How Do You Get Rid Of Chlamydia?
Chlamydia trachomatis is a sexually transmitted disease (STI) that many people don't realise they have, though there are some key symptoms that can indicate the presence of this dangerous bacteria. It's simple to get rid of chlamydia, and we'll explore how in this article.
Chlamydia is passed on through sexual activity and is most prevalent in people under the age of 25. It is also common in people who have unprotected sex with multiple partners. If you fit these categories, you and your sexual partner should get tested for the infection regularly. In addition, you can test for chlamydia health problems with home testing kits.
What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that's passed from one sexual partner to another during unprotected sex. Bacteria are single-celled microbes that inhabit your body; some of them are beneficial, such as probiotics that help with digestion; other infections pose a threat to your body, such as chlamydia.
The disease affects both males and females. Although sexually transmitted infections like this are do not always have overt symptoms, they can lead to fertility issues. In females, the disease can cause damage to the fallopian tubes. This damage is permanent and can lead to infertility - but the disease is often difficult to detect.
Chlamydia also affects the fertility of men. It attacks sperm causing permanent damage - DNA fragmentation - that also leads to infertility. The disease is a very common sexually transmitted infection in the UK. It mostly affects those under 25 who are sexually active.
Chlamydia Treatments for Men
If you're a man and you test positive, the first thing you need to do is stop having sex and contact your sexual partners. You will then have to explain that they need to get tested as well. Your treatment to cure chlamydia will commence immediately in the form of antibiotics.
Antibiotics are an effective way to treat chlamydia; the antibiotics most commonly used are azithromycin and doxycycline. These antibiotics can be issued as a single dose or prescribed in smaller doses over 7 days. While on them, you should refrain from having sex until the treatment is complete.
Always follow the directions of the treatment explained by your medical advisor. It's important to take antibiotics to avoid side effects and the resistance to antibiotics in the general population. Treatment for chlamydia is mostly the same for both males and females.
Chlamydia Treatments for Women
The treatment for chlamydia in women is much the same as that for men, but the symptoms and outcomes are different. If you're a woman and you get chlamydia, you should also contact all of your recent sex partners - and anyone you've had sex with within the last 60 days.
Women will also be treated for chlamydia with antibiotics called azithromycin and doxycycline. While treatment is ongoing, it is still possible to spread chlamydia, so you must avoid all sexual activity until the course is complete. You may need to be re-tested again in 3 months.
There is also a chance the disease can be passed on to a newborn infant during pregnancy. As the child moves through the birth canal, it can contract the disease and develop eye infections and pneumonia symptoms. Therefore, it's important to get a chlamydia test when pregnant.
How is Chlamydia Spread?
Chlamydia is transmitted from one partner to another through fluids during sex. It is only sexual activity that spreads the disease; you can't catch it through kissing.
Chlamydia is an infection that lives in the fluids you transfer during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. It can also be spread by sharing sex toys.
If you have unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex, you will be at risk of contracting chlamydia if your sexual partner has the disease. Even if your sexual partner doesn't ejaculate, the disease can still be transferred.
If you have fluid on your hand or sex toys and touch your eyes, you can also get chlamydia.
Chlamydia is not spread in non-sexual ