How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
Chlamydia is sometimes called a silent infection because the majority of people who have chlamydia regardless of gender never notice symptoms. People who do notice symptoms often dont recognize the signs that they have chlamydia until a few weeks after theyve been infected. Because chlamydia cases are often asymptomatic, its easy to spread chlamydia to someone else without realizing it. And its easy to miss out on receiving the treatment needed to prevent the serious complications that can result from chlamydia.
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
Whats The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Chlamydia
The main treatment for chlamydia is antibiotics. Azithromycin and doxycycline are the two prescription medications used to treat chlamydia, they will get rid of it the fastest.
Taking these antibiotics properly can completely cure chlamydia in about 1 week. Treatment might involve taking a single pill, or it might involve taking medicine for a whole week.
No matter what, make sure you take all the pills your doctor prescribes. Otherwise the infection might come back.
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Chlamydial Infection Among Neonates
Prenatal screening and treatment of pregnant women is the best method for preventing chlamydial infection among neonates. C. trachomatis infection of neonates results from perinatal exposure to the mothers infected cervix. Initial C. trachomatis neonatal infection involves the mucous membranes of the eye, oropharynx, urogenital tract, and rectum, although infection might be asymptomatic in these locations. Instead, C. trachomatis infection among neonates is most frequently recognized by conjunctivitis that develops 512 days after birth. C. trachomatis also can cause a subacute, afebrile pneumonia with onset at ages 13 months. Although C. trachomatis has been the most frequent identifiable infectious cause of ophthalmia neonatorum, neonatal chlamydial infections, including ophthalmia and pneumonia, have occurred less frequently since institution of widespread prenatal screening and treatment of pregnant women. Neonates born to mothers at high risk for chlamydial infection, with untreated chlamydia, or with no or unconfirmed prenatal care, are at high risk for infection. However, presumptive treatment of the neonate is not indicated because the efficacy of such treatment is unknown. Infants should be monitored to ensure prompt and age-appropriate treatment if symptoms develop. Processes should be in place to ensure communication between physicians and others caring for the mother and the newborn to ensure thorough monitoring of the newborn after birth.
Will Any Antibiotic Get Rid Of Chlamydia
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe oral antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or taking doxycycline twice daily for 7 to 14 days are the most common treatments and are the same for those with or without HIV. With treatment, the infection should clear up in about a week.
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The Best Antibiotics For Chlamydia: First
Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. However, not all antibiotics are effective.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends doxycycline or azithromycin as first-choice antibiotic for the treatment of genital chlamydia. These medications are very effective for both acute and persistent infections.
Important note: To avoid reinfection, persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual activity until they and their sex partners have completed the treatment.
Interactions With Other Drugs
It is not recommended to mix different drugs in one injection syringe or in a single dropper.
Antibiotic cefataxime can cause bleeding if it is combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or anti-aggregates.
The risk of disrupting the kidneys increases with a combination of loop diuretics and polymyxin B with aminoglycoside antibiotics.
Tetracyclines should not be combined with medications that include metal ions. Antacids, as well as preparations of iron, calcium and magnesium can be referred to such medicines.
Do not combine tetracyclines with penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics, because of the fundamentally different mechanism of action of the drugs.
Anti-acid agents, ethyl alcohol impair the absorption of antibiotics from the digestive tract. In addition, ethanol increases the toxic effect of drugs.
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Azithromycin Vs Doxycycline For Chlamydia
Azithromycin and doxycycline are the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat chlamydia.
While azithromycin is prescribed in a single, one-gram dose taken orally, doxycycline is typically prescribed in a 100-milligram dose taken orally twice a day for seven days.
A 2014 meta analysis of 23 studies found that doxycycline had a slightly higher efficacy compared with azithromycin.
However, other research suggests that treatment with a single oral dose of azithromycin appears to be as safe and efficacious as a seven-day course of doxycycline for the treatment of uncomplicated genital chlamydial infection.
Talk to your healthcare provider about which medication is best for you.
