What Happens If Chlamydia Is Left Untreated Things You Need To Know
Chlamydia is a prevalent sexually transmitted disease that affects both men and women. It can irreparably damage a womans reproductive system. Later, it might be difficult or impossible to conceive.
Chlamydia may also induce an ectopic pregnancy , which is potentially deadly.
If you think that you might have chlamydia, it is important to get tested and treated as soon as possible. Chlamydia is easily treated with a course of antibiotics.
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 Reiters 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.
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.
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Chlamydia may also be a cause of urethral stricture disease in men. This is a condition in which the urethra narrows, which can cause several issues with urination . Surgery may be necessary to correct urethral stricture disease .
Lastly, in men who have urethritis, chlamydia can cause an immune reaction called reactive arthritisthis occurs in approximately 1% of men with urethritis. Reactive arthritis can cause pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness of the joints. It typically affects the knees, ankles, and feet but can also occur in other joints. People with reactive arthritis may also experience lower back pain, pain where tendons and ligaments connect to the bone , and swollen sausage fingers .
Several types of bacterial infections can cause reactive arthritis, but chlamydia is one of the most common. Some people with urethritis and arthritis also develop conjunctivitis or uveitis . This triad of symptoms of urethritis, arthritis, and eye inflammation is called Reiters syndrome.
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Symptoms Can Differ For Men And Women
By and large, most cases of chlamydia are asymptomatic they are picked up by screening, which is why its so important to have good screening programs in place, notes Dr. Stoner. Men or women who have chlamydia symptoms may experience painful urination.
Women may also have these symptoms:
- Smelly discharge from the cervix
- Pain during sex
And men may have these symptoms:
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How To Treat Chlamydia
Many people just want to know how do you get rid of chlamydia. Since chlamydia is caused by a bacterial infection, treatment for chlamydia is a regimen of oral antibiotics. The most common recommended course of treatment is to prescribe doxycycline or azithromycin . The infection should clear after one to two weeks. You should never stop taking antibiotics until the recommended course is finished, even if you think the infection cleared or you are feeling better. If you do not finish the antibiotics, the infection can come back and be resistant to the antibiotics you were taking.
Is chlamydia curable? Yes, chlamydia is curable by taking the appropriate medication as directed however, repeat infections are common. You and your sexual partner should always be tested after three months of completing treatment, especially if you are unsure whether your partner received treatment.
You and your sexual partner should not have sex again until treatment is complete. You should wait at least one week after completing a prescribed single dose medication and finish all doses if you are prescribed a seven-day treatment. In some cases, the infection may still be present so you should wait until you and your partner are sure the disease is no longer present.
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How Is It Contracted
Chlamydia is transmitted primarily through sexual activity. The following are the most common ways:
- unprotected intercourse with an infected partner
- sharing sex toys
- from mother to the newborn during vaginal childbirth through the infected birth channel
- infection can be transferred on fingers from the genitals to other parts of the body
Chlamydia is not contracted through simple kissing, handshaking, any casual contacts, sharing baths, towels and cups as well as from toilet seats.
Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular human pathogen, is one of four bacterial species in the genus Chlamydia. 3D illustration
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What Will Happen If Im Not Treated
Well, no treatment means that your infection is likely to get worse and bring with it a host of complications. In men, untreated chlamydia can result in any of the problems below:
- Prostate gland infection
- Testicular inflammation that can lead to infertility.
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Exactly How Is Chlamydia Spread What To Do If You Have Chlamydia
If your sex partner is male you can still obtain chlamydia even if he does not climax.
If you have actually had chlamydia and also were treated in the past, you can still get contaminated once more. This can occur if you have unguarded sex with someone who has chlamydia.
If you are expecting, you can offer chlamydia to your infant throughout giving birth.
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.
Chlamydia can cause serious problems but may not cause symptoms. Thats why its 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.
Chlamydia Cdc Fact Sheet
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that can be easily cured. If left untreated, chlamydia can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.
Basic Fact Sheet | Detailed Version
Basic fact sheets are presented in plain language for individuals with general questions about sexually transmitted diseases. The content here can be syndicated .
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Complicationsin Men And Women
A number of complications have been found to be a risk factor for chlamydia in both male and female patients. The first concern is the fact that there seems to be an increased risk of being infected with the HIV virus in men and women who have acquired the chlamydia infection. At the same time, a patient with chlamydia and HIV are also more likely to transmit the HIV virus to another partner during sexual intercourse, compared to a person only infected with HIV.
