How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
Chlamydia is sometimes called a silent infection because the majority of people who have chlamydia regardless of gender never notice symptoms. People who do notice symptoms often dont recognize the signs that they have chlamydia until a few weeks after theyve been infected. Because chlamydia cases are often asymptomatic, its easy to spread chlamydia to someone else without realizing it. And its easy to miss out on receiving the treatment needed to prevent the serious complications that can result from chlamydia.
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.
Letting Partners Know You Have Chlamydia
Sexual partners may be infected too. If you have chlamydia, anyone you have had sex with from the last 6 months needs to be informed, tested and treated.
If they dont know, they could reinfect you or infect someone else if they are not treated. dont receive treatment.
Most people will appreciate being told they may have an infection and it is an important step in preventing further infection in the community.
Your local GP and sexual health centre can help you inform your partners and let them know that they need a test. This process is called partner notification. It can be done anonymously, and your confidentiality is always respected.
You can also anonymously notify your sexual partners of the need to get tested and treated for chlamydia via the Let Them Know website if you feel unable to speak to them personally.
There are also nurses who can help you anonymously notify your partners. They can be contacted on .
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Nucleic Acid Amplification Test
The most common test for chlamydia, this is a simple, non-invasive test during which you collect a swab or urine sample yourself . A doctor can assist in taking a swab if you prefer.
The sample is then sent to be tested to see if there is genetic material that indicates the presence of chlamydia bacteria. Results come back quicker than the traditional culture test.
Youre Not Immune To Chlamydia Once Youve Had It
Once youve had some diseases, you cant catch them again. Unfortunately, this isnt true for chlamydia. Repeat chlamydia infections are common.
If youve had chlamydia in the past, you have no immunity against the infection. If youre sexually active with somebody who has the infection, you could catch it again. Since reinfection is common, you should get tested for chlamydia about three months after being treated for the infection.
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What Is The Dosage Of Azithromycin For Chlamydia
The recommended dosage of azithromycin for chlamydia is 1 gram as a single dose. This dose may be taken morning or night and can be taken with or without food. Another name for azithromycin is Zithromax.
If you have taken your dose of azithromycin on an empty stomach and your stomach has become a bit upset or you feel sick, it is Ok to eat some food, which may help to settle it.
A 500mg dose of azithromycin is not recommended by guidelines to cure chlamydia. There is also a chance it may increase the risk of C. trachomatis bacteria becoming resistant to it. If you have only taken or only been prescribed a 500mg dose of azithromycin, you need to return to your doctor to get a 1 gram dose prescribed. You should never share your dose of azithromycin with another person.
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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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.
How To Tell Your Partner You Have Chlamydia
The first thing you need to do when your test comes back positive is to tell your partner. Your sexual partner should know about the infection so that they too can be tested and treated. If you dont tell them about your condition, youre risking getting reinfected.
Here are some tips for handling the conversation:
- Educate yourself about the STD youve contracted so you can thoroughly explain to your partner what exactly you have, the treatment, and how you plan on keeping them safe.
- Inform your current or most recent sexual partner about a positive STD test by telling them face-to-face, or by calling them. Sending them a message is not the most respectful way.
- When telling them the news, stay calm and collected. Sit them down and tell them youve been tested. Tell them that the results are positive and discuss the next steps.
- Make sure you keep your partner from getting infected. Use condoms at all times, take antibiotics, and abstain from intercourse during your treatment.
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How Common Are These Stds In General How Common Are The Antibiotic
The CDC estimates there are 820,000 cases of gonorrhea in the United States each year. Klausner says that less than 1% fail to respond to the currently recommended treatment. However, he says, resistance to older, less expensive antibiotics is much higher.
Chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States, with nearly 3 million cases occurring annually. So far, no treatment-resistant cases have been reported.
In 2019, nearly 130,000 cases of syphilis were reported in the U.S., with the most infectious types increasing 11% from 2018 to 2019, according to CDC statistics.
The numbers for these three STDs, which are the most common, are at a record high, according to the CDC.
âWeâre absolutely seeing an increase in overall rates of STDs, particularly in younger patients,â says Englund. âHalf of cases are diagnosed in patients aged 15 to 24.â
Does Your Partner Need To Get Treated Too
If you have a sexual partner, or if youve recently had sex with someone, talk with them about your chlamydia diagnosis. Theyll need to get tested and treated, too.
If your sexual partner doesnt seek treatment, theres a risk that they can transmit it back to you, even after your infection has been cured.
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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.
Can Chlamydia Kill You
As already mentioned before, this infection won`t cause any issues if treated right away. However, if it`s left untreated, it may lead to severe problems, especially when talking about women:
- It the infection spreads, it may cause PID. This severe medical condition might make it difficult or even impossible for a woman to conceive.
- Expecting mothers who experience this infection frequently pass it to their own future babies during delivery. If the condition gets in the eyes of the child, it may lead to blindness. Babies can have other issues, such as pneumonia, which can become deadly in a infant.
