamydia after receiving a diagnosis. The typical recovery time isnt much longer than two weeks for an average case. One of the largest hurdles for many patients comes with detecting chlamydia in the first place. This is why its important to regularly schedule STD screenings that include chlamydia and gonorrhea while sexually active with multiple partners.
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What Are Oral Chlamydia Symptoms
Like most STDs, partners exposed to chlamydia may exhibit no symptoms. Similarly, in oral chlamydia, most people have no symptoms. When symptoms arise, some experience a sore throat. While others, may experience redness of the throat. In any situation, if you or a partner have been exposed to someone who has chlamydia, it is best to get treated as soon as possible to avoid complications.
How Much Does Azithromycin Cost
Azithromycin is available as a generic medication and may be significantly cheaper compared to the brand version. Unless there is a specific reason you need the brand, the generic medication will be a better value. For even more savings, use a GoodRx coupon and pay just a fraction of the retail price.
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Treatment Of Chlamydia Is There A Cure For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be cured easily and effectively with simple antibiotics once it has been diagnosed. The treatment can consist of a single dose or last up to 2 weeks depending on the type of chlamydia. The infected person should not have penetrative sex until receiving a negative Chlamydia test at an after-treatment check-up. Both partners must be treated for chlamydia and undergo re-testing after 34 months.
How To Get Rid Of Chlamydia
If you are wondering how to cure chlamydia, the first step is to receive a diagnosis from a doctor after you get a lab test. If you test positive for chlamydia, you can get rid of the infection by taking a course of antibiotics prescribed by your physician. Chlamydia treatment for men and women primarily involves taking antibiotics.
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Does Azithromycin Work For Chlamydia
Azithromycin works to treat genital chlamydia in both men and women by stopping the bacteria from multiplying.
That means that for every 100 people who take azithromycin to treat chlamydia, 97 will be cured and three will not be cured.
In order to effectively treat chlamydial infections, azithromycin should be taken as prescribed and until the dosage is completed.
Ending the medication early increases the chance that the bacteria will not be completely killed off.
How Chlamydia Is Treated
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
If you have doxycycline, you should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
If you have azithromycin, you should wait 7 days after treatment before having sex .
Its important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.
Under-25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated.
This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.
Sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinics can help you contact your sexual partners.
Either you or the clinic can speak to them, or they can be sent a note advising them to get tested.
The note will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
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