Special Cases: Chlamydia In Infants And Hiv
Newborn infants are also at risk for chlamydial infections if their mother has an untreated infection at the time of delivery. Newborn infants can contract chlamydia trachomatis as they travel through the birth canal and develop eye infections or pneumonia . For this reason, chlamydia testing should be routine during pregnancy.
Having an STI, like chlamydia, can also increase your chances of contracting HIV if you are exposed it to it, or spreading HIV if you are already infected . If you think you have chlamydia, or any STI, it is important for you to seek help immediately from your healthcare provider or an STI clinic. Many clinics provide free or low-cost STI testing. This will all help keep you, your sexual partners, and your community healthy.
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How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is transmitted by sexual contact with the penis, vagina, anus and/or rectal area, and mouth of the infected individual. Occasionally, if the eyes are infected, ocular secretions may contain transmissible bacteria. The organisms are simply transmitted by contact, usually by direct physical contact. Chlamydia bacteria are easily spread. They spread from females to males and vice versa through sexual contact.
Who Can And Cant Take Doxycycline
Doxycycline can be taken by adults and children over 12 years old. Doxycycline is not usually recommended in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
It isnt suitable for some people. To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- ever had an allergic reaction to doxycycline or any other medicine in the past
- kidney problems
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What If I Don’t Get It Treated
If chlamydia is left untreated it can become a serious threat to your health.
Chlamydia can spread from your cervix to your uterus and fallopian tubes. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease , which can damage and block your tubes. You may not be able to get pregnant if both tubes are blocked because sperm are unable to reach the egg. If you have had PID you are more at risk of having an ectopic pregnancy or long-term pelvic pain.
Chlamydia can spread from your penis to your testicles and cause painful swelling. You can become infertile.
Chlamydia Symptoms In Women:
In certain situations, chlamydia can be even more serious for women. Symptoms are often mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. However, health complications for women who have untreated chlamydia can be quite serious, including infertility.
Here are the most common symptoms:
- A burning sensation while urinating
- An abnormal vaginal discharge that may have an odor
- Pain during sexual intercourse
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Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can give the infection to your baby during delivery. This can cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your baby. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby early.
If you are pregnant, you should receive testing for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting the correct examination, testing, and treatment. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.
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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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.
What Is Sti Prophylaxis
One approach would be to take a daily dose of the antibiotic this would be considered pre-exposure prophylaxis , meaning that there may be enough of the antibiotic in the body before exposure occurs. Another way would be to take a dose soon after sex. In this case, the antibiotic would work as a form of post-exposure prophylaxis preventing bacterial growth and making it less likely for exposure to lead to infection.
This factsheet focuses specifically on using antibiotics to prevent bacterial STIs, which is still an experimental technique. It is not to be confused with HIV PrEP and PEP, which are effective forms of preventing HIV, as outlined below.
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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.
Chlamydia Can Live In Your Gut And Reinfect You After Youre Cured
Doctors have known that chlamydia can reappear, but until now theyve been stumped as to how exactly it happens
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. Thankfully, its also curable. But new research suggests that for some people, curing chlamydia doesnt prevent reinfection, even if theyre not exposed to it again. Apparently the disease can live inside your gut, and reinfect you out of the blue.
Apparently doctors have known that chlamydia can reappear in cured patients for about 80 years, but theyve been stumped as to how exactly it happens. This study points out that, in many animals, chlamydia has been found to live in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, if gastrointestinal infection occurs in most hosts, the authors write, then it is very likely that gastrointestinal infection occurs in humans as well.
The study in question doesnt actually test this theory on any human beings. Instead it looks at data in animal models about reinfection, and the failure of certain drugs to treat chlamydia when it lives in the gut. From there, they propose that women who are infected with chlamydia could see the same kind of issues: the drugs theyre given might cure the disease genitally, but not gastrointestinally, leaving the bug to live inside waiting for the right time to strike.
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Can Amoxicillin Cure Std Super Infections
So far, weve been talking about the standard, run-of-the-mill case of STDs thats common in millions of people. Unfortunately, there is a new common threat. The World Health Organization recently reported that certain STDs, including gonorrhea, has been growing more resilient to the antibiotics weve been discussing, such as amoxicillin, which are usually used to eradicate it.
One of the likely causes of this advanced super gonorrhea is the fact that people often dont finish their antibiotics. Will Amoxicillin Cure Gonorrhea? Sure, most of the time. But you need to complete your medication, even if your symptoms seem to disappear. Stopping too early can allow bacteria to continue to grow and mutate. This can result in the infection coming back, or becoming far more dangerous.
This new super gonorrhea is much harder to stop. In some severe cases, it is incurable. Most bacteria will eventually evolve, developing resistances against specific antibiotics over time. Unfortunately, that includes amoxicillin. So while amoxicillin can currently usually treat gonorrhea, it will become less effective against strains of super gonorrhea in the future.
What Should You Do If You Test Positive For Chlamydia Or Gonorrhea
Testing positive for gonorrhea or chlamydia is a nerve-wracking experience, but its important to stay calm. If you test positive for either STD, seek medical treatment right away. If your symptoms do not improve after taking the prescribed antibiotics, make sure to contact your doctor to discuss other treatment options so you can avoid these serious complications.
Be sure to get tested again once you have completed the full course of antibiotics. Taking another test will help you confirm that the treatment was successful. If you are still testing positive for either gonorrhea or chlamydia after completing your treatment, contact your doctor to discuss your next steps.
You will also need to reach out to your sexual partners as soon as possible after testing positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea. Share your test results with your sexual partners and encourage them to get tested right away. This may be an uncomfortable conversation, but you shouldnt put it off. Telling your sexual partners about your test results right away is the only way to stop the spread of chlamydia and gonorrhea.
