How Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of getting or giving chlamydia.53 The surest way to avoid chlamydia is to abstain from vaginal, anal, and oral sex, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
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.
Chlamydia is most common in sexually active young adults. More than half of all infections involve people ages 18 to 24. You can get chlamydia during oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with an infected partner. The disease can cause penile discharge in men and infertility in women. It can also cause serious health problems in newborn babies of infected mothers.
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 symptoms do show up, they usually occur within weeks of exposure. Men and women may face painful urination, an abnormal discharge from the urethra, or both. Women also may have abdominal pain, bleeding, and an abnormal discharge from the vagina. Symptoms usually appear within one to three weeks after being infected and may be very mild.
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.
What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated
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.
Read Also: How To Know If You Have Chlamydia Male
Laboratory Tests For Lymphogranuloma Venereum
In a patient showing anorectal signs or symptoms similar to LGV, a chlamydia nucleic acid amplification test should be taken from the affected site. If this test returns positive, a further test should be taken to find LGV-specific DNA. Ideally, also seek locally available expertise about appropriate specimen collection and management.
A full sexual health screen taking into consideration the window periods for other sexually transmitted infections, is also needed. In particular, MSM need to be screened for syphilis, hepatitis C, and HIV because of the increased risk of multiple infections.
LGV is treated with antibiotics to cure the infection and prevent ongoing tissue damage. Treatment with doxycycline or erythromycin for at least 3 weeks is required. Azithromycin has also been used for ease of compliance. Resistance to doxycycline is very rare, at which point moxifloxacin is the next drug of choice. If necessary, buboes may be drained with a needle. Surgical management may also be required .
For an individual presenting with rectal signs and symptoms , empiric antimicrobial therapy should cover other possible causes of proctitis , such as herpes simplex virus and gonorrhoea. Input from a sexual health specialist is recommended. Sexual contacts need to be notified, clinically assessed, and treated.
Chlamydia Trachomatis And Infertility
Chlamydial PID is the single most important preventable cause of infertility. Approximately, 3 per cent women with chlamydial genital tract infection develop infertility. After a single episode of PID, the risk of tubal factor infertility is approximately 10 per cent, each repeat episode doubles the risk. Although the majority of patients are asymptomatic but re-infection/persistent infection with C. trachomatis leads to more severe tubal damage than other agents.
The role of C. trachomatis in the development of urethritis, epididymitis and orchitis in men is widely accepted. Though the role of this organism in prostatitis is controversial, but up to 35- 50 per cent incidence has been reported in patients with prostatitis. Infection of the testes and the prostrate is implicated in the deterioration of sperm affecting fertility. Chlamydial infection may also affect the male fertility by directly damaging the sperm as sperm parameters, proportion of DNA fragmentation and acrosome reaction capacity are impaired. However, the role of C. trachomatis in male infertility is not yet proven.
Read Also: Can Your Body Fight Chlamydia On Its Own
Male Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
These are just some of the most common complications of untreated chlamydia, which is why its important to get medical attention right away. Most people who get treatment quickly have no long-term medical problems.
How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is transmitted by sexual contact with the penis, vagina, anus and/or rectal area, and mouth of the infected individual. Occasionally, if the eyes are infected, ocular secretions may contain transmissible bacteria. The organisms are simply transmitted by contact, usually by direct physical contact. Chlamydia bacteria are easily spread. They spread from females to males and vice versa through sexual contact.
Recommended Reading: How To Screen For Chlamydia
Chlamydia Treatment For Women
Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics may be given as a single dose or a 7-day course. Women should abstain from sexual intercourse during the 7-day course of antibiotics or for 7 days after the single dose treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.
How Common Is Lymphogranuloma Venereum
Traditionally, classical LGV affects heterosexuals in endemic areas . However, there have been outbreaks of LGV infections amongst men who have sex with men in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is still uncommon in New Zealand. However, following international outbreaks of infection amongst MSM, there has been a recent increase in local cases.
Also Check: The Difference Between Gonorrhea And Chlamydia
No Symptoms Of Chlamydia
If you know you’re infected with chlamydia, there are two good reasons for getting treated immediately.
1) The infection can cause complications and spread to other parts of your body, starting with your reproductive system.
2) You can infect any sexual partners you have, and they might then unknowingly infect more people in the future.
When To See A Doctor
If a person has symptoms of chlamydia after testing and treatment or thinks that they have come into contact with chlamydia again, they should see their doctor.
Females are less likely than males to have symptoms of chlamydia, so testing is especially important for them.
The recommend chlamydia testing every year for the following groups of people:
- sexually active females under the age of 25 years
- females over the age of 25 years who have new or multiple sexual partners
- anyone with a sexual partner who has an STI
- sexually active gay and bisexual males
Pregnant women should have a chlamydia test early on in their pregnancy.
Don’t Miss: Chlamydia 4 Me Pills Reviews
How Can I Know If I Have Chlamydia
If you think you have chlamydia, or any STI, contact your healthcare provider. He or she will examine you and perform tests, if necessary, to determine if you have an STI.
To check for chlamydia, a woman is given a pelvic exam. A sample of fluid is taken from the vagina. In men, a sample of fluid may be taken from the penis. The fluid is sent to a laboratory for testing. The cultures can also be taken from a urine test. Your provider will discuss which way is the best way to check for an infection in your particular situation.
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 cure 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.49 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.50,51 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.40
Infants infected with chlamydia may develop ophthalmia neonatorum and/or pneumonia.10 Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
Who Can Get Chlamydia
Anyone can catch chlamydia when having unprotected sex. There’s no way of telling whether or not a new sexual partner has chlamydia. Young people are the most at risk of contracting chlamydia, with 88% of all new cases being diagnosed in the under-25s for women and 69% among men.
