How Will I Know If The Chlamydia Has Affected My Fertility
Chlamydia is just one of many factors that can affect your fertility. Most people whove had chlamydia wont become infertile or have an ectopic pregnancy . If youve had chlamydia you wont normally be offered any routine tests to see if youre fertile unless you or a partner are having difficulty getting pregnant. If youre concerned, talk to your doctor or practice nurse.
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.
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.
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Swab Method If You Have A Penis
You will be asked to remove your pants and underwear and cover with a paper blanket. You may be asked to sit on an exam table.
A medical professional will swab the head of your penis with alcohol or another sterile agent. Next, theyll insert a cotton swab into your urethra at the tip of your penis.
The medical professional may also use a swab or very small brush to gently rub your anus, inside your mouth and throat, or both.
If more than one sample is taken, a new, clean swab will be used for each sample. The swabs are sent to the lab for testing to determine if chlamydia trachomatis bacteria is present.
How Will I Get My Results
It can take a few days to get your results from a swab test, similar to a Pap smear test. If you have a vagina, you may also be able to obtain an at-home kit to do the vaginal testing on your own.
Your doctor will call you with the results of your test. Be sure you give your doctor your preferred phone number where you can have privacy, such as a mobile phone number. If you dont want them to leave you a voicemail, be sure you tell them before you leave your appointment.
A urine test is much faster to analyze. Your doctor should be able to tell you the results on the same day as your appointment. The downside is that urine tests may not be as accurate as traditional swab testing.
However, urine testing may be more suitable for people assigned male at birth. Its also used for more advanced signs of chlamydia, as your body will have a greater number of bacteria to detect at this stage.
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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 birth control, like birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms, 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.Douching removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from infection. This may increase your risk of getting STIs.4
- 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.
What Are The Symptoms
Many people don’t have symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they usually appear 1 to 3 weeks after sexual contact with an infected person.
Symptoms may include:
- Abnormal discharge from the vagina, penis, or anus.
- Pain when you urinate.
- Pain in the lower belly.
- Bleeding between periods or after intercourse.
- Fever and general tiredness.
- Pain and swelling of the glands at the opening of the vagina or pain in the scrotum.
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How Can You Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections
Here are some ways to help prevent STIs.
- Limit your sex partners. Sex with one partner who has sex only with you can reduce your risk of getting an STI.
- Talk with your partner or partners about STIs before you have sex. Find out if they are at risk for an STI. Remember that it’s possible to have an STI and not know it.
- Wait to have sex with new partners until you’ve each been tested.
- Don’t have sex if you have symptoms of an infection or if you are being treated for an STI.
- Use a condom every time you have sex. Condoms are the only form of birth control that also helps prevent STIs.
- Don’t share sex toys. But if you do share them, use a condom and clean the sex toys between each use.
Vaccines are available for some STIs, such as HPV. Ask your doctor for more information.
Causes And Risk Factors
Chlamydia is an STI caused by a specific strain of bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.
It is transmitted through vaginal discharge or semen, and can be transmitted through genital contact or oral, vaginal, or anal sex without a barrier method, like a condom.
Chlamydia is more common in women than in men. In fact, its estimated that the overall rate of infection is for women than men in the United States.
Some of the other risk factors for infection include:
- not using barrier methods like condoms consistently with new sexual partners
- having a sexual partner who is having sex with other people
- having a history of chlamydia or other STIs
How Is It Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and your sexual history. You may also have a physical exam to look for signs of infection.
Several types of tests can diagnose chlamydia. Most tests use a sample of urine or a swab from the cervix, vagina, or rectum.
Chlamydia can cause serious problems but may not cause symptoms. That’s why it’s a good idea to get tested once a year if you are at higher risk for getting chlamydia. Talk to your doctor about what testing is right for you.
When Is A Chlamydia Test Performed
A chlamydia infection doesnt usually cause symptoms, so people may not know they have it. Untreated, chlamydia can cause serious health problems and infertility. Thats why providers screen for chlamydia, which means they regularly test certain people who have a higher risk of infection. You should get regular chlamydia screenings if you:
- Are sexually active, especially if youre under 25.
- Are a man who has sex with men.
- Are pregnant and under age 25. Pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases can be dangerous for you and your baby.
- Know that your partner has a sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infection .
- Plan to have sex with a new partner or have more than one partner.
