Potential Risks Involved In Untreated Chlamydia
18 Oct 2021
- Medically reviewed by Dr Andrea Pinto Lopez, M.D.
How long can you have chlamydia before it causes damage? In this article we tell you everything you need to know about the potential risks involved in untreated chlamydia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 2.8 million people are infected each year.
Odds Are Youve Probably Had Hpv
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States: According to the CDC, 79 million Americans are currently infected with some form of HPV, and 14 million become newly infected each year.
If youve been sexually active, youve got at least a 50 percent chance of having had the virus, says Dr. Robinson. Some data suggests that more than 80 percent of sexually active women will get HPV at some point.
HPV is actually an umbrella term for more than 150 strains of related viruses, most of which are relatively harmless. About 40 of them can infect the genital areas in both men and women, and a smaller number can cause genital warts or cancer.
Most of the time, youll never even know youve had HPV, because most strains are symptomless. And in 90 percent of cases, the immune system clears the virus naturally within two years, according to the CDC. But when HPV does not go away on its own, some HPV strains can cause a variety of types of cancer.
People living with HIV are more likely to have HPV infections that persist, raising their chances of developing an HPV-related cancer.
When To Seek Medical Advice
If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.
You should also get tested if you don’t have any symptoms but are concerned you could have a sexually transmitted infection .
If you’re a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If you’re a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
Read more about chlamydia diagnosis.
Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024
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How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
The good news is that chlamydia can be easily diagnosed if you get regular STD testing, even if youre asymptomatic. According to the Mayo Clinic, different types of samples can be taken for a chlamydia test, such as:
These samples can be taken at a physicians office or laboratory, or you can take them yourself using an at-home STD testing kit. The good news is that at-home testing kits have been shown to be as reliable as STD tests taken by your doctor however, its very important to follow the instructions included in the kit carefully to ensure that youre taking a good sample.
Anyone who has started their sexual life should get tested for STDs, but this is even more important if you have had multiple sex partners, have had any type of unprotected sex, or have recently started having sex with a new partner.
What Happens If I Get A Test Too Early
If you get a test too early, it may not pick up the infection, which means you run the risk of getting a misleading result. To avoid this, you shouldnt use an STI test without speaking to a doctor or nurse first, as theyll be able to advise you on the best time to get tested.
There are some circumstances where you might be advised to take more than one test. If you think youve been exposed to HIV, for instance, you might be told to get a test as soon as possible, followed by another test to confirm the first result a few weeks or months later.
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Symptoms In The Vulva
Chlamydia symptoms that show up in the vulva 13 weeks after a person comes into contact with the infection. In some cases, though, it can be months later.
Certain people can experience symptoms only when the infection is spreading to other areas of the body.
If symptoms are noticed by people, they may include:
- bleeding between periods
If a person thinks they may have chlamydia, they should get a test at the earliest opportunity, even if they have no symptoms. People can get a chlamydia test at any time after touching the infection potentially.
It is vital that individuals get a chlamydia test if they believe they have come into contact with the infection.
Neither regular cervical screening tests nor routine blood tests identify chlamydia.
How Long Does It Take For Hepatitis To Show Up
Hepatitis is an infectious disease that can have serious impact on the liver. There are three main types of this viral infection: A, B and C. While some do not show symptoms, others may exacerbate signs like vomiting, poor appetite, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
Hepatitis Incubation Period: The incubation period is different for each type of hepatitis, depending on the structure of the virus and its route of transmission. For example, for hepatitis A, it is a non-enveloped virus that does not have any glycoproteins on its exterior membrane. It is more virulent than other types of hepatitis. Hepatitis B and C, on the other hand, are enveloped and their replication process is slower than Hepatitis A. Regarding the incubation periods: for hepatitis A, it is between 15 to 50 days, for hepatitis B, it is between 45 and 160 days and for hepatitis C, it is between 14 and 180 days.
Hepatitis Window Period: for hepatitis A, it is between 2 and 7 weeks, 6 weeks for hepatitis B and 8-9 weeks for hepatitis C.
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What Health Problems Can Result From Chlamydia
The initial damage that chlamydia causes is often unnoticed. However, infections can lead to serious health problems with both short- and long-term effects.
