Chlamydia In Women: A Complete Guide
To help women protect themselves against this common type of sexually transmitted disease , Flo has prepared a guide that explains the basics of chlamydia.
STDs are infections that are transmitted from one person to another via sexual contact. Today, there are over 20 types of STDs and chlamydia is one of them.
Whether you suspect that you might have it or want to educate yourself, let this guide help you find all the answers you were looking for.
How Chlamydia’s Passed On
Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
You can get the infection if you come into contact with the semen or vaginal fluids of someone who has chlamydia.
Chlamydia is most commonly spread through:
- vaginal or anal sex without a condom
- sharing sex toys that arent washed or covered with a new condom each time theyre used.
It can be spread by giving or receiving oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. The risk can be lowered by using a condom or a dam to cover the genitals.
If infected semen or vaginal fluid comes into contact with the eye it can cause conjunctivitis (infection or irritation of the eye.
If youre pregnant its possible to pass chlamydia to the baby .
Its not clear if chlamydia can be spread by transferring infected semen or vaginal fluid to another persons genitals on the fingers or through rubbing vulvas together.
You cant get chlamydia from kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or from sharing cups, plates or cutlery.
Tips For Sti Screening Treatment And Follow
Reported cases of STI in Canada are increasing
121,244 cases of Chlamydia trachomatis
- 76% of cases are aged 15 to 29
- The highest increase in rates is in adults over 40
23,708 cases of Neisseria gonorrhoeae
- 57% of cases are aged 15 to 29
- The highest increase in rates is in adults over 30
3,829 cases of infectious Syphilis
- 92% of cases are men
Organization:Public Health Agency of Canada
Do you know if the person in front of you has ever been screened for sexually transmitted infections ?
In 2018, over 60% of Canadians reported that they had never been screened for STI.
Normalize discussions about sexual health and offer STI screening to sexually active people as part of routine care.
STI screening provides an opportunity to discuss transmission, signs and symptoms, risk reduction and preventive measures.
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How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
Most people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system.
Women with symptoms may notice
- An abnormal vaginal discharge
- A burning sensation when urinating.
Symptoms in men can include
- A discharge from their penis
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles .
Men and women can also get infected with chlamydia in their rectum. This happens either by having receptive anal sex, or by spread from another infected site . While these infections often cause no symptoms, they can cause
- Rectal pain
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD. STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
Whats Chlamydia And What Are The Symptoms
The bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, is the organism which causes chlamydia infection. It can affect the eyes , the joints, the mouth and the genitals of males and females. Chlamydia discharge with severe discomfort while urinating may be an early sign of illness.
It can also be contacted through the sharing of infected towels. Pregnant women with poorly treated infection may transmit chlamydia to their babies during delivery.
Chlamydia can be a silent disease because you can get infected without showing any signs. About 30 70 percent of infected men and women will not have common symptoms at all.
However, this does not rule out complication of chlamydia infection in the long-term. If left for a long time without treatment, chlamydia may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal pregnancy, and difficulty conceiving.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is the upward spread of chlamydia affecting the womb, abdominal area, and Fallopian tubes. PID could potentially cause permanent damage to the Fallopian tubes ultimately causing infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
Short-term adverse effects of chlamydia in men include inflammation of the epididymis, with testes that are hurtful and swollen. This occurs very early after an infection and can contribute to infertility in men.
If youve had unprotected anal, oral, vaginal intercourse or got in real contact with someone genital fluid, you can have chlamydia.
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Chlamydia Symptoms In Females
Chlamydia symptoms in females are rare. Roughly 7 in 10 women dont experience any symptoms. The infection may be asymptomatic, meaning that people dont know they have it.
If signs and symptoms occur, they usually happen one to three weeks after the exposure, but could start much later. The symptoms are often mild and passing, and easy to overlook.
Some of the potential signs and symptoms of chlamydia include:
- lower abdominal pain
What To Do After The Seven Day Period
Once the seven day period has passed following your treatment the chlamydia should have passed out of your system. In order to be certain, you should complete another chlamydia test to confirm that youre clear. The test should be taken two weeks after youve completed the antibiotic treatment to be absolutely sure.
