Gonorrhea And Chlamydia: Knowing The Difference
Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on March 26, 2020. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Both gonorrhea and chlamydia are sexually transmitted infections that share a number of similarities. Theyâre both very common STIs . Their symptoms often resemble each other. And they can both have long-term health consequences if they arenât treated. So whatâs the difference between these two?
Keep reading for a closer look at the symptoms of chlamydia vs. gonorrhea, how they can affect your health, and how you can check for both STIs with a single chlamydia and gonorrhea test you can take at home.
Treated With The Same Type Of Antibiotic
Sexually transmitted infections tend to be something that we dont like to talk about. Despite how common they are, there is still a stigma attached to STIs and a lot of shame and embarrassment around testing positive. Perhaps youre worried about how to tell your partner, or how previous partners will react to the news. Whatever happens, youve done the right thing in getting tested and being honest about it.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two common sexually transmitted infections. They are both caused by bacteria and treated with the same type of antibiotics. In many cases, they dont cause symptoms, especially with chlamydia, so its possible to have an STI without knowing. This is how theyre so easily spread, because there are no warning signs.
Order safe treatment for chlamydia
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.
Read Also: How Do I Get Chlamydia Medication
How Does Evidence Fit With Biological Understanding
Chlamydial and gonococcal infections are often asymptomatic in women. Untreated infections may progress to PID-related complications such as chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, or infertility. Infections may also be transmitted to sex partners and newborn children. Accurate screening tests and effective antibiotic treatments are available for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
In men, gonococcal infections are more commonly symptomatic compared with women. Serious complications from infection are less common in men.
Studies on assessing risk and for whom screening may be most effective are a high priority.
The CDC recommends annual chlamydia and gonorrhea testing in all sexually active women younger than 25 years and in older women at increased risk of infection . It also recommends screening for both infections in pregnant women younger than 25 years and in older pregnant women at increased risk for infection during their first prenatal visit and again during their third trimester if risk remains high.16
The American Academy of Family Physicians follows the 2014 USPSTF chlamydia and gonorrhea screening recommendations.58 The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations align with the CDC guidelines.59
Can You Prevent Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
As both infections are so common that almost anyone who is sexually active is at risk of contracting it, the only surefire way to prevent chlamydia and gonorrhea is by remaining abstinent.
In saying that, there are a number of steps that can be taken in order to reduce your risk, including:
- Use protection during sexual contact
- Regularly screen your sexual health
- Dont share sex toys
If you have tested positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea, dont forget to abstain from sexual activity until you have completed treatment and all symptoms are gone.
Regular sexual health screening is one of the best steps you can take towards knowing more about your sexual health. This can be done with your doctor or from the comfort of home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetCheckeds range of STI Tests detect some of the most common infections – this includes our Simple 2 Test which tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available every step of the way to answer any questions you may have regarding the process, results, or treatment.
You should consider taking a test if:
- You become sexually active
- You have had unprotected sex
- You are experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
- You are entering into a new sexual relationship
- You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected
Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Symptoms
The symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea overlap, so it can be difficult to differentiate between the two unless you visit your healthcare provider or take a test for chlamydia or gonorrhea.
The overlapping symptoms for chlamydia and gonorrhea in men and women include:
- A burning sensation during urination
- Abnormal genital or rectal discharge
- Pain in the rectum
- Sore throat
With both chlamydia or gonococcal infections , men might also experience swelling and pain in the testicles and/or scrotum.
In women, both a gonorrhea and chlamydia infection might be mistaken for a yeast infection. Women may also experience painful periods, bleeding between periods, pain during sex, or abdominal pain.
Although the symptoms overlap, the discharge caused by chlamydia vs. gonorrhea can vary slightly. For a chlamydia infection, a womanâs vaginal discharge might have a strong odor and yellowish tint. Men might have a cloudy or clear discharge. With gonorrhea, both women and men may experience green, yellow, or white discharge.
If you’re a woman experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge or a man with abnormal penile discharge, be sure to consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible as this is a common sign of an infection.