If a woman does not receive treatment, chlamydia can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes, causing PID. Symptomatic PID occurs in about 10-15% of women who do not receive treatment.30,31 However, chlamydia can also cause subclinical inflammation of the upper genital tract . Both acute and subclinical PID can cause long-term damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, tubal factor infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.32,33
Some patients with PID develop perihepatitis, or Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome. This syndrome includes inflammation of the liver capsule and surrounding peritoneum, which can cause right upper quadrant pain.
In pregnant people, untreated chlamydia can lead to pre-term delivery,34 ophthalmia neonatorum , and pneumonia in the newborn.
Reactive arthritis can occur in men and women, following infection with or without symptoms. This is sometimes part of a triad of symptoms formerly referred to as Reiters Syndrome.35
How Does Chlamydia Show Up In A Urine Test
Youll pee in a cup thats sent off to a laboratory testing facility to see if any chlamydia bacteria are present in your urine. Blood test. Your doctor will use a sterile needle to draw some of your blood and send it to a lab to see if antibodies to the chlamydia bacteria are present in your bloodstream. Swab.
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How Long Does Chlamydia Last
Once chlamydia is diagnosed through a cotton swab test or any other, the treatment lasts for a week or longer, depending on how much bacteria is present.
However, most people who get infected with this bacteria have no symptoms, at least not at the beginning. Some people may never develop symptoms, while for some, it takes from one to three weeks for the first signs to occur after having unprotected sex with an infected partner. Below, you can find a detailed explanation of how long does chlamydia last and how long it takes to show up in different sexes and parts of the body.
Myth : Herpes Is Something To Be Ashamed Of
This is the most important myth to bust: While living with herpes can be a pain, its incredibly common and nothing to be ashamed of. For more information on this virus, check out the CDCs Fact Sheet about it. For a more personal take on living with an STIalong with resources and supportcheck out The STD Project, a site founded and run by a woman whos living with herpes.
Editors note: This article was tweaked ever-so-slightly to refer readers to the CDCs fact sheet for more detail about the two types of herpes viruses.
Grace Shih, MD, MAS, is an Assistant Professor at University of Washington. She completed her family medicine residency at Brown University and her family planning fellowship at University of California, San Francisco. When shes not seeing patients, you can find her cooking, playing guitar, or traveling with her family.
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Can You Test Negative For Chlamydia And Still Be A Carrier
Modern medical testing is incredibly accurate and this includes STD tests. However, no medical testing method is 100% accurate and there can be a very small number of false negative test results. A false negative is where a person has a condition, despite the medical test saying they are all clear. As well as these small amounts of false negatives there are a number of scenarios that can cause a person to have chlamydia and still test negative.
How To Interpret Chlamydia Test Results
Lab test results may be positive, negative or in some case inconclusive. A positive test result means the infection is there and the person is suffering from Chlamydia infections. So the person should go for treatment as advised by the doctor. Negative test interprets bacteria is not found and he/she is normal. Sometimes it also means that bacteria are at a very low amount and impact of it is not seen. But if there will be an increment in that then only it will start impacting. Sometimes test result gives inconclusive results. It happens when test result does not clearly indicate whether it is positive or negative.
How to Conclude Chlamydia Test Result?
There is a very slight chance of false test result. NAAT accuracy result is almost 100% whereas for Chlamydia culture it is 80%. This test is very necessary to be conducted because it gives accurate results. A person should conduct this test in identified lab only and certified person should see the result. An impact of this infection is huge at later stages. So, diagnosis of this is necessary so that person does not suffer from this infection later and it is easy to curb it at earlier stages later on it becomes difficult to curb its impact.
This is how, you can read your Chlamydia Test result without any doctor guideline. However, I would suggest you to consult doctor to get proper guideline.
Originally posted 2016-08-21 15:57:40.
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Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Chlamydia Test
Chlamydia testing enables diagnosis and treatment of the infection before it can cause serious health problems. If you are at risk for chlamydia due to your age and/or lifestyle, talk to your health care provider about getting tested.
- Being in a long-term relationship with one partner who has tested negative for STDs
- Using condoms correctly every time you have sex
How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
If youve had intercourse with an infected man or woman, chlamydia symptoms may appear between 1 3 weeks after contact.
However, you may still be asymptomatic after a chlamydia infection. This is because chlamydia can be silent or dormant for months and years without showing symptoms.
In men, about 50 70 percent will show symptoms of chlamydia while only 30 50 percent of women will be symptomatic. Absent symptoms of chlamydia do not mean absent infection. You should take chlamydia test to confirm if you have the infection or not.
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Should I Be Concerned About Syphilis
Most cases of syphilis in the United States are among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men . Syphilis also has increased nearly every year among MSM, for about two decades. If syphilis is not treated, it can cause serious health problems, including neuralgic problems, eye problems, and even blindness. In addition, syphilis is linked to an increased risk of transmission of HIV infection.
Do I Need To Get Tested Even Without Symptoms
If you are sexually active you should still get tested for chlamydia regularly even if you dont have symptoms. Passing on chlamydia can make any relationship or sexual encounter extremely awkward and can also have serious repercussions for the other persons health.
Even without symptoms chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women which can seriously hard reproductive health. It can also cause fertility problems for men. Testing regularly is the most straightforward way to protect both your health and the health of your future sexual partners.
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Who To Test For Chlamydia
Anyone with the following genital symptoms should not have sex until they see a healthcare provider:
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Unusual sores, or a rash
Because chlamydia usually has no symptoms, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs can reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25. CDC also recommends screening for older women with risk factors, such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Screen and treat those who are pregnant as noted in How does chlamydia affect a pregnant person and their baby? Women who are sexually active should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not necessary for men. However, consider screening sexually active young men in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia. This can include adolescent clinics, correctional facilities, and STD clinics. Consider this when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.40
At the initial HIV care visit, providers should test all sexually active people for chlamydia. Test at least each year during HIV care. A patients healthcare provider might determine more frequent screening is necessary, based on the patients risk factors.42
Benefits Of Early Detection And Treatment
If you think you may have an STD, its important to stop engaging in sexual activity and seek treatment. Early detection and treatment of STDs plays an important role in stopping the transmission of STDs between yourself, your sexual partners, and their sexual partners. In some cases, it can even save your life.
Some of the potential risks of untreated STDs include:
- pregnancy and birth-related risks, from untreated bacterial STDs, HIV, and hepatitis B
- organ damage, dementia, paralysis, or death, from untreated syphilis
Taking care of your sexual health is important. Not everyone will voluntarily disclose their STD status to you. You can take control of your sexual health by asking questions, screening new sexual partners, and having open and honest discussions about sexually transmitted diseases.
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How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing Years Or Months
How long can you have chlamydia without knowing is a common question after an unprotected sexual contact.
What is chlamydia infection?
Chlamydia infection, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. In the united stated, more than 1.4 million new cases of chlamydia are detected yearly.
In women, chlamydia infection can ascend up the genital tracts resulting to pelvic inflammatory disease with symptoms like fever, abdomen pain and difficulty conceiving.
Chlamydia trachomatis infection is transmitted through
If youve had intercourse with these symptoms, then its likely you have chlamydia. You should inform your doctor ASAP or get a chlamydia test kit to detect chlamydia.
How Common Herpes Really Is
Enough people have herpes to make it a totally commonplace infection, even though we may not treat it as one.
Nearly 48 percent of people aged 14 to 49 in the United States were estimated to have HSV-1 between 2015 and 2016, according to the most recent data from the CDC. This high prevalence makes sense because many people actually get the virus from nonsexual contact as children, the CDC explains. This can happen when a parent greets a child with a kiss on the mouth or while a kid is playing with other little ones, since children arent exactly known for their respect of personal space. Remember: HSV-1 often presents as cold sores, but its possible that some people with HSV-1 actually have genital herpes.
So, about genital herpes. You may have heard that one in six people has this infection. Thats a little bit of an outdated figure, Christine Johnston, M.D., an associate professor and herpes researcher at the University of Washington School of Medicine, tells SELF. That number is related to national survey data released by the CDC in 2010 and based on the years 2005 through 2008. This nationally representative research, published in the CDCs 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , tested peoples blood samples for antibodies of HSV-1 and HSV-2, estimating that 16.2 percent of Americans aged 14 to 49 had HSV-2 between the years 2005 and 2008. Thats around one in six.
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