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.
Life Cycle Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia possesses a very complex growth and multiplication cycle, where it goes through different phases. The growth, reproduction and maturation of chlamydia usually take 48 hours. Its life cycle exists between two morphologically distinct forms or cell types.
Can Women Who Have Sex With Women Get Chlamydia
Yes. It is possible to get chlamydia, or any other STI, if you are a woman who has sex only with women. Chlamydia lives in the reproductive tract of an infected woman and can pass to a sex partner, whether male or female.
Talk to your partner about her sexual history before having sex, and ask your doctor or nurse for an STI test if you are at risk.6
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Who To Test For Chlamydia
Anyone with the following genital symptoms should not have sex until they see a healthcare provider:
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Unusual sores, or a rash
Because chlamydia usually has no symptoms, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs can reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25. CDC also recommends screening for older women with risk factors, such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Screen and treat those who are pregnant as noted in How does chlamydia affect a pregnant person and their baby? Women who are sexually active should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not necessary for men. However, consider screening sexually active young men in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia. This can include adolescent clinics, correctional facilities, and STD clinics. Consider this when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.40
At the initial HIV care visit, providers should test all sexually active people for chlamydia. Test at least each year during HIV care. A patients healthcare provider might determine more frequent screening is necessary, based on the patients risk factors.42
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 .
It’s 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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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
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.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of The Venereal Disease
Symptoms of this disease are normally not present during the early stages of the infection. However, after three weeks of being infected, patients may have the following symptoms:
- Pain in the lower abdomen which may be accompanied with nausea or low fever
- Pain during passing of urine
- Frequent passing of urine
- Bleeding after intercourse or in between periods.
- Burning sensation or pain while passing urine
- Swelling or painful testicles
It is important to note that if the disease goes untreated, it may have serious implications on an infected persons health. In men for example, if it is not treated over a long period of time, it may lead to a condition known as epididymitis which may in turn lead to infertility.
In women, if it is not treated, it may cause pelvic inflammatory disease . If PID is not treated, it may cause difficulty in getting pregnant.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Chlamydia doesn’t usually cause any symptoms. So you may not realize that you have it. People with chlamydia who have no symptoms can still pass the disease to others. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner.
Symptoms in women include:
If the infection spreads, you might get lower abdominal pain, pain during sex, nausea, or fever.
Symptoms in men include:
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles
If the chlamydia infects the rectum , it can cause rectal pain, discharge, and/or bleeding.
Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
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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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.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
When it comes to chlamydia, its a good idea to be proactive. Speak with your healthcare provider about your risks of infection. Make a plan to get screened regularly for STIs based on your providers recommendations for how often you should be tested. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if your partner tests positive for chlamydia or if you notice any signs or symptoms that you may be infected.
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What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Antibiotics can easily cure chlamydia. Treatment options are the same, whether a person also has HIV or not.
Patients treated with single-dose antibiotics should not have sex for seven days. Patients treated with a seven-day course of antibiotics should not have sex until they complete treatment, and their symptoms are gone. This helps prevent spreading the infection to sex partners. It is important to take all medicine prescribed to cure chlamydia. Medicine should not be shared with anyone. Although treatment will cure the infection, it will not repair any long-term damage done by the disease. If a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, a healthcare provider should reevaluate them.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common.49 Women whose sex partners do not receive appropriate treatment are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a womans risk of serious reproductive health problems .50,51A healthcare provider should retest those with chlamydia about three months after treatment of an initial infection. Retesting is necessary even if their partners receive successful treatment.40
Infants with chlamydia may develop conjunctivitis and/or pneumonia.10 Healthcare providers can treat infection in infants with antibiotics.
Is Chlamydia A Reportable Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control, since 2010, chlamydia is reportable by healthcare professionals to either the CDC or the local health department. This does not mean that a patients privacy is being violated it is merely a precaution to keep the disease from being spread to the general population and turning into an epidemic. A patient can expect a phone call from the health department to ensure that they are taking the right treatment and be reminded that any possible infected partners should be made aware of a potential STD.
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History And Etymology For Chlamydia
Note: The taxon Chlamydia was originally assigned to a group of microorganisms neither bacterial nor viral by Helen Jones, Geoffrey Rake, and Barbara Stearns in “Studies on lymphogranuloma venereum III. The action of the sulfonamides on the agent of lymphogranuloma venereum,”Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 76, issue 1 , pp. 55-69. The choice of the element chlamyd- was presumably based on the earlier taxon Chlamydozoa originated by Ludwig Halberstädter and Stanislaus von Prowazek, “Über Zelleinschlüsse parasitärer Natur beim Trachom,”Arbeiten aus dem Kaiserlichen Gesundheitsamte, vol. 26, Heft 1 , pp. 44-47.
What If Im Pregnant And Have Chlamydia
It is important to be tested for chlamydia if you are pregnant as untreated chlamydia can lead to complications such as premature labour and birth or your baby being born with a low birthweight. You can also pass the infection on to your baby. If this happens, your baby could develop an eye infection or a lung infection .
With the right treatment during pregnancy, these complications can be avoided. If your baby develops symptoms then they should also be tested to check for chlamydia. Antibiotics can be used to treat them.
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Who Should Test For This Sexually Transmitted Disease
Anyone who may have suspicions of an infection of the disease should have an STD testing at the nearest STD clinic as soon as possible.
Anyone who has not had STD testing over a long period of time and has been sexually active should also test for the disease.
If a person has been in sexual contact with an infected person, they should also get tested for chlamydia.
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
The most common test for chlamydia is called a nucleic acid amplification test . Your provider takes a sample of fluid by doing a vaginal/cervical swab or collecting a urine sample. Then, they send the sample off to a lab to check for the bacteria that causes chlamydia. Your provider may do the test in an office, or they may ask you to do an at-home chlamydia test. Follow your providers instructions carefully to ensure you get accurate test results.
Because most chlamydia cases are asymptomatic, its important to get screened for chlamydia even if you dont notice any signs of infection. The CDC recommends that sexually active cisgender women who are high-risk for chlamydia get screened regularly. Women, more so than men, experience the most severe complications from chlamydia. Transgender men and nonbinary individuals with vaginas should be screened regularly, too, as they can experience the same complications of chlamydia.
Youre considered high-risk if you:
- Have had chlamydia infections previously.
Cisgender men, or trans and nonbinary individuals with penises, should be screened for chlamydia if:
- They live in a setting where chlamydia spreads frequently, like correctional facilities, adolescent clinics and sexual health clinics.
- They have sex with other men.
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Can I Test Myself For Chlamydia At Home
Home testing kits for chlamydia are widely available and can be purchased at many pharmacies or online.
These kits typically require a urine sample or tissue swab, which you can collect at home and securely ship back to the lab to receive your results.
Some companies also include a free medical consultation with a doctor if your test results are positive to review your treatment options.
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.
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How Does Chlamydia Affect Pregnancy
For pregnant women, chlamydia may lead to premature birth, or babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Premature birth is the most common cause of infant death and can lead to long-term health and development problems in children.5
Babies born to mothers who have chlamydia can get:
- Infections in their eyes, called conjunctivitis or pinkeye. Signs include discharge from the eyes and swollen eyelids. The signs most often show up within two weeks after birth.
- Pneumonia. Signs include congestion, cough, and rapid or labored breathing, although these are not always present. Signs most often show up one to three months after birth.
How Does One Prevent A Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection
- Refrain from any vaginal or oral sexual contact
- If you do choose to engage in sexual activities, use protection every time and limit your sexual partners
- If you actively participate in sexual activities, frequently undergo testing at STD clinic.
Untreated Chlamydia can increase the likelihood of the transmission of the HIV virus. It may make a person who is HIV-positive more infectious and a HIV-negative person more likely to get infected. To be safe get tested for HIV or if you suspect that an infection has taken place within 72 hours, consult your doctor for HIV PEP treatment.
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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 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 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.