Test Three Body Parts
Chlamydia and gonorrhea can infect the throat and rectum, and if you only test the genitals youll miss these infections. Everybody should have three-site testing or youre only getting a third of the picture, says Emily. Thats why the Nurx Full Control STI Home Test Kit contains throat and rectal swabs, so you can test those sites too.
Don’t Miss: How Easy Is It To Get Rid Of Chlamydia
How Common Is Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the United States. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received reports of approximately 1.76 million new cases of chlamydia. However, as some people do not know symptoms, its estimated that the actual number of new annual cases is closer to 2.86 million. Gonorrhea isnt quite as common, with the CDC estimating there are approximately 820,000 new infections in the United States every year.
Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
Anyone who has sex can get chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.
Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman younger than 25 years, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as pregnant women should also get tested for chlamydia.
Don’t Miss: How Do Men Get Tested For Chlamydia
Hospitalization And Emergency Department Presentation For Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
The Hospital Morbidity Data System is a statutory data collection including all hospitals in WA . It comprises inpatient hospital discharge records dating back to 1970, with every record assigned a principal diagnosis code and up to 20 additional diagnosis fields. The Emergency Department Data Collection contains data on emergency department presentations in WAs public hospitals as well as private hospitals under contract with the WA government from 2002 onward. Women were classified as having a diagnosis of PID if they had a linked hospital admission or emergency department presentation record where the primary International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification diagnosis was any of N70N73, N74.1N74.8, or A18.1, A51.4, A52.7, A54.2 A56.1, with an additional diagnosis of N74.1N74.8. If a hospitalization for PID occurred within 7 days of the emergency department presentation, then the diagnosis was classed as a hospitalization and the hospitalization date was selected. In all other cases, the first PID presentation was selected.
Gonorrhea Chlamydia And Syphilis
What are gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis?Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are sexually transmitted diseases . These three STDs can cause serious, long-term problems if they are not treated, especially for teenagers and young women.What causes gonorrhea and chlamydia?Both gonorrhea and chlamydia are caused by bacteria. The bacteria are passed from one person to another through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Gonorrhea and chlamydia often occur together.Where do these infections occur?Gonorrhea and chlamydia infections can occur in the mouth, reproductive organs, urethra, and rectum. In women, the most common place is the cervix .At what age do these infections most commonly occur?Although gonorrhea and chlamydia can occur at any age, women 25 years and younger are at greater risk of both infections.What are the symptoms of gonorrhea and chlamydia?Women with gonorrhea or chlamydia often have no symptoms. When symptoms from either infection do occur, they may show up 2 days to 3 weeks after infection. They may be very mild and can be mistaken for a urinary tract or vaginal infection. The most common symptoms in women include the following:
- A yellow vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods
- Rectal bleeding, discharge, or pain
Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are sexually transmitted diseases . These three STDs can cause serious, long-term problems if they are not treated, especially for teenagers and young women.
Chlamydia Vs Gonorrhea: Best Courses Of Treatment For Each
If you have it, youll want to know how to get rid of chlamydia and fast. The good news is that both chlamydia and gonorrhea can be knocked out with a course of strong oral antibiotics. Your first step as mentioned earlier is to see a physician as soon as possible and be very forthcoming about your condition and symptoms. He or she will then prescribe medication for you, and the most common ones for treating chlamydia and gonorrhea are:
One of the most important reminders regarding taking medication to treat the clap or chlamydia is that you must finish the entirety of the medication prescribed every last pill! Even if your symptoms have disappeared, taking all of the medication ensure that bacteria causing the infection are wiped out entirely and theres no chance of them re-establishing themselves.
How to get rid of chlamydia? Taking antibiotics as directed by your physician is the only way.
Provided you do so, you can expect to be cured of either infection in one to two weeks. Lastly, preventing a recurrence of either chlamydia or gonorrhea is best assured by now choosing not to engage in casual sex with partners you dont know well, and ideally enjoying sex within a committed, monogamous relationship.