Another concern that needs to be raised is the risk of Reiters syndrome. In modern times, doctors are rather referring to Reiters syndrome as reactive arthritis. This is a serious complication of chlamydia, but it is an exceptionally rare one. Even though rare, the possibility still exists making it even more crucial for sexually active individuals to be tested for chlamydia frequently.
Thedevelopment of reactive arthritis can cause typical symptoms that are generallyassociated with arthritis. This includes joint pain, inflammation, and areduced range of motion. Additionally, reactive arthritis is also known tocause swelling in both the urethra and the eyes. Skin lesions may also developin patients with reactive arthritis.
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
- In men, it can lead to pain or discomfort in the testicles.
- It can also cause unexpected vaginal bleeding or pain during/after sex.
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What Is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection a disease you can get from having unprotected sex. Its caused by a type of bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis.
Chlamydia is very common: its the most frequently reported infectious disease in Australia, and nearly 97,000 men and women are diagnosed with it each year. If youre sexually active and under 30 years of age, you are at the highest risk of contracting chlamydia.
How Is It Treated
Antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia. It’s important to take all of the medicine as directed. Otherwise the medicine may not work. Both sex partners need treatment to keep from passing the infection back and forth.
As soon as you find out you have chlamydia, be sure to let your sex partners know. Experts recommend that you notify everyone you’ve had sex with in the past 2 months. If you have not had sex in the past 2 months, contact the last person you had sex with.
Having a chlamydia infection that was cured does not protect you from getting it again. If you are treated and your sex partner is not, you probably will get it again.
Some people who have chlamydia also have other STIs, such as gonorrhea.
Finding out that you have an STI may make you feel bad about yourself or about sex. Counselling or a support group may help you feel better.
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Do Past Infections Mean Im Immune
At this point, it seems you cannot become immune to chlamydia after having it. To avoid future infections, its important to practice safe sex and get tested regularlyespecially if you are sexually active with multiple partners.
Youre Not Immune To Chlamydia Once Youve Had It
Once youve had some diseases, you cant catch them again. Unfortunately, this isnt true for chlamydia. Repeat chlamydia infections are common.
If youve had chlamydia in the past, you have no immunity against the infection. If youre sexually active with somebody who has the infection, you could catch it again. Since reinfection is common, you should get tested for chlamydia about three months after being treated for the infection.
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How Do You Know When Chlamydia Is Gone
Improvement should occur right after receiving treatment. Some of the changes that you might notice include:
- Pain while urinating will improve within a week.
- Discharge will return to normal.
- There wont be bleeding between periods or heavier periods.
- Pelvic pain will fade away.
- Pain during sexual intercourse will decrease.
To prevent yourself from catching it again, get re-tested three months after treatment. This is essential if you engage in sexual intercourse with a partner who hasnt been tested for chlamydia.
Why Do I Keep Getting A Chlamydia Infection
You can get chlamydia even after treatment. You may get it again for several reasons, including:
- You did not complete your course of antibiotics as directed and the initial chlamydia did not go away.
- Your sexual partner has untreated chlamydia and gave it to you during sexual activity.
- You used an object during sex that was not properly cleaned and was contaminated with chlamydia.
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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.
You can lower your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs by:
- 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.
How You Prevent It
Remember to always practice safer sex and use condoms. This will lower the risk of getting chlamydia or other STIs.
If you find out that you have chlamydia, your partner need to be told that they could have an infection – even if there aren’t any symptoms. If you have concerns about telling your partner, contact a public health nurse.
The public health nurse can suggest ways to handle the situation or they will contact your partner for you. Of course, your name will be kept confidential.
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Tell Your Sexual Partners
That leads nicely to our last point If you find out you have chlamydia, then its important that you tell any past or current sexual partners that youre likely to have passed the STD on to. This will minimise the spread where possible. This is important as it not only protects their health, but it will protect the health of others too.
Chlamydia can cause a number of long term health complications for both men and women and telling them in a timely fashion will help them avoid health issues in the future. Although it can be awkward to discuss it, we often find its more awkward if the person finds out theyve caught chlamydia from you of their own accord. It is your responsibility to inform partners.
Who Is Most Likely To Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is most common among:
- People under age 25
- People who have more than one sexual contact
- People whose sexual contact have more than one sexual contact
- People who do not use condoms
- People with a history of STIs
Talk to your health care provider if you think you might be at risk for chlamydia.
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How To Prevent Oral Chlamydia
Abstinence is the only way to completely prevent chlamydia infection. However, barrier devices such as a condom or dental dam can significantly reduce the risk of giving or receiving a sexually transmitted infection like chlamydia.
Another way to reduce the risk of infection is to maintain a monogamous sexual relationship with a partner who is not infected with chlamydia.
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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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.
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