How Did I Get Chlamydia If I Didnt Cheat
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.
Growing Antibiotic Resistance Forces Updates To Recommended Treatment For Sexually Transmitted Infections
WHO releases new treatment guidelines for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis
Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are all caused by bacteria and are generally curable with antibiotics. However, these STIs often go undiagnosed and are becoming more difficult to treat, with some antibiotics now failing as a result of misuse and overuse. It is estimated that, each year, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhoea, and 5.6 million with syphilis.
Resistance of these STIs to the effect of antibiotics has increased rapidly in recent years and has reduced treatment options. Of the 3 STIs, gonorrhoea has developed the strongest resistance to antibiotics. Strains of multidrug-resistant gonorrhoea that do not respond to any available antibiotics have already been detected. Antibiotic resistance in chlamydia and syphilis, though less common, also exists, making prevention and prompt treatment critical.
When left undiagnosed and untreated, these STIs can result in serious complications and long-term health problems for women, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage, and untreated gonorrhoea and chlamydia can cause infertility in both men and women. Infection with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis can also increase a persons risk of being infected with HIV two- to three-fold. An untreated STI in a pregnant woman increases the chances of stillbirth and newborn death.
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What Antibiotics Treat Sexually Transmitted Diseases
CAN ALL STDs BE TREATED USING ANTIBIOTICS?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases or Sexually Transmitted Infections , caused by bacteria, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, are generally easier to treat and are often curable when treated with the right antibiotics. Those caused by viruses, though manageable, are often not curable. These include Herpes and HIV/AIDS and are treated using antiviral drugs instead of antibiotics.
WHEN AND HOW ARE ANTIBIOTICS ADMINISTERED?
Antibiotic therapy is a mainstay in treating sexually transmitted diseases. Depending on the type of infection your healthcare provider may decide what antibiotics are required. These may then be administered through various means of treatment.
- A single injection,
- A course of pills taken over a few days
- And as a cream/ointment locally applied to the infected area.
DO I STILL NEED TO KEEP TAKING ANTIBIOTICS IF MY SYMPTOMS HAVE RESOLVED?
Resistance to antibiotics is real and a prevalent threat in the entire world. It is necessary to complete your antibiotic course for the duration that it is prescribed. Moreover, a resistant infection can be far harder to treat. Even if your symptoms have resolved it is essential that you complete the course of antibiotics as prescribed
WHAT ANTIBIOTICS ARE COMMONLY USED TO TREAT STDs?
The antibiotics prescribed depends on what infection you have. The various antibiotics prescribed for different bacterial STDs are:
HOW TO REMAIN TRULY SAFE FROM STDs?
Treatment Of Sexual Partners
When you are being treated for chlamydia, it is important to have your sexual partners treated as well. This includes anyone you’ve had sex with within 60 days of the appearance of symptoms.
Depending on state law, your partner may be able to be prescribed the same treatment without having to undergo chlamydia testing. This precautionary measure helps ensure that you are not reinfected or that others are not infected as well.
If you have chlamydia, do not share your antibiotics with your partner. You need the full course to fully clear the infection, and your partner does as well.
To avoid reinfection, abstain from sexual intercourse until all sexual partners have been treated.
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Antibiotics For Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
At times, an individual infected with gonorrhea also suffers from Chlamydia which is also a sexually transmitted disease. The bacterium causing Chlamydia is also responsible for infections of the eyes in humans. Aside from the infections it causes to man, they also pose harm to species of birds and a number of livestock.
The antibiotics used to treat both gonorrhea and Chlamydia kills the bacteria in the body but should be prescribed by a doctor after a positive diagnosis of gonorrhea through a test. However, antibiotics are not enough but it should be accompanied with abstinence of any form of sexual contact for a period of at least 7 days to prevent complications. If antibiotics are given to cure pregnant women, the disease can be prevented from being transmitted to the unborn child.