Benefits Of Early Detection And Treatment
The USPSTF reviewed 4 trials and concluded that screening was associated with reduced risk of PID vs no screening.49-52 One recent large, good-quality trial of men and women in primary care clinics found that screening for chlamydia was associated with a reduction in risk of hospital-diagnosed PID compared with usual care , but the absolute difference was small . No differences were seen in rates of PID or epididymitis in clinics.52 No studies reported the association between screening and disease acquisition or transmission or between screening and clinical outcomes other than PID or epididymitis.19
The USPSTF previously found fair-quality evidence that treatment of chlamydial infection during pregnancy is associated with improved outcomes for infants and mothers.53,54 The USPSTF reviewed large cohort studies of screening at the first prenatal visit in pregnant women at increased risk for infection. These studies found that treatment of chlamydial infection was associated with significantly lower rates of preterm delivery, early rupture of membranes, and infants with low birth weight compared with no treatment or treatment failure.53,54 No subsequent studies met inclusion criteria for the current USPSTF review.19,32
Also Check: How Soon Can You Get Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Health Services For Screening And Treatment Of Stis Remain Weak
People seeking screening and treatment for STIs face numerous problems. These include limited resources, stigmatization, poor quality of services, and little or no follow-up of sexual partners.
- In many countries, STI services are provided separately and not available in primary health care, family planning and other routine health services.
- In many settings, services are often unable to provide screening for asymptomatic infections, lacking trained personnel, laboratory capacity and adequate supplies of appropriate medicines.
Can Chlamydia Be Mistaken For Gonorrhea
One of the most distinct similarities between both chlamydia and gonorrhea are the symptoms. Both infections can easily go unnoticed as its common to experience little to no signs or symptoms. Although, when symptoms do appear, they tend to be quite similar, these include:
- Painful urination
- Bleeding between periods
- Burning sensation in genitals
The most reliable way to find out more about your sexual health and whether or not you have contracted chlamydia or gonorrhea is through a reliable lab test.
See also:What are the Most Common STDs?
Chlamydia And Gonorrhea: The Similarities
Adding to the confusion between the two diseases is a considerable number of similarities between the two. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are both sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria. They can be contracted through oral, genital, or anal sex, says Healthline. The symptoms of these two STIs overlap, so if you have one of these conditions, its sometimes hard to be sure which one it is without having a diagnostic test at a doctors office.
Other similarities include:
Also, note that these are not one or the other diseases. You can absolutely have both at once, so its critical that you dont dismiss any symptoms. That said, here are some of the differences between the two diseases.
Chlamydia And Gonorrhea: How To Know The Difference
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are arguably some of the most common, and well known, sexually transmitted infections worldwide. As a matter of fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refer to both of these infections as two nationally notifiable STIs .
Occasionally mistaken for one another, chlamydia and gonorrhea have similar symptoms and signs, and can even cause some similar side effects when left untreated. In saying that, both chlamydia and gonorrhea are individual infections, with a variety of distinct differences – each of which is worth knowing more about.
Also Check: How Do They Treat Chlamydia
Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection to your baby during delivery. This could cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your newborn. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby too early.
If you are pregnant, you should get tested for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.
If You Have Further Questions Contact Your Ob
Don’t have an ob-gyn? Search for doctors near you.
Copyright 2021 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.
This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOGs complete disclaimer.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get A Shot For Chlamydia
What Is The Best Definition Of Syphilis
The most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States are HPV, chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- What is the most common STD in the US? Human Papillomavirus
- Chlamydia is the most reported STI in America.
- Gonorrhea: The Second Most commonly reported sti.
virusvirusThere’s no cure
pelvic inflammatory disease
natural gonorrhea remedies
Izza De Rua
What Is A Uti
* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.
* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions
You May Like: How Long Does It Take To Get Symptoms Of Chlamydia
What Measures Can I Take To Prevent These Conditions
The only way that you can completely prevent yourself from catching chlamydia, gonorrhea, or another STI is by abstaining from sexual activity.
But there are also plenty of ways you can reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting these infections: