Chlamydia Treatment And Prevention
Chlamydia is easy to cure. If you test positive for chlamydia, basically you take an antibiotic, says Jill Rabin, MD, cochief in the division of ambulatory care for womens health programs and prenatal care assistance program services for Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York.
Your partner must take an antibiotic, too, to keep them from reinfecting you, she says.
You have to have your partner treated, and if you have more than one partner, they should all be treated, says Dr. Rabin, regardless of your partners genders.
Even if you dont have chlamydia now, its wise to learn how to protect yourself so you wont develop this common infection in the first place. In women, chlamydia can create serious health problems, including infertility. Besides, no one ever wants to have a sexually transmitted disease and then have to tell other people about it.
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What Are The Symptoms
Most women and men with chlamydia are asymptomatic meaning no obvious symptoms are present. However, they can still infect sexual partners.
Women may notice symptoms such as:
- an unusual vaginal discharge
- a burning or stinging sensation when urinating
- pain or bleeding during intercourse and
- pelvic pain.
If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease . Potential infection and scarring of the fallopian tubes may cause infertility or pregnancy complications. Ectopic pregnancies are also a real risk.
For men, typical symptoms include:
- a burning or stinging sensation when urinating
- if left untreated, painful or swollen testicles.
Men also run the risk of infertility.
Additionally, both genders can develop complications such as reactive arthritis . This is where the urethra, joints and eyes become inflamed.
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.
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How To Get Rid Of Chlamydia In Males
Chlamydia in males is caused by a bacterial infection. This infection is mostly treated with oral antibiotics. The most effective and recommended treatment for chlamydia is the prescribing of Azithromycin or Doxycycline. After treatment, usually the infection will clear in 7 to 14 days. The recommended dosage should be finished for infection to be completely cleared. For treatment to be most effective, it is recommended that both partner complete treatment and abstain from any sexual contact for at least 7 days after completing their treatment.
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Amoxicillin For Chlamydia: Is It Effective
Amoxicillin is not the preferred treatment option for gonorrhea, but is it an effective way to treat chlamydia? The CDC reports that chlamydia can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics. But this does not mean that amoxicillin is effective simply because it is an antibiotic.
The CDC recommends that healthcare providers prescribe either azithromycin or doxycycline to treat chlamydia. The CDC also suggests several alternative antibiotics that can be used to treat chlamydia, including erythromycin, levofloxacin, or ofloxacin.
Amoxicillin is not on the list of antibiotics that the CDC recommends for the general treatment of chlamydia. However, it is on the list of antibiotics that the CDC recommends for the treatment of chlamydia in pregnant women. So if you are pregnant, your doctor may prescribe amoxicillin to treat chlamydia.
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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.
Why Early Treatment Is Needed
Chlamydia treatment should be started promptly. Studies suggest that delayed treatment can increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease , which can lead to infertility. Early treatment also reduces the risk of passing the infection to others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the antibiotic doxycycline is the drug of choice for adults and adolescents with chlamydia. If doxycycline cannot be used, the antibiotics azithromycin or levofloxacin may be prescribed.
All of these antibiotics are taken by mouth. The recommended dose and duration of treatment vary by the antibiotic type.
|Recommendation for Adults and Adolescents|
|Levofloxacin||500 mg taken by mouth once daily for seven days|
Treatment with azithromycin may seem easier since it’s only one dose. However, the treatment failure rate in males is higher when compared to doxycycline. It may also be less effective in treating chlamydia in the rectum, mouth, or throat.
While levofloxacin is an effective treatment, it is a far more costly drug.
There are no specific follow-up recommendations after the completion of treatment. If you continue to have symptoms, however, see your healthcare provider.
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What Is The Difference Between Gonorrhea And Chlamydia
Both STIs are caused by bacteria and can cause similar symptoms. Gonorrhea is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria and Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacteria which causes chlamydia. Chlamydia is more common and is less likely to produce symptoms, especially in women.
Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
Pain or bleeding during sex
Bleeding between periods
70% of women and 50% of men wont experience any symptoms.
An unusual discharge which might be yellow or green
Pain or a burning sensation while you pee
Bleeding between periods or after sex
Lower abdominal pain
Tender or sore testicles
10% of men and 50% of women dont show any symptoms of the infection.
For both chlamydia and gonorrhea symptoms will usually arise within 2 weeks of having transmitted the infection. It is possible for symptoms not to show up for months though. If youre at all worried that you might have an STI then always get tested.
