More On Sexually Transmitted Diseases At Thebodycom
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In addition, our Q& A experts sometimes address questions about gonorrhea in our “Ask the Experts” forums. Here are some of those questions and our experts’ responses:
- How long does it take?After taking the pill to treat gonorrhea, how long does it take to clear up?
- Chlamydia and GonorrheaI was treated for chlamydia and gonorrhea eight days ago. How long do I wait to have sex? When will I know if I have been cured?
Practice Safer Sex By Using A Condom
When used correctly, external and internal condoms help prevent the spread of many STIs during vaginal, anal and oral sex. Condoms are less effective at protecting against STIs transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes simplex virus, genital warts ) and syphilis .
Important things to remember when using condoms:
- Check the condom package for damage. Do not use a damaged condom
- Check the expiry date. Do not use a condom after its expiry date
- Carefully open the package so that the condom does not tear. Do not use a condom that has been torn
- Keep condoms away from sharp objects such as rings, studs or piercings
- Store condoms at room temperature
- Use a new condom every time you have sex. Do not reuse condoms
- Do not use 2 condoms at once. Using 2 condoms together may result in a condom breaking
- Use only water-based lubricants with external latex condoms. Oil-based lubricants, such as petroleum jelly, lotion or baby oil, can weaken and destroy latex
- Water or oil-based lubricant may be used with polyurethane/nitrile condoms
- Use only condoms made of latex or polyurethane/nitrile/polyisoprene rubbers. Latex and polyurethane condoms are the best types of condoms to use to help prevent pregnancy and STIs.
- Avoid using condoms with spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 as it can irritate tissue and may increase the chance of getting an STI
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.
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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.
What Happens If You Dont Wait 7 Days After Treatment For Chlamydia
The treatment wont work if someone is re-exposed to chlamydia or gonorrhea in those 7 days. If you cant avoid having sex for 7 days, then using a condom will help lower the chance of passing the STI to your partners, but there is no guarantee.
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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
Will My Birth Control Work If I Am Taking Antibiotics
There is very little evidence to show that antibiotics make hormonal forms of birth control not work very well. Examples of hormonal birth control include the pill, the patch, the ring or the shot. If you are being treated with antibiotics, it is important to keep using your birth control as you normally would. If you have concerns, use condoms until your next period comes after completing the antibiotics, or speak to your health care provider for more information.
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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.
How Do You Prevent Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be passed on by sharing sex toys. Always cover sex toys with a new condom and wash them after use to reduce your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs.
Its important to regularly test for chlamydia, even if you dont have any symptoms, especially if youve had multiple sexual partners.
The contraceptive pill and other types of contraception wont prevent you getting chlamydia, and neither will PrEP.
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.
Your Chlamydia Was Poorly Treated Or Left Untreated
Its possible to have chlamydia infection with no symptoms of the disease. In some women and men, it could take weeks for chlamydia signs to appear. If you just started having symptoms, purchase chlamydia kit to know if its chlamydia or not.
Poorly treated chlamydia, either due to wrong antibiotics or not completing your doctors prescribed medications, may cause chlamydia to persist with resistance.
If you have chlamydia symptoms months after treatment, it is advisable to let your doctor know ASAP.
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How Can I Prevent The Spread Of Chlamydia And Other Stis
Ask your healthcare provider for more information about the following safe sex practices:
- Use a male or female condom during sex. This includes oral, genital, or anal sex. Use a new condom each time. Condoms help prevent pregnancy and STIs. Use latex condoms, if possible. Lambskin condoms do not protect against STIs. A polyurethane condom can be used if you or your partner is allergic to latex. Condoms should be used with a second form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy and STIs. Do not use male and female condoms together. Ask for more information about the correct way to use condoms.
- Limit your number of sex partners. This will help lower your risk for chlamydia and other STIs.
- Do not have sex with someone who has an STI. This includes oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
- Do not have sex while you or your partner are being treated. Ask when it is safe to have sex.
