What Is The Best Over
Over the counter medications cannot be used to treat chlamydia. Effective treatment for chlamydia relies on antibiotics, which are only available with a prescription.
Over-use of antibiotics in a population can lead to bacteria, including Chlamydia trachomatis, becoming resistant to the medication. In an attempt to limit the development of this problem, antibiotics are generally only available with a doctor’s prescription.
If they were available over the counter, they would likely be used much more frequently, including in cases where a person did not in fact have an infection that could be treated with an antibiotic — leading to the development of resistant strains. In fact, even with antibiotics only available of prescription, experts believe that doctors currently prescribe antibiotics far too readily, contributing to the problem of resistance. The only antibiotics available without prescription are topical .
Treatment for chlamydia is quite simple but you will need to see a healthcare professional to obtain it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a range of antibiotics — in most cases, either azithromycin or doxycycline .
You also need to see a healthcare professional to have your condition accurately diagnosed — the symptoms of several other sexually transmitted infections are quite similar to those of chlamydia.
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.
What Are The Side Effects Of Chlamydia Treatment
While doxycycline is an effective treatment for chlamydia, some people may have side effects when taking this chlamydia treatment.
Some common doxycycline side effects may include:
- increased sensitivity to light
- nausea or being sick
- stomach ulcers
- joint or muscle pain
If you have any side effects when taking doxycycline, tell your doctor as soon as possible.
The full list of doxycycline side effects and cautions can be found in the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine package.
When taking doxycycline, you should avoid drinking alcohol as it reduces doxycyclines effectiveness. You should also avoid sunlight as increased sensitivity to light has been reported as a side effect of doxycycline.
You should stop taking doxycycline and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following rare but severe side effects, or symptoms of an allergic reaction:
- Ringing in your ear
- Fever, swollen lymph nodes or skin rash
- Symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest pain, swollen face, lips, mouth, hand or feet
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What Happens If Chlamydia Is Left Untreated
- reduced fertility
- reactive arthritis
- an infection of the testicles and epididymis
- pelvic inflammatory disease which can cause pain, infertility and increase the risk of having ectopic pregnancies
- reactive arthritis
- pregnancy complications like miscarriages, premature births and stillbirths
Treatment Of Chlamydia Is There A Cure For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be cured easily and effectively with simple antibiotics once it has been diagnosed. The treatment can consist of a single dose or last up to 2 weeks depending on the type of chlamydia. The infected person should not have penetrative sex until receiving a negative Chlamydia test at an after-treatment check-up. Both partners must be treated for chlamydia and undergo re-testing after 34 months.
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You Cant Catch Chlamydia From A Toilet Seat
Many people believe they can get chlamydia from a toilet seat. This isnt true.
Theres no need to worry about catching chlamydia in a public bathroom. Even if you share a toilet seat with someone who has it, you cant get the infection. You also cant catch chlamydia from sharing items like towels.
Usually, chlamydia spreads through unprotected sex. Its also possible to get the disease if you share sex toys with someone who has the infection. Sex toys should be washed or covered with a condom. If your partner has vaginal fluid or semen on their fingers, it may be possible to spread the infection that way.
How To Get Rid Of Chlamydia In Males
Chlamydia in males is caused by a bacterial infection. This infection is mostly treated with oral antibiotics. The most effective and recommended treatment for chlamydia is the prescribing of Azithromycin or Doxycycline. After treatment, usually the infection will clear in 7 to 14 days. The recommended dosage should be finished for infection to be completely cleared. For treatment to be most effective, it is recommended that both partner complete treatment and abstain from any sexual contact for at least 7 days after completing their treatment.
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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.
Urogenital Infection In Men
In men, chlamydial infection of the lower genital tract causes urethritis and, on occasion, epididymitis. Urethritis is secondary to C. trachomatis infection in approximately 15 to 55 percent of men, although the prevalence is lower among older men.2 Symptoms, if present, include a mild to moderate, clear to white urethral discharge. This is best observed in the morning, before the patient voids. To observe the discharge, the penis may need to be milked by applying pressure from the base of the penis to the glans.