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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Treating Toddlers And Children
Chlamydia in toddlers and children may occur as a result of sexual abuse and should be investigated. With that said, chlamydia transmitted during childbirth can sometimes take up to three years before symptoms develop in the child’s throat, rectum, or genitals.
If chlamydia is confirmed, either erythromycin, azithromycin, or doxycycline may be used depending on the child’s age and/or weight.
|Treatment Recommendations for Children|
|100 mg taken by mouth twice daily for 7 days|
What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia Infection
Chlamydia can infect the cervix, rectum, or throat in women and the urethra , rectum, or throat in men. Most women with chlamydia have no symptoms and do not realize they have it. Men usually dont have any long-term health problems from chlamydia, although rarely it may cause infertility.
In people who do develop symptoms, symptoms may not appear until weeks after sex with an infected partner.
Symptoms in women may include:
- An abnormal vaginal discharge which may smell strongly
- A burning sensation when passing urine
- Pain during intercourse
- Lower abdominal pain and nausea if the infection has spread
Symptoms in men may include:
- A burning sensation when passing urine
- Uncommonly, pain and swelling in one or both testicles
A chlamydia infection of the rectum can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis after chlamydia infection, and it may also increase the risk of premature labor in pregnant women.
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Complementary And Alternative Medicine
If you have a viral STD, talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking any herbal medicines or nutritional supplements to ensure doing so is safe given any other medications you may be taking.
There are a few complementary treatments that are being explored for the treatment of certain viral STDs:
- Herpes: Propolis, a sticky substance bees produce from tree sap, is found to speed the healing of herpes lesions. Algae extract is being studied as a possible herpes treatment. Some people also find relief of herpes pain from acupuncture.
- HIV/AIDS:Medical marijuana may help with pain, reduce nausea, and stimulate your appetite. Yoga and meditation can help ease pain, as well as alleviate feelings of stress and depression that often come with an HIV diagnosis.
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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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Treatment For Gonorrhea Is Quick And Easy Too
The CDC currently recommends a shot of the antibiotic Rocephin and an oral dose of the antibiotic azithromycin, given at the same time, to treat gonorrhea.
Treatment recommendations for gonorrhea have changed over the years as the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, has become resistant to a growing number of antibiotics.
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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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:
Preventing The Spread Of Gonorrhea
To minimize the risk of transmitting gonorrhea to others, avoid having sexual intercourse for at least seven days after completion of treatment. Also encourage any sexual partners from within the past 60 days to see their own doctors for evaluation.
If a person diagnosed with gonorrhea is in a romantic relationship, their partner should also get tested for gonorrhea. Its still possible to contract gonorrhea while being treated for gonorrhea.
If both partners are diagnosed with gonorrhea, their treatment will be the same. Both will need to abstain from sexual intercourse until theyve completed treatment and are cured.
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How Do Medications Treat Chlamydia
The medications used to treat chlamydia are antibiotics, which kill the bacteria that cause the infection. Generally, these medications are taken by mouth for one or seven days. Drugs to treat chlamydia may include azithromycin, doxycycline, or levofloxacin. Pregnant women with chlamydia should only take azithromycin, as other medications may harm the developing baby. Since chlamydia and gonorrhea often occur together, doctors may also treat people with chlamydia with ceftriaxone, a drug that treats gonorrhea.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Reporting And Partner Notification
Gonococcal infections are nationally notifiable and reportable by laboratories, physicians and designated health professionals to local public health authorities in all provinces and territories.
Local public health authorities should be promptly notified of suspected or confirmed treatment failures. The prompt notification of treatment failures will allow provincial and territorial STI prevention and control programs to quickly identify emerging patterns of AMR in their jurisdictions. This will enable P/Ts to collaborate with the Public Health Agency of Canada to issue timely electronic alerts through the Canadian Network for Public Health Intelligence .
Case finding and partner notification are critical to the prevention and control of gonococcal infections. Notify, clinically assess, test and provide empiric treatment to all sexual partners of the index case within 60 days prior to symptom onset or date of specimen collection . Empiric treatment is indicated regardless of clinical findings and without waiting for test results)Footnote 4Footnote 42.
Extend the length of time for partner notification
- To include additional time up to the date of treatment
- If the index case states there were no partners during the recommended trace-back period
- If all partners traced test negative
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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 Many Days Does It Take To Recover From Chlamydia
It can take up to two weeks to recover from a chlamydia infection. Most prescriptions last 7 to 14 days on average and chlamydia is typically cleared up at the end. However, you will likely have to be retested after 3 months to ensure you have recovered fully. If you have severe chlamydia it may take longer to recover and a hospital stay may be involved.
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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.
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