What Does Chlamydia Infection Mean For My Health
Chlamydia can be treated and cured easily, but that doesnt mean that chlamydia infection isnt potentially dangerous. If chlamydia isnt diagnosed and left untreated, it can cause serious complications.
Untreated chlamydia infections in women may lead to:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease , a serious infection of the reproductive organs . Left untreated, PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, or ectopic pregnancy.
- A condition called mucopurulent cervicitis, characterized by a yellow discharge from the cervix
Untreated chlamydia in men may lead to:
- Scarring of the urethra
How Is Chlamydia Transmitted
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. Itâs also considered a sexually transmitted infection , which means that it can spread between sex partners through any kind of sexual contact. This contact is not limited to vaginal intercourse you can also contract oral chlamydia through oral sex, although it is a less common cause of Chlamydia trachomatis infections. Because sexual contact increases your risk, itâs a good idea to know if you have an STD before you have intercourse with a new partner.
You can also spread chlamydia to different parts of your body without sexual contact. If you have a chlamydia infection in your vagina, you could spread it to your anus just by the act of wiping after you use the bathroom. You could also transmit a chlamydia infection to your eye, simply with hand-to-eye contact. Keep in mind that this form of eye infection is rare, but can still occur if your hands come in contact with the bacteria that causes chlamydia infections. And if youâre pregnant, you can give the infection to your unborn baby passing through your cervix.
In short, there are many different ways you can contract or spread chlamydia. To protect your sexual health and the health of your sexual partner, get tested for chlamydia before beginning any new relationship.
What Are The Effects Of Chlamydia
Although chlamydia can easily be aided by treatment, it can stay unrecognised for months, if not years. Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. Fallopian tubes may stop working properly and can eventually become blocked. When your fallopian tubes are blocked, you then become unable to conceive naturally.
Chlamydia can affect sperm production and decrease male fertility. It is the most common cause of inflammation in the testicles and sperm tubes for men under the age of 35. This can then cause pain, swelling and redness on your scrotum. These side effects of chlamydia are completely avoidable if chlamydia is effectively cured.
Recommended Reading: Chlamydia Symptoms If Left Untreated
Recommended Reading: Long Term Side Effects Of Chlamydia
Is There An Over Counter Treatment For Chlamydia
No, the CDC recommended treatment for chlamydia requires a prescription, but you do not need to visit the doctorâs office in person to get a prescription. Technology has made doctor visits online quick and easy. Just complete an online consultation visit and a prescription can be sent to a local pharmacy.
Rules For Successful Treatment
The patient should make sure that the doctor is informed if the patient is pregnant or has any allergies. These conditions influence the choice of the medicine prescribed. No matter which antibiotic the patient takes treating chlamydia the following points should be remembered:
- The treatment of all partners on the infected person is obligatory
- Abstain from sex contacts during the treatment and until the negative result on chlamydia test is received
- It is unadvisable to interrupt the course of antibiotics treatment as it will result in the necessity to start again from the beginning. Although the symptoms may disappear, the infection may still remain in the body
- It is necessary to get tested after 34 months after the end of the treatment to make sure the infection is no longer in the body.
Read Also: What Is The Medicine To Treat Chlamydia
The Danger Of Underlying Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection In Treating Urinary Tract Infection With Over
Knox makes a compelling case for women with acute uncomplicated urinary tract infections to access nitrofurantoin without prescription but fails to mention an important drawback to this practice.1 Both UTIs and genital sexually transmitted infections are common in sexually active young women, so women with lower UTI
How Is It Contracted
Chlamydia is transmitted primarily through sexual activity. The following are the most common ways:
- unprotected intercourse with an infected partner
- oral sex, although a less common cause of infection as bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis targets the genital area rather than the throat. Although it is possible theoretically, the cases of infestation from mouth-to-penis and penis-to-mouth contact are rare
- vagina, cervix, anus, penis or mouth contacting infected secretions or fluids which means that contraction can occur even if the penis or tongue does not enter the vagina or anus
- bacteria can travel from the vaginal area to the anus or rectum of women while wiping with toilet paper
- 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
You May Like: What Is The Lab Test For Chlamydia
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.