Once thats confirmed you can continue having sex, safe in the knowledge that you wont be able to pass on chlamydia. If your partner was also infected you should wait until theyre clear before having sex again.
Remember that once the infection has passed you can still catch it again if you come into contact with the bacteria so make sure you practice safe sex and follow these steps:
- Always use a condom when having sex with a new partner
- Get checked regularly, especially if youve had sex with multiple partners
- If youre starting a relationship with a new partner ensure they get tested
You can book a private chlamydia test with Your Sexual Health and get tested at one of our clinic locations across the UK. We also offer a prescription service enabling you to get treatment if your test returns as positive. Book an appointment today.
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Who Is At Risk For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Anyone with genital symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination, unusual sores, or rash should refrain from having sex until they are able to see a health care provider about their symptoms.
Also, anyone with an oral, anal or vaginal sex partner who has been recently diagnosed with an STD should see a health care provider for evaluation.
Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs have been demonstrated to reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women. CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women age 25 or younger and older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections . Pregnant women should be screened during their first prenatal care visit. Pregnant women younger than 25 or at increased risk for chlamydia should be screened again in their third trimester. Any woman who is sexually active should discuss her risk factors with a health care provider who can then determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not recommended for men. However, the screening of sexually active young men should be considered in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.
What are the symptoms?
What kinds of complications can the infection cause?
How Can I Prevent Anal Chlamydia
Most people dont think to use a condom during anal sex since the risk of pregnancy isn’t there, but Dr. Leone says its important. We recommend condoms for anal intercourse for a host of reasons, including to prevent anal chlamydia, he says.
Unprotected sex of any kind “isincredibly risky and dramatically increases your risk of STIs,” says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD. “The anal region is particularly vulnerable because it is a narrow passage with fragile skin and no self-lubrication method,” she says. “Intercourse often leads to tears and that can cause a sexually transmitted infection to enter the bloodstream.”
Keep in mind, too, that if youre having both anal and vaginal intercourse, you should always switch to a new condom to prevent bacteria from moving from one spot to another, Dr. Leone says.
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How Long Should You Wait After Being Treated For Chlamydia To Have Sex
By | Sept. 21, 2010, 11:15 a.m.
if you have chlamidia and you took the dose of medicine how long do you have to wait to have sex again?
You should avoid having sex until your treatment is complete and the infection is cured. If youre diagnosed with chlamydia, your health care provider will probably prescribe an antibiotic. Its important to make sure that you take the antibiotic exactly as directed for as long as its prescribed, even if your symptoms go away. Its also important to let your sex partner know that you have chlamydia so they can get tested and treated, too.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection thats caused by a type of bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis. Both women and men can get it by having unprotected vaginal or anal sex with an infected partner. It can also be spread from a woman to her fetus during birth, and rarely, from the hand to the eye and, less likely, during unprotected oral sex. Each year, more than three million people of all ages become infected with chlamydia.
You can avoid getting chlamydia the same way that you reduce your risk of getting other sexually transmitted infections by abstaining from the things that transmit infections, or by practicing safer sex if youre sexually active. Condoms greatly reduce the risk of chlamydia during vaginal and anal sex. For safer oral sex, use a condom to cover the penis or a Glyde dam, cut-open condom, or plastic wrap to cover the vulva.
Having Multiple Sexual Partners After Treatment
After treatment, did you engage in unprotected intercourse with multiple sexual partners?
If you did, its likely your new symptoms are due to chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and trichomonas infection.
After chlamydia treatment, boosting your sexual health and minimizing the number of persons you have unprotected intercourse with, is vital to prevent reinfection.
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If Your Partner Is Sti
If you’re in a monogamous relationship and your partner is STI-free, you can go back to having oral, anal, and vaginal sex sans protection a week after your antibiotic course has finished, Dr. Rizza says.
The bottom line: Make sure both you and your partner are up to date on STI screenings and use condoms until youre certain your STI is totally cleared up. We promise: Safe, worry-free sex means better sex for everyone.
How Will I Know If I Have Chlamydia
You can only be certain you have chlamydia if you have a test.