If you previously tested positive for chlamydia and got treated for it, you should get follow-up tests. You usually need a test about a month after treatment and two months after that to make sure the treatment worked.
If you have symptoms of chlamydia infection you may or may not have symptoms of chlamydia. If so, your provider will recommend a test. Symptoms of chlamydia include:
- Burning sensation while urinating .
- Discharge from your vagina, penis or anus.
- Painful intercourse or bleeding after having sex.
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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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When Will The Signs And Symptoms Go Away
You should notice an improvement quite quickly after having treatment.
- Discharge or pain when you urinate should improve within a week.
- Bleeding between periods or heavier periods should improve by your next period.
- Pelvic pain and pain in the testicles should start to improve quickly but may take up to two weeks to go away.
If you have pelvic pain or painful sex that doesnt improve, see your doctor or nurse as it may be necessary to have some further treatment or investigate other possible causes of the pain.
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What Can Happen If Chlamydia Is Not Treated
Untreated chlamydia can cause serious health problems in women, including:
- , an infection of a womans 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
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.
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The Health Risks Of Chlamydia
For up to 40 percent of infected women, untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease . PID effects include abdominal pain, fever, internal abscesses and long-lasting pelvic pain effects also include scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility and increase the chance of potentially life-threatening ectopic or tubal pregnancies.
Men can develop scarring of the urethra, making urination difficult and occasionally causing infertility. Although rare, both sexes are at risk of a type of arthritis known as Reiter’s Syndrome that causes inflammation and swelling of the joints.
If a pregnant woman has chlamydia, her baby may be born prematurely, have eye infections or develop pneumonia.
Just How Quickly Do Signs Appear
In males, signs and symptoms typically show up 2 to seven days after infection yet it can take as long as thirty day for signs and symptoms to start. Often, there are no signs and symptoms for individuals infected with gonorrhea 10 to 15 percent of guys and also about 80 percent of ladies may have no signs and symptoms.
People with no signs and symptoms go to risk for developing issues to gonorrhea. These people also spread this infection unknowingly.
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In Men Untreated Chlamydia Can Lead To:
- Epididymitis painful inflammation of the inner structures of the testicles, which may cause reduced fertility or sterility. A rare complication of Epididymitisis reactive arthritis, which causes pain in the inflamed joints that can be disabling
- Occasionally, Reiters syndrome
- Urethritis inflammation of the urethra with a yellow discharge appearing at the tip of the penis. Untreated urethritis results in narrowing of the urethra which leads to painful urinating and can cause kidney problems
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:
- Are under 25.
- 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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Chlamydia Symptoms In Women:
- testicular pain and/or swelling
- swollen skin around the anus
Depending on the localization of the infection, women, men and children may experience inflamed rectum, urethra or eyelids. The symptoms of mouth and throat infections are rare although a person can suffer a sore throat. Eyes infected with chlamydia can be itchy, swelled, cause painful sensations or produce discharge similar to conjunctivitis. Infection in the rectum results in bleeding, chlamydia discharge and pain.
What Are The Prominent Chlamydia Symptoms In Men
Actually, no one can easily ensure that his body has some trouble due to the silent infection because its symptoms are rarely reflected. But once if they start occurring then they can be easily noticed even within few weeks. Medical doctors say that symptoms of Chlamydia in men can be random and infrequent so most of the time patients are not able to know if they are in contact with the infection.
Some of the most common signs of Chlamydia in men include:
- Very small cloudy or clear Chlamydia discharge in men from penis tip.
- It can cause painful urination.
- Leads to itching and burning sensation around penis openings.
- Swelling and pain in the area surrounding testicles.
Major symptoms of Chlamydia are observed for genitals but in few cases it can affect rectum, eyes and throat. Note that, the actual effect varies with type of transmission. Few uncommon symptoms of chlamydia in men can include:
- Throat infections.
- Rectal bleeding, discharge or pain.
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How Chlamydia Tests Are Carried
The experts will ask you for urine sample and in order to generate best results it is essential to refrain passing urine for at least two hours before taking the test sample. In case you were engaged in anal sex and are now experiences few symptoms of Chlamydia then it is important to visit GP and follow procedures for swab of your throat or rectrum.
These samples will be processed in laboratories and you will get final results within few days. But in case if you cannot wait so long then it is good to order a home Chlamydia testing kit and get it delivered within 48 hours.