The diagnosis of nongonococcal urethritis can be confirmed by the presence of a mucopurulent discharge from the penis, a Gram stain of the discharge with more than five white blood cells per oil-immersion field, and no intracellular gram-negative diplococci.2 A positive result on a leukocyte esterase test of first-void urine or a microscopic examination of first-void urine showing 10 or more white blood cells per high-powered field also confirms the diagnosis of urethritis.
For diagnosis of C. trachomatis infection in men with suspected urethritis, the nucleic acid amplification technique to detect chlamydial and gonococcal infections is best .4 Empiric treatment should be considered for patients who are at high risk of being lost to follow-up.
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Early Treatment Is The Key
When its diagnosed at an early stage, chlamydia can be treated quickly and effectively. But if the infection is left untreated, it can cause the following complications:
- In women it can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which can lead to infertility
- It can cause reactive arthritis
- If youre pregnant and have chlamydia it can cause a miscarriage or premature birth. There is also a risk of passing the infection to the newborn baby during delivery, which can cause a severe infection
If youre concerned that you may be infected, it is important that you dont just wait around, but get tested right away. If you feel embarrassed or if STIs are something youd rather not discuss with your GP, you can get tested quickly and discreetly by ordering a chlamydia test kit from our website.
Chlamydia Treatment And Prevention
Chlamydia is easy to cure. If you test positive for chlamydia, basically you take an antibiotic, says Jill Rabin, MD, cochief in the division of ambulatory care for women’s health programs and prenatal care assistance program services for Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York.
Your partner must take an antibiotic, too, to keep them from reinfecting you, she says.
You have to have your partner treated, and if you have more than one partner, they should all be treated, says Dr. Rabin, regardless of your partners genders.
Even if you dont have chlamydia now, its wise to learn how to protect yourself so you wont develop this common infection in the first place. In women, chlamydia can create serious health problems, including infertility. Besides, no one ever wants to have a sexually transmitted disease and then have to tell other people about it.
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What Is Chlamydia Like
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection . Most people who have confirmed cases of chlamydia are recorded to have no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, it occurs in the form of a pus-like yellow discharge, frequent or painful urination. Additionally, some women experience spotting between periods or after sex. Also, rectal pain irritation, bleeding or discharge can occur. Some patients may experience lower abdominal pain, swollen or tender testicles. If left untreated, chlamydia may lead to infertility or irreversible reproductive issues.
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Chlamydia And Female Fertility
If left untreated, chlamydia can spread and infect other parts of the female reproductive system, in particular the uterus and fallopian tubes, which can result in pelvic inflammatory disease . With one in five women with chlamydia developing PID, chlamydia is the most common cause of infertility in women.
PID sometimes develops without causing symptoms and just like chlamydia, it is often diagnosed too late. Over time, the disease causes blocking or scarring to the fallopian tubes, which leads to infertility as well as miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth.
In other cases, PID can lead to an ectopic pregnancy, which represents a serious health risk for the mother.
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How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is spread when a person has unprotected sex with an infected person.
Because chlamydial infection often has no symptoms, many people do not realise they have the infection.
Even if you know a person well, you may not be able to tell they have an STI, because people can look healthy and still have chlamydia.
Remember, you can get chlamydia and other STIs from a new sexual partner who has in the past had sex with someone who is infected.
It can also be spread from a long-term partner who has had sex with other people.
What Happens If You Dont Treat Chlamydia
In females, if chlamydia is left untreated, it can spread to the uterus and the fallopian tubes . Chlamydia in the uterus and fallopian tubes can cause what is known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease . Although PID may not have any symptoms at first, it can lead to long-term pain in the pelvic region and cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This could affect your ability to get pregnant and may also cause an ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening situation where a pregnancy occurs outside of the uterus , usually inside the fallopian tubes. If you have chlamydia that has not been treated whilst pregnant, there is a possibility that you could pass the infection onto your child. This can result in the baby developing conjunctivitis or pneumonia .
In males, if chlamydia is left untreated, it can spread to the testicles and epididymis . This can result in your testicles becoming swollen and painful . If not treated, it can cause extreme pain and discomfort and may even lead to infertility.
In both males and females, if chlamydia is not treated, it can cause reactive arthritis. This is a painful condition that causes swelling and stiffness to the joints. After treatment, most people return to normal activity after 6 months.
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I Was Treated For Chlamydia When Can I Have Sex Again
You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex.
