Use Your Health Insurance Just Like You Normally Would To See Your Doctor
In a 2015 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that the United States sees 20 million new cases of STDs every year. About half of those are from sexually active youths, age 15 to 24. By the age of 25, its estimated that half of all sexually active people will have had a sexually transmitted infection at some point. Nationally, there are over 110 million total infections, both new and existing, at any given time.
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.
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.
My Tests Have Come Back Positive What Should I Do
Seek professional advice. You”ll most likely be in shock, your mind may be numb and you may not be able to think logically at a time when you most need to. However, you will not be alone. Anyone who is sexually active can acquire an STI and there are trained professionals whose job it is to help you.
You may already be under the care of a sexual health clinic but if not, don’t delay accessing their services. You will most likely be put on some treatment depending on the type of infection. Even if you have an infection which cannot be cured you’ll be advised to take treatment to reduce the risk of complications. The need for re-testing will be explained to you, along with any steps you need to take to inform others and prevent the infection from spreading.
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Do I Need To Be Tested Again After Treatment
You do not usually need to have a test to check the treatment worked if you have taken an antibiotic medicine correctly. However, it is advisable to have another test for chlamydia in the following situations:
- If you think you have had sex with a person with chlamydia.
- If your symptoms do not improve after treatment.
- If you had unprotected sex before you finished the treatment.
- If you did not complete the course of treatment.
- If you are pregnant.
Also in England, the national screening programme advises that if you are aged under 25 and have had a positive test for chlamydia, you should have a repeat test three months later. This is to check the infection has cleared completely and that you have not got it back again.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Chlamydia
If you think you have chlamydia, you need to see your doctor immediately and have a chlamydia test. You may have another STD with similar symptoms, and your doctor needs to know the exact STI you have so that you can get the best treatment.
Chlamydia tests involve collecting a urine sample or swabbing the affected area. Your doctor will send the specimen to a lab for testing to see if you have chlamydia or another type of STI.
If your test is positive for chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic immediately.
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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.
How Do You Know If You Have Chlamydia
- Most people who have Chlamydia dont have any symptoms- so it is common for people to have it without realising. That is why it is important to get tested.
- Chlamydia infection can cause burning when you pee or discomfort around your urethra
- It can cause discharge from the penis, vagina or urethra.
- In men, it can lead to pain or discomfort in the testicles.
- It can also cause unexpected vaginal bleeding or pain during/after sex.
- Rarely, it can lead to infections of the eyes, throat or anal area.
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Who Should I Tell About My Sti
You will need to tell your current partner or partners. You should also contact any previous sexual contacts you have had in the previous few months. How far you need to go back will depend on the type of infection, but your doctor or nurse will advise you. If you do not want to contact your partner or a previous partner, the GUM clinics offer a contract tracing service.
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.
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What Else Do I Need To Know
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease . You can get chlamydia from vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex. Chlamydia can be cured. The mother and sex partner need to be cultured and treated. If not treated, the infection can cause pain and permanent damage to the sex organs. This damage can leave men and women unable to have children.
Having Multiple Sexual Partners After Treatment
After treatment, did you engage in unprotected intercourse with multiple sexual partners?
If you did, its likely your new symptoms are due to chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and trichomonas infection.
After chlamydia treatment, boosting your sexual health and minimizing the number of persons you have unprotected intercourse with, is vital to prevent reinfection.
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Chlamydia Is Common But Many People Dont Realize They Have It
About 1.7 million chlamydia infections were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017, but the real number is likely higher because chlamydia is considered an underreported infection.
“The number of reported cases is substantially lower than the true estimated incidence,” says Bradley Stoner, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and former president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.
The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System relies on state and local public health departments to collect and report data on chlamydia to the CDC. Those public health departments depend on individual physicians, hospitals, and laboratories to report cases of chlamydia to them. Accurate statistics require all parties to routinely comply with disease-reporting mandates.
Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
The only sure way to prevent chlamydia is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading chlamydia. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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How Do You Treat Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider.
It is important to complete the full treatment, as prescribed by your healthcare provider, even if symptoms go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics. Also, do not share your medicine with anyone or take someone elses.
Some healthcare providers may give a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner so you do not re-infect each other or anyone else. Do not have sex until you have finished treatment.
Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure the infection is gone and you were not re-exposed.
Potential Symptoms For Chlamydia
Although many people may be asymptomatic and not experience any signs of infection, those that do have symptoms typically experience pain or burning when urinating and/or discharge from the penis or vagina.
Only approx. 10% of penis infections show symptoms, while about 5-30% of vaginal infections will develop symptoms.
For an in-depth view of all the potential symptoms associated with chlamydia, please look at our article about chlamydia symptoms.
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Understanding Sexually Transmitted Diseases
A sexually transmitted disease is any disease that can be contracted via sexual contact of any form. Many people assume that is only relegated to vaginal intercourse, but it can also include simple kissing, oral sex, anal intercourse, and the use of sex toys.