Can You Develop A Chlamydia Infection On Your Own
Fortunately, you canât contract chlamydia on your own because it spreads through sexual contact with other people.
Chlamydia bacteria does, however, thrive in vaginal fluid, semen, and pre-ejaculate . For that reason, using a latex condom properly during sexual intercourse and avoiding any kind of unprotected sex is the best way to protect yourself from developing or passing on a chlamydia infection. Caution is important, but fear is unnecessary: you donât need to worry about contracting chlamydia from kissing someone or sitting on a public toilet seat.
How Chlamydia Diagnosis Process Is Carried On In Men
Early treatment of Chlamydia is essential to have a healthy life ahead. In case if you had unprotected sex with your recent partner then you must get tested for STIs as soon as possible. This test can be carried out at any local GUM clinic or GP. With improved facilities of digital world, patients can also order Chlamydia test kits to their home from online sources.
Once this test is carried out then depending upon its results further treatment will be carried out. Note that, Chlamydia disease is very common between age groups of 16 to 25 so most of the clinics these days are offering free tests to identify this disease on time. In case if you had oral or anal sex with your new partner who is suspected to be infected then it is good to undergo an oral swab test pr rectal swab test.
More On Chlamydia At Thebodycom
To find out more about chlamydia and its treatment, we recommend the following articles:
- Pointers on Chlamydia Prevention and Care for People With HIV
In addition, our Q& A experts sometimes address questions about chlamydia in our Ask the Experts forums. Here are some of those questions and our experts responses:
- Over the counterWhat over the counter drugs if any are effective against chlamydia?
- How can I get rid of resistant Chlamydia?I have read online of resistant forms of Chlamydia. Are resistant forms impossible to get rid of? Should I ask my doctor about azithromycin?
Read Also: How Many Pills Do You Take For Chlamydia
Recommended Reading: Do Guys Always Show Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Does Chlamydia Cause Cervical Cancer
No, chlamydia doesn’t cause cervical cancer.
It’s possible to get a sexually transmitted infection by having sex with someone who has an STI, even if they have no symptoms.
If you have an STI, they’ll also help prevent you from passing it on to someone:
- Use condoms every time you have vaginal or anal sex.
- If you have oral sex , use a condom to cover the penis, or a dam to cover the vulva or anus.
- Avoid sharing sex toys. If you do share them, wash them or cover them with a new condom before anyone else uses them.
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 .
Also Check: How Can You Treat Chlamydia At Home
Chlamydial Conjunctivitis In Newborns
A pregnant woman who is infected with chlamydia can infect her newborn baby as he or she passes through the birth canal during delivery. Up to 50 percent of newborn babies can contract chlamydia from an infected mother during delivery, according to research.
Symptoms of chlamydial conjunctivitis in newborns may include swelling, redness or watery discharge. Newborns typically begin experiencing these symptoms around 5 to 7 days after birth.
Chlamydial conjunctivitis in newborns is treated through IV antibiotics, as well as with antibiotic ointment. If the condition is left untreated in newborns, it can lead to further complications, such as lung infections and even blindness.
Chlamydia During Pregnancy: What Moms Need To Know
Getting a sexually transmitted infection comes with more than just immediate symptoms. There is a real concern about chlamydia and pregnancy.
Can chlamydia affect pregnancy? The answer is yes, it can. So if you have this very common STI, you need to be prepared with the proper testing and treatment. Weve gone into detail about pregnancy with chlamydia so you can get prepared and have a healthy pregnancy.
You May Like: Medicine To Cure Gonorrhea And Chlamydia
Who Does Chlamydia Affect
Anyone whos sexually active can get chlamydia. The bacteria that causes chlamydia gets transmitted through vaginal fluid and semen, which means that people of all genders who have sex can become infected with chlamydia and infect their partners, too. If youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass it on to your newborn.