- Having this particular infection makes anyone a lot more likely in getting HIV from other persons who are infected with HIV. This virus causes AIDS.
What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be easily 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 sexual activity for 7 days after single dose antibiotics or until completion of a 7-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners. It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure chlamydia. Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. If a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a womans 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.
Infants infected with chlamydia may develop ophthalmia neonatorum and/or pneumonia. Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
What’s The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. If you take the treatment according to instructions, its over 95% effective at treating chlamydia.
- Youll be given a course of antibiotics for 3 or 7 days or sometimes up to two weeks.
- If theres a high chance you have chlamydia, treatment may be started before the results of the test are back. Youll always be given treatment if a sexual partner is found to have chlamydia.
- You may also need other treatment if complications have occurred.
- Tell the doctor or nurse if youre pregnant, or think you might be, or youre breastfeeding. This may affect the type of antibiotic youre given.
- Complementary therapies cant cure chlamydia.
Can You Prevent Chlamydia
You can lower your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs by:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal, oral or anal sex
- not having sex with someone with chlamydia, even with a condom, until theyve finished treatment and 1 week has passed since their last dose of antibiotics
- regularly getting tested for STIs, especially if you are under 30 and sexually active
Remember that most people with chlamydia dont show any symptoms and dont know they have it, so feeling ‘well’ does not mean that you or your partner are not infected. If in doubt, get tested.
If you have chlamydia, you can help reduce the spread by letting your recent sexual partners know so they can get tested and treated.
Chlamydia Can Harm Your Pregnancy Or Reproductive Health
Can chlamydia harm your unborn baby or your future reproductive health? Many people will say no, but thats not true. The infection can cause complications for both pregnancy and fertility.
Chlamydia can cause many complications for pregnant women and their babies. When the infection is left untreated, it can cause preterm delivery. Babies who are born prematurely can have problems with their lungs, hearts, or brains. The infection can spread to the baby, resulting in pneumonia, eye infections, and other complications. Due to these risks, pregnant women are routinely screened for chlamydia.
Chlamydia can cause many complications for pregnant women and their babies. When the infection is left untreated, it can cause preterm delivery.
Chlamydia can also cause complications for women who want to get pregnant. If untreated chlamydia spreads to other parts of the reproductive system, like the uterus, those tissues can be damaged. This can cause infertility. Damage to the uterine tubes could also result in an ectopic pregnancy. This means a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, usually inside the uterine tube. These pregnancies arent sustainable and may put the mothers life at risk.
There are many myths that are circulating about this common sexually transmitted infection. If youre concerned about chlamydia, see your doctor to get tested.
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Does Azithromycin Cure Chlamydia
Cure rates of 97% were reported in an analysis of 12 randomized clinical trials that investigated the use of azithromycin 1 gram for the treatment of chlamydia. That means for every 100 people with chlamydia who take azithromycin, 97 will be cured and 3 will not be cured.
This relies on the person with chlamydia taking azithromycin exactly as directed and not sharing the medication with anyone. Any sexual partners must be also treated.
Although azithromycin cures chlamydia in most people, it will not repair any permanent damage done to tissues by the disease.
If you have been symptomatic with chlamydia before treatment and your symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, then ask to be re-evaluated by your health care provider.
Unfortunately, repeat infection with chlamydia is common. This means that even though azithromycin has cured your current infection with chlamydia, this does not mean you will not get chlamydia again. If your sexual partners have not been appropriately treated, you are at high-risk for reinfection. Having chlamydia multiple times puts women at high risk of fertility problems, ectopic pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Infants born to mothers who are infected with chlamydia may develop chlamydial conjunctivitis and/or pneumonia. Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
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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Can You Cure Mouth Chlamydia
Yes you can chlamydia in the mouth, just as at other sites of the body, can be treated and completely removed with a simple course of antibiotics. However, its important to follow your treatment regime properly to ensure the infection is removed. Also, treatment only removes existing infections and wont protect you from future infection.
Does oral chlamydia go away on its own? if chlamydia is untreated, it is thought that up to 50% of people will clear the infection themselves within 12 months. However, in the remainder of people who dont clear the infection, a chronic chlamydial infection becomes established, and in the longer term this can result in serious negative medical outcomes.
How does oral chlamydia treatment work? the first choice antibiotic for chlamydia is the antibiotic doxycycline 100mg taken twice a day by mouth for 7 days (this should not be used in pregnancy.
Make sure you use treatment correctly it is important that you:
- Take all the antibiotics as instructed dont miss any out
- Do not have sex on treatment or for 7 days afterwards, not even oral sex or sex with a condom
- Your current/most recent partners should be tested, and treated as they are contacts
- Attend a sexual health clinic for a full STI screen
Do I need another test after treatment? usually no, except in the following situations:
- You have to be treated with a different antibiotic to the 2 standard treatments, e.g. erythromycin
- You have rectal chlamydia as well
- You are pregnant