Strictly following the instructions of the doctor in taking the dosage of antibiotics can lead to completely curing the disease. Unfortunately, it has been found out that some strains of pathogens have become resistant to antibiotics making killing the bacteria impossible. Some of these drugs are quinolines, tetracycline, penicillin and sulfa drugs.
Today, since gonorrhea is accompanied by Chlamydia infection, the type of treatment given to the person should address both diseases. A person receiving antibiotics should be careful not to miss the doses, because if he fails to do so, the whole treatment procedure becomes useless.
How Long Does It Take
It takes about one week for azithromycin to completely cure a chlamydial infection, and in some cases it can take up to two weeks for the infection to clear.
If you are sexually active during this time, you can pass the infection to your partner, even if you have no symptoms. For these reasons, you should avoid having sex of any kind during treatment.
Surgical And Medical Procedures
Medical and surgical procedures are sometimes recommended for the treatment of viral STDs. This includes:
- HPV: Procedures to remove HPV genital warts include cryotherapy , electrocautery, injection of interferon into warts, laser treatment, and surgery.
- Hepatitis: In some cases, major liver damage can occur from hepatitis infections and a liver transplant may be needed.
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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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.
Box 1diseases Caused By Chlamydiae
It is estimated that 40 million individuals worldwide have active trachoma caused by singular or mixed infections of Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia psittaci . An additional 8.2 million have trichiasis and 1.3 million are blind as a result of ocular infections caused by chlamydia. Particular strains of C. trachomatis that cause trachoma are hyperendemic to regions of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Asia and parts of South and Central America however, the distribution and involvement of C. pneumoniae and C. psittaci strains in active trachoma cases around the world is currently unknown . Transmission occurs through both direct and indirect contact, and roughly 25% of all individuals infected are children under the age of 10 years. However, serious disease and blindness is found in older individuals caused by cumulative scarification left by untreated infections .
Sexually transmitted infections caused by C. trachomatis are the most prevalent bacterial cause of sexually transmitted infections worldwide, and around 92 million men and women are estimated to be infected . The majority of infections are asymptomatic in both men and women, but if left untreated can result in a variety of pathologies, including urethritis, cervicitis, salpingitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .
Below are some ways to prevent chlamydia
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How To Talk To Your Partners
- Be educated about STDs and share facts with your partner.
- Think about what youd like to get from the conversation.
- Plan what points you want to make.
- Talk to your partner about STDs in a calm setting.
- Give your partner plenty of time to discuss the matter.
- Write down your thoughts and share them with your partner if its easier.
- Offer to go together to get tested for STDs.
You dont have to visit your primary doctor to get tested for STDs. Many clinics offer free, confidential STD screenings.
Infant Pneumonia Caused By C Trachomatis
Chlamydial pneumonia among infants typically occurs at age 13 months and is a subacute pneumonia. Characteristic signs of chlamydial pneumonia among infants include a repetitive staccato cough with tachypnea and hyperinflation and bilateral diffuse infiltrates on a chest radiograph. In addition, peripheral eosinophilia occurs frequently. Because clinical presentations differ, all infants aged 13 months suspected of having pneumonia, especially those whose mothers have a history of, are at risk for , or suspected of having a chlamydial infection should be tested for C. trachomatis and treated if infected.
Specimens for chlamydial testing should be collected from the nasopharynx. Tissue culture is the definitive standard diagnostic test for chlamydial pneumonia. Nonculture tests can be used. DFA is the only nonculture FDA-cleared test for detecting C. trachomatis from nasopharyngeal specimens however, DFA of nasopharyngeal specimens has a lower sensitivity and specificity than culture. NAATs are not cleared by FDA for detecting chlamydia from nasopharyngeal specimens, and clinical laboratories should verify the procedure according to CLIA regulations . Tracheal aspirates and lung biopsy specimens, if collected, should be tested for C. trachomatis.
Erythromycin base or ethylsuccinate 50 mg/kg body weight/day orally divided into 4 doses daily for 14 days
Azithromycin suspension 20 mg/kg body weight/day orally, 1 dose daily for 3 days
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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:
- 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.