- Ask about medicines to lower your risk for some STIs:
- Vaccines can help protect you from hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and the human papillomavirus . The HPV vaccine is usually given at 11 years, but it may be given through 26 years to both females and males. Your provider can give you more information on vaccines to prevent STIs.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis may be given if you are at high risk for HIV. PrEP is taken every day to prevent the virus from fully infecting the body.
How Do I Prevent Chlamydia
Using condoms every time you have sex can greatly reduce the risk of contracting chlamydia. Condoms should be used not just during ejaculation, but before any genital or sexual contact starts. If you are having oral-vaginal sex, use a dental dam to stay protected.
Ask a partner whether theyâve been tested recently for STIs before starting sexual contact. If a partner has sex with multiple people, ask about their STI status and encourage them to also get tested. Limiting the number of sexual partners you are exposed to will also decrease your risk of contracting chlamydia.
For people with female reproductive organs, a yearly gynecologic visit is recommended, even for those in a monogamous longterm relationship. People who are sexually active should always be screened for chlamydia. The screening can easily be performedâon a urine specimen, or as part of a pelvic exam.
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When Can I Have Unprotected Sex After Chlamydia Treatment
Even if your chlamydia infection has been cured, its not recommended to practice unsafe sex. Having your STD treated doesnt guarantee that the infection will never come back. In fact, many people become infected with STDs multiple times because they continue to have unprotected sex with partners who have untreated STDs.
If you have a regular sexual partner, tell them about your infection so they can get treatment as well. Once youre sure you both got treated, you have to wait until the treatment has had time to be effective before you start having unprotected sex again.
How Do You Know If You Have Chlamydia
The only way to know if you have chlamydia is by amedical exam. Most women with chlamydia do nothave any signs of infection. See your health careprovider to be tested for chlamydia each year if you:
- Are age 25 or younger and are sexually active
- Are older than 25 with new or multiple sex partners
- Do not practice safe sex
- Are having sex with someone who might be havingsex with others
- Are pregnant
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Trichomoniasis And Vaginal Discharges
If youâve recently been infected with trichomoniasis, then your discharge might be yellow-greenish in colorâor, perhaps, just yellow. Your discharge could be frothyâor filled with tiny bubblesâand may have a distinct odor as well . Additionally, you may experience a heavier discharge than normalâparticularly as you near your menstrual cycle.
This picture changes a bit if youâre experiencing a chronic, long-term trich infectionâin which case, you might see mucus mixed in with your discharge.
According to the CDC, approximately 70% of people infected with trichomoniasis do not show any symptoms. So you can still have trich even if you donât have any abnormal discharges! Further, itâs impossible to diagnose trichomoniasis solely on the basis of external symptoms. Thus, if you suspect you have a trich infection, itâs a good idea to take a trichomoniasis test or get tested for STDsâsomething you can now do with a convenient, at-home female STD test kit.
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.
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Can You Get Chlamydia From Drinking After Someone
The belief that you can catch chlamydia from drinking after someone is a myth. In reality, theres no risk of catching the infection when sharing food, water, or cutlery.
You can only catch chlamydia during:
- Unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
- Sharing sex toys.
- Contact with the genitals of an infected partner.
What Are The Treatments For Chlamydia
Antibiotics will cure the infection. You may get a one-time dose of the antibiotics, or you may need to take medicine every day for 7 days. Antibiotics cannot repair any permanent damage that the disease has caused.
To prevent spreading the disease to your partner, you should not have sex until the infection has cleared up. If you got a one-time dose of antibiotics, you should wait 7 days after taking the medicine to have sex again. If you have to take medicine every day for 7 days, you should not have sex again until you have finished taking all of the doses of your medicine.
It is common to get a repeat infection, so you should get tested again about three months after treatment.
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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.
When Will The Signs And Symptoms Go Away
You should notice an improvement quite quickly after having treatment.
- Discharge or pain when you urinate should improve within a week.
- Bleeding between periods or heavier periods should improve by your next period.
- Pelvic pain and pain in the testicles should start to improve quickly but may take up to two weeks to go away.
If you have pelvic pain or painful sex that doesnt improve, see your doctor or nurse as it may be necessary to have some further treatment or investigate other possible causes of the pain.
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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.