You have a higher risk of contracting chlamydia and subsequent complications if you:
- have had multiple sexual partners in the last year
- do not use condoms
- have already contracted an STI
Chlamydia Trachomatis And Hiv
Chlamydial infection of the genital tract facilitates the transmission of HIV. This is confirmed by various studies,,. The combined epidemiology of these infections may partly be due to the fact that STDs including C. trachomatis and HIV have common sexual/behavioural risk factors. But, C. trachomatis and HIV have inter-relationship independent of the sexually transmissible risk factors. The possible inter-relationship between HIV infection and C. trachomatis includes the invasive intracellular pathogenesis of C. trachomatis can cause substantial damage to the genital epithelial layer that may facilitate HIV infection, and the immunological changes due to HIV infection may favour chlamydial infection.
On the other hand, immunosuppression due to HIV may lead to more aggressive chlamydial disease conditions like PID in those who are infected. Thus, early diagnosis and treatment of chlamydial infections are important to prevent HIV risk and devastating clinical consequence.
You May Like: Are Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Curable
Early Treatment Is The Key
When its diagnosed at an early stage, chlamydia can be treated quickly and effectively. But if the infection is left untreated, it can cause the following complications:
- In women it can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which can lead to infertility
- It can cause reactive arthritis
- If youre pregnant and have chlamydia it can cause a miscarriage or premature birth. There is also a risk of passing the infection to the newborn baby during delivery, which can cause a severe infection
If you’re concerned that you may be infected, it is important that you don’t just wait around, but get tested right away. If you feel embarrassed or if STIs are something you’d rather not discuss with your GP, you can get tested quickly and discreetly by ordering a chlamydia test kit from our website.
Other Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia In All People
- Conjunctivitis, spread by touching the infected area and then touching the hand to the eye
- Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the rectum , if the chlamydia is from anal sex
- Varied symptoms, such as joint and eye inflammation, caused by bacterial infection
- Lymphogranuloma venereum, or LGV. This is caused by a type of chlamydia that is usually rare in the United States, but it is becoming more common in men who have sex with men. It causes open sores in the genital area, headache, fever, fatigue, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin. It also causes proctitis in people who get chlamydia through anal sex.
Recommended Reading: How You Know If You Got Chlamydia
A Common Sexually Transmitted Disease
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex and can affect both men and women.
Chlamydia is very simple to treat and cure with a short course of antibiotics. It’s recommended to take the treatment as soon as you know you have the infection.
Most people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. Women who do have symptoms may notice an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating.
Symptoms in men can include a discharge from their penis, a burning sensation when urinating or pain and swelling in one or both testicles .
Men and women can also get infected with chlamydia in their rectum, either by having receptive anal sex, or through the infection spreading from another infected site . While these infections often cause no symptoms, they can cause rectal pain, discharge or bleeding.
If chlamydia is left untreated, it can damage a woman’s reproductive organs. The infection can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease . This happens in about 10 to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia. Pelvic inflammatory disease can result in serious complications .
In men, serious complications are rare.
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD .
Stages Of Chlamydia In Men
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
Read Also: How Do I Get Antibiotics For Chlamydia
Female Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia
Women can also become infertile if chlamydia is left untreated because the fallopian tubes may become scarred.
Chlamydia Trachomatis And Pregnancy
The prevalence of C. trachomatis infection in pregnant women ranges from 2-35 per cent. Pregnant women with chlamydial infection are at increased risk for adverse outcomes of pregnancy and post-partum PID. Sequelae like still birth, low birth weight, neonatal death, decrease gestational periods, preterm delivery and premature rupture of membranes have been reported. Nine per cent of the women with chlamydial infection who develop PID have tubal pregnancy. Early pregnancy loss or recurrent pregnancy loss may be induced by asymptomatic chlamydial infection through the operation of immune mechanism.
What Famous Person Had Syphilis
Many people who acquired syphilis were treated and recovered some died from it. Many famous historical figures, including Charles VIII of France, Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés of Spain, Benito Mussolini, and Ivan the Terrible, were often alleged to have had syphilis or other sexually transmitted infections.
Herbal Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection that may cause irreversible tissue damage, including damage to female reproductive organs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacteria-related sexually transmitted infection among Americans, accounting for more than 1.2 million sexually transmitted infections in 2008 1. Some herbal medicines may be helpful adjunct therapies in treating chlamydia. However, you should always discuss herbs and their risks and benefits with your doctor before using them.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Also Check: What Type Of Antibiotic Is Used For Chlamydia
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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Late Stage Syphilis
Late stage syphilis can be cured but the damage done to the body is permanent. Syphilis can invade the nervous system at any stage of infection, and causes a wide range of symptoms, including headache, altered behavior, difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, sensory deficits, and dementia.
Read Also: Can Guys Get Rid Of Chlamydia
How Do People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected partner. Ejaculation does not have to occur for chlamydia to be transmitted or acquired. Chlamydia can also be spread perinatally from an untreated mother to her baby during childbirth, resulting in ophthalmia neonatorum or pneumonia in some exposed infants. In published prospective studies, chlamydial conjunctivitis has been identified in 18-44% and chlamydial pneumonia in 3-16% of infants born to women with untreated chlamydial cervical infection at the time of delivery.9-12 While rectal or genital chlamydial infection has been shown to persist one year or longer in infants infected at birth,13 the possibility of sexual abuse should be considered in prepubertal children beyond the neonatal period with vaginal, urethral, or rectal chlamydial infection.
People who have had chlamydia and have been treated may get infected again if they have sexual contact with a person infected with chlamydia.14