Where Can I Get A Test
There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
A chlamydia test can be done at:
- a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
- your general practice
- contraception and young peoples clinics
- some pharmacies.
Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.
In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.
The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .
If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.
In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk
Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.
Don’t Miss: Zpack For Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection
KARL E. MILLER, M.D., University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Am Fam Physician. 2006 Apr 15 73:1411-1416.
Chlamydia trachomatis infection most commonly affects the urogenital tract. In men, the infection usually is symptomatic, with dysuria and a discharge from the penis. Untreated chlamydial infection in men can spread to the epididymis. Most women with chlamydial infection have minimal or no symptoms, but some develop pelvic inflammatory disease. Chlamydial infection in newborns can cause ophthalmia neonatorum. Chlamydial pneumonia can occur at one to three months of age, manifesting as a protracted onset of staccato cough, usually without wheezing or fever. Treatment options for uncomplicated urogenital infections include a single 1-g dose of azithromycin orally, or doxycycline at a dosage of 100 mg orally twice per day for seven days. The recommended treatment during pregnancy is erythromycin base or amoxicillin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend screening for chlamydial infection in women at increased risk of infection and in all women younger than 25 years.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Azithromycin or doxycycline is recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated genitourinary chlamydial infection.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Azithromycin or doxycycline is recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated genitourinary chlamydial infection.
Inflammation Of The Testicles
In men, chlamydia can spread to the testicles and epididymis , causing them to become painful and swollen. This is known as epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis. This is very rare.
The inflammation is usually treated with antibiotics. If its not treated, theres a possibility it could affect your fertility.
You May Like: How To Check If You Have Chlamydia
What If I Forget To Take It
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless its nearly time for your next dose. In this case, just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as normal.
Never take 2 doses at the same time. Never take an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one.
If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicines.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Chlamydia Go Away
How Did I Get Chlamydia If I Didnt Cheat
You can get chlamydia if your partner had vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who was infected and then had sex with you. People in relationships may have different ideas about what kinds of sexual contact counts as cheating, and this miscommunication can lead to infections. Communicate honestly with your partner about what sex youre having and what sex theyre having. Practice safer sex to reduce your risk of catching chlamydia, and get regularly screened to be sure.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It can be embarrassing to talk about anything sex-related with your healthcare provider, including STI prevention. But your sex life is an important part of your health that your provider needs to know about to care for you. Not getting the treatment you need for chlamydia can pose serious risks to your health. Speak with your provider about getting regularly screened for chlamydia and other STIs to reduce your risks of complications. Practice safer sex to prevent the spread of chlamydia.
Also Check: Is There A Blood Test For Chlamydia
Does The Treatment Work
Usually, yes. You can infect another sex partner as soon as you get chlamydia. Most women and some men do not have early signs of the disease.
A pregnant women can also pass on the infection to her baby as it is being born. This can lead to infection of the eyes and lungs in the infant. It is important to inform people you have had sex with during the past 3 months because they may have the disease and not know they need treatment. Your public health nurse will contact your partner if you prefer. Your name will be kept confidential.
Recommended Reading: What Medication Do They Give You For Chlamydia
What Do I Need To Know If I Get Treated For Chlamydia
If youre getting treated for chlamydia:
- Take all of your medicine the way your nurse or doctor tells you to, even if any symptoms you may be having go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics.
- Your partner should also get treated for chlamydia so you dont re-infect each other or anyone else.
- Dont have sex for 7 days. If you only have 1 dose of medication, wait for 7 days after you take it before having sex. If youre taking medicine for 7 days, dont have sex until youve finished all of your pills.
- Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure your infection is gone.
- Dont share your medicine with anyone. Your nurse or doctor may give you a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner. Make sure you both take all of the medicine you get.
- Even if you finish your treatment and the chlamydia is totally gone, its possible to get a new chlamydia infection again if youre exposed in the future. Chlamydia isnt a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and get tested regularly.
Also Check: Ciprofloxacin For Gonorrhea And Chlamydia