Anyone can get chlamydia. Youre more likely to have it if youre under 25, have a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner in the last year, and if you havent used condoms.
You should have a test if:
- you, or a partner, have or think you might have symptoms
- youve recently had sex without a condom with a new partner
- you, or a partner, have had sex without a condom with other partners
- during a vaginal examination, your doctor or nurse says that the cervix is inflamed and/or theres an unusual discharge
- a sexual partner tells you they have a sexually transmitted infection
- you have another STI.
If you live in England, and youre a woman who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test when you change sexual partner and once a year.
If youre a man who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
You could still have chlamydia even if a partner has tested negative. The only way to make sure you dont have chlamydia is to get tested yourself.
If you have chlamydia, youll be encouraged to be tested for other STIs as you can have more than one STI at the same time.
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What Should I Do If I Think I Have Chlamydia
If you think you have chlamydia, you need to see your doctor immediately and have a chlamydia test. You may have another STD with similar symptoms, and your doctor needs to know the exact STI you have so that you can get the best treatment.
Chlamydia tests involve collecting a urine sample or swabbing the affected area. Your doctor will send the specimen to a lab for testing to see if you have chlamydia or another type of STI.
If your test is positive for chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic immediately.
Chlamydia Can Return Even After Antibiotic Treatment Because It Survives In The Stomach
Chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted infection and often a symptom-less one, can usually be treated with antibiotics effectively. But new research shows that oftentimes chlamydia can return with a vengeance, even after treatment.
Research out of the Arkansas Childrens Research Institute has found that if chlamydia survives in the persons stomach, even after it has been cleared away from the genitals by antibiotics, it can re-infect the person.
It is possible that women, cured of genital infection by antibiotics, remain infected in the gastrointestinal tract and can become re-infected by auto-inoculation from that site, Roger Rank, the lead author of the study, wrote.
Though their study was completed in mice, the scientists believe it can be related to humans as well. People who have undergone treatment for chlamydia may still be able to infect others, or re-infect themselves, through oral or anal sex.
In a small percentage of recurrent infections, Rank said, infection cannot be attributed to reinfection from a partner or treatment failure so it would appear that in these cases, the organism has remained persistent in the individual. Based on the studies in animals and the experimental mouse model studies and evidence for gastrointestinal infection in humans, we propose that chlamydiae shed in the GI tract may infect the genital tract via auto-inoculation.
Is Gonorrhea 100% Contagious
Gonorrhea is highly contagious and is the second most commonly reported notifiable disease in the United States. You can get it by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has it. It can spread even if a man doesnt ejaculate during sex.
How Does Chlamydia Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby
In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia has been associated with pre-term delivery, and can spread to the newborn, causing an eye infection or pneumonia. Screening and treatment of chlamydia during pregnancy is the best way to prevent these complications. All pregnant women should be screened for chlamydia at their first prenatal visit.
How is chlamydia diagnosed?
There are laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia. Specimens commonly used for testing include a cotton swab of the vagina or a urine sample.
How is chlamydia treated?
Penicillin is not effective against chlamydia.
Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV-negative.
Persons with chlamydia should abstain from having sex for seven days after single dose antibiotics, or until completion of a seven-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. Persons whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a woman’s risk of serious reproductive health complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. Women and men with chlamydia should be retested about three months after treatment of an initial infection, regardless of whether they believe that their sex partners were successfully treated.
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Can Chlamydia Be Cured
Yes, chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. You should not share medication for chlamydia with anyone.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner was treated.
How Can You Prevent Gonorrhea
It’s easier to prevent an STI like gonorrhea than it is to treat it.
- Use a condom every time you have sex. Latex and polyurethane condoms keep out the viruses and bacteria that cause STIs.
- Don’t have more than one sex partner at a time. The safest sex is with one partner who has sex only with you. Every time you add a new sex partner, you are being exposed to all of the diseases that all of that person’s partners may have.
- Be responsible. Don’t have sex if you have symptoms of an infection or if you are being treated for an STI.
- Wait to have sex with a new partner until both of you have been tested for STIs.
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