What causes STDs? STDs can be caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. STDs are also called STIs . While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a slight difference as not all infections progress to a full-on disease.
How Is Chlamydia Spread
You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia.
If your sex partner is male you can still get chlamydia even if he does not ejaculate .
If youve had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can still get infected again. This can happen if you have unprotected sex with someone who has chlamydia.
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What Are The Risks Of Chlamydia Infection
Untreated chlamydia can lead to many serious health conditions.
Women can develop pelvic inflammatory disease. This can lead to pelvic pain, complications with pregnancy, and fertility difficulties. Sometimes women become infertile from the effects of untreated chlamydia.
Men may develop inflammation of their testicles from untreated chlamydia and may also experience fertility issues.
Babies who acquire chlamydia during childbirth can develop pink eye and pneumonia. Its important for women to be treated for chlamydia during pregnancy to avoid spreading it to an infant.
Sexual behavior of any kind puts you at risk of contracting chlamydia. Some ways to reduce your chances of getting chlamydia include:
- refraining from sexual activity
What Happens If Chlamydia Is Not Treated
Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Women with PID may not realize they have it, but left untreated it can cause pain, infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
Pregnant women with untreated chlamydia can pass it to their babies during childbirth. It can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and also increase the risk of delivering your baby too early.
In men, chlamydia can spread to the epididymis , and can cause chronic joint pain and infertility for some.
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How Can I Prevent Chlamydia
The best way to prevent chlamydia or any STI is to not have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
If you do have sex, lower your risk of getting an STI with the following steps:
- Use condoms. Condoms are the best way to prevent STIs when you have sex. Because a man does not need to ejaculate to give or get chlamydia, make sure to put the condom on before the penis touches the vagina, mouth, or anus. Other methods of , like birth control pills, shots, implants, or , will not protect you from STIs.
- Get tested. Be sure you and your partner are tested for STIs. Talk to each other about the test results before you have sex.
- Be monogamous. Having sex with just one partner can lower your risk for STIs. After being tested for STIs, be faithful to each other. That means that you have sex only with each other and no one else.
- Limit your number of sex partners. Your risk of getting STIs goes up with the number of partners you have.
- Do not douche. removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from infection. This may increase your risk of getting STIs.
- Do not abuse alcohol or drugs. Drinking too much alcohol or using drugs increases risky behavior and may put you at risk of sexual assault and possible exposure to STIs.
The steps work best when used together. No single step can protect you from every single type of STI.
Can Stds Go Away On Their Own
While some bacterial infections may be beaten by the bodys natural defenses with none or mild symptoms, other STDs can be very harmful if left untreated.
- Some sexually transmitted diseases can actually lead to fertility problems later in life if left untreated.
- If left untreated, some STDs can be life threatening.
- Even if youve been treated for your STD, you may end up infecting yourself again by having sex with your untreated partner.
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Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection to your baby during delivery. This could cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your newborn. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby too early.
If you are pregnant, you should get tested for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.
What Can Happen If Chlamydia Is Not Treated
Untreated chlamydia can cause serious health problems in women, including:
- , an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. PID can lead to chronic pelvic pain, pregnancy problems, and infertility . Untreated chlamydia is a common cause of PID. It affects about 10% to 15% of women with untreated chlamydia.
- Increased risk of getting HIV from sexual activity
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What Can Be Done To Prevent The Spread Of Chlamydia
- Limit your number of sex partners
- Use a male or female condom
- If you think you are infected or have been exposed, avoid any sexual contact and visit a local sexually transmitted disease clinic, a hospital or your doctor. Either bring your sex partners with you when you are treated or notify them immediately so they can obtain examination and treatment.
What Happens If I Dont Get Treated
The initial damage that chlamydia causes often goes unnoticed. However, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems.
If you are a woman, untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes . This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease . PID often has no symptoms, however some women may have abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if it doesnt cause symptoms initially, PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant, and potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy .
Men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia. Infection sometimes spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can prevent a man from being able to have children.
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Can You Prevent Chlamydia
You can lower your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs by:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal, oral or anal sex
- not having sex with someone with chlamydia, even with a condom, until theyve finished treatment and 1 week has passed since their last dose of antibiotics
- regularly getting tested for STIs, especially if you are under 30 and sexually active
Remember that most people with chlamydia dont show any symptoms and dont know they have it, so feeling ‘well’ does not mean that you or your partner are not infected. If in doubt, get tested.
If you have chlamydia, you can help reduce the spread by letting your recent sexual partners know so they can get tested and treated.
What Other Problems Can Chlamydia Cause
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Men often don’t have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis . This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a “reaction” to an infection in the body.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.
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You Can Get Chlamydia More Than Once
With some diseases, having one infection makes you immune to future infections. That’s not the case with chlamydia. If you engage in sexual activity with a person who has a chlamydia infection, you can get it again, even if you’ve just completed treatment for it.
“Both partners should be treated before reinitiating sexual intercourse to prevent relapse,” Schaffir says.