Testing And Treating Sexual Partners
If you test positive for chlamydia, it’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you’ve had are also tested and treated.
A specialist sexual health adviser can help you contact your recent sexual partners, or the clinic can contact them for you if you prefer.
Either you or someone from the clinic can speak to them, or the clinic can send them a note to let them know they may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection .
The note will suggest that they go for a check-up. It will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024
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How To Take Azithromycin
If you have been given azithromycin capsules you should take them at least 1 hour before food or 2 hours after eating. If you have tablets or liquid, you can take them with or without food.
Do not crumble or break tablets and capsules, swallow them whole with a glass of water or juice. Azithromycin liquid is available for people who find it difficult to swallow tablets.
Be sure to take the medicine exactly as directed by your doctor and always finish the course, even if you begin to feel better before completing the treatment.
Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol will not stop the treatment from working.
- feeling dizzy or tired
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Getting Treated For Chlamydia And Often Gonorrhea
If you have your own doctor, he will prescribe the antibiotics you need to treat chlamydia. If you dont have your own doctor, you can often find free or low-cost care at either a Planned Parenthood site or a community health clinic.
Listen carefully to the instructions for taking the medicine that you are given by the doctor or other healthcare provider, and follow them closely.
Ask questions if you dont understand something. Also, if you have other questions as you take your medicine, you can always call the pharmacist for help. They are often easier to reach than the doctor.
If you test positive for chlamydia, your healthcare provider is likely to also recommend that you be treated for gonorrhea. This is because the cost of treating gonorrhea is less than the cost of testing for the infection.
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Whats The Recommended Treatment For Chlamydia
Doctors can easily treat chlamydia with a course of antibiotics. Theyll either prescribe azithromycin or doxycycline tablets.
You should avoid sexual intercourse during treatment, and for a week after youve finished the antibiotics. Its also a good idea for your partner to be examined and tested during your treatment period.
If your partner is being treated for the infection, again avoid sex for a week following treatment completion.
In most cases, chlamydia is curable with this simple treatment. Symptoms should start to improve in a few days and disappear after a week or two. We recommend a follow-up test three months after treatment to confirm the all-clear.
Its also essential to tell recent sexual partners about your positive result. Known as contact tracing, informing partners that they may also have chlamydia minimises their chance of developing complications.
We recommend contacting any sexual partners from the past six months.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Azithromycin For Chlamydia
Yes, you may drink a small amount of alcohol while you are taking azithromycin but there is a chance large amounts of alcohol may increase the gastrointestinal side effects of azithromycin, such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, or flatulence. Too much alcohol with azithromycin may also give you a headache.
Because azithromycin is usually taken as a one-off dose, drinking alcohol is unlikely to stop azithromycin from curing chlamydia.
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Treatment Of Other Types
Two other conditions caused by Chlamydia trachomatis are uncommon in the United States, but very common worldwide:
- Lymphogranuloma venereum : Lymphogranuloma venereum is treated in the same way as standard genital chlamydia infections, but a longer course of therapy is used . Other care may also be required to treat genital ulcers or abscessed inguinal nodes if they occur.
- Trachoma: Trachoma is the leading preventable cause of blindness worldwide and often requires aggressive treatment with antibiotics and surgery addressing unsanitary living conditions is also necessary.
How Is Each Condition Transmitted
Both STIs are caused by bacterial infections that are transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, meaning sex without using a condom, dental dam, or another protective barrier between you and your partner during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Its also possible to contract the infection through sexual contact that doesnt involve penetration. For example, if your genitals come into contact with the genitals of someone whos contracted the infection, its possible to develop the condition.
Both STIs can also be contracted through protected sex with a condom or other barrier if you dont use protection properly, or if the barrier breaks.
Either STI can be contracted even if you arent showing visible symptoms. Both STIs can also be transmitted to a child at birth if the mother has either condition.
Youre at increased risk for developing these and other STIs if you:
- have multiple sexual partners at one time
- dont properly use protection, such as condoms, female condoms, or dental dams
- regularly use douches which can irritate your vagina, killing healthy vaginal bacteria
- have contracted an STI before
Sexual assault can also increase your risk of both chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Both STIs can be diagnosed using similar diagnostic methods. Your doctor may use one or more of these tests to ensure that the diagnosis is accurate and that the right treatment is given:
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