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.
Azithromycin Vs Doxycycline For Chlamydia
Azithromycin and doxycycline are the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat chlamydia.
While azithromycin is prescribed in a single, one-gram dose taken orally, doxycycline is typically prescribed in a 100-milligram dose taken orally twice a day for seven days.
A 2014 meta analysis of 23 studies found that doxycycline had a slightly higher efficacy compared with azithromycin.
However, other research suggests that treatment with a single oral dose of azithromycin appears to be as safe and efficacious as a seven-day course of doxycycline for the treatment of uncomplicated genital chlamydial infection.
Talk to your healthcare provider about which medication is best for you.
How Do People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia can spread when you have unprotected sexual contact with someone who already has the infection. This means vaginal, oral or anal sex without using a condom.
Transmission occurs because the bacteria that cause chlamydia live and grow in the fluids that are secreted during sexual activity. If you have chlamydia, there is a 30% to 50% chance of your partner catching it every time you have unprotected sex.
Since chlamydia often has no symptoms, you probably wont know whether your partner has it.
Chlamydia cant spread from toilets, swimming pools or usual contact with people. It only spreads through the sharing of genital fluids.
Newborn babies, however, can get chlamydia through their mother during childbirth.
Chlamydia infections can live in the nose, genitals or rectum for more than 2 years.
How Do I Take Doxycycline
Take two doses a day for one week. Gullet irritation is a risk with doxycycline. To avoid this swallow the capsules whole, taking them with water. This ensures they go straight into the stomach without sticking in the gullet. Taking them whilst upright, sitting or standing, will also help. For this reason donât take doxycycline just before bed.
There is evidence that unlike some other tetracycline antibiotics, doxycycline absorption is not significantly slowed when taken with a meal. If nausea and tummy upset is a problem when taken on an empty stomach, the advice is to take with food.
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How To Get Rid Of Chlamydia
If you are wondering how to cure chlamydia, the first step is to receive a diagnosis from a doctor after you get a lab test. If you test positive for chlamydia, you can get rid of the infection by taking a course of antibiotics prescribed by your physician. Chlamydia treatment for men and women primarily involves taking antibiotics.
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How Are The Tests Done
To collect the body fluid the procedure differs in men and women:
- For men: The doctor will insert a swab into the opening of the rectum or the urethra to collect a sample of the body fluid. A sample from the urethra will have higher possibility of the bacteria only if the man has not urinated for more than 2 hours before taking the sample.
- For women: The doctor will ask the woman to remove her clothes waist down and drape a cloth over herself. The doctor will raise your feet and support them high on stirrups to enable her to get a better view of your genitals. Next, a lubricated speculum camera will be inserted in to the vagina to enable a better view of the cervix as the speculum spreads the vaginal walls gently apart. Samples are then collected with the help of a cotton swab. This might cause mild discomfort.
- For eyes: The doctor will gently brush the upper and lower eyelids gently with a swab to get some fluid from the eyes. This can be painful if the eyelids have sores on them.
Different tests are prescribed for different people according to the need. It is suggested to get oneself checked early to rule out any further complications and prevent spreading the disease to others.
Can I Get Chlamydia Treatment Over The Counter
Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse
Tessa Chatham Registered Nurse
Tessa is a MSN prepared Registered Nurse with 10 years of critical care experience in healthcare. When not practicing clinical nursing, she enjoys academic writing and is passionate about helping those affected by medical aliments live healthy lives.
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Will I Need To Go Back To The Clinic
If you take your antibiotics correctly, you may not need to return to the clinic.
However, you will be advised to go back for another chlamydia test if:
- you had sex before you and your partner finished treatment
- you forgot to take your medication or didn’t take it properly
- your symptoms don’t go away
- you’re pregnant
If you’re under 25 years of age, you should be offered a repeat test for chlamydia 3 to 6 months after finishing your treatment because you’re at a higher risk of catching it again.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection
KARL E. MILLER, M.D., University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Am Fam Physician. 2006 Apr 15 73:1411-1416.
Chlamydia trachomatis infection most commonly affects the urogenital tract. In men, the infection usually is symptomatic, with dysuria and a discharge from the penis. Untreated chlamydial infection in men can spread to the epididymis. Most women with chlamydial infection have minimal or no symptoms, but some develop pelvic inflammatory disease. Chlamydial infection in newborns can cause ophthalmia neonatorum. Chlamydial pneumonia can occur at one to three months of age, manifesting as a protracted onset of staccato cough, usually without wheezing or fever. Treatment options for uncomplicated urogenital infections include a single 1-g dose of azithromycin orally, or doxycycline at a dosage of 100 mg orally twice per day for seven days. The recommended treatment during pregnancy is erythromycin base or amoxicillin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend screening for chlamydial infection in women at increased risk of infection and in all women younger than 25 years.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Azithromycin or doxycycline is recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated genitourinary chlamydial infection.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Azithromycin or doxycycline is recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated genitourinary chlamydial infection.
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Prevalence Of C Trachomatis And Association With Antibiotic Use
The overall prevalence of C. trachomatis was 10.8% , and recent antibiotic use was reported by 10.8% of patients who received C. trachomatis diagnoses. The association between antibiotic use and C. trachomatis differed between women, heterosexual men, and MSM . In univariate analyses, any recent antibiotic use was associated with a lower C. trachomatis prevalence in heterosexual men and in MSM but not in women . When adjusting for age and HIV status, the risk estimate for heterosexual men attenuated somewhat and became non-statistically significant however, the risk remained for MSM . After stratifying analyses of MSM by anatomic site, it appeared that the inverse association between antibiotic use and C. trachomatis was observed only for anorectal C. trachomatis in MSM and not for genital C. trachomatis in MSM or oral C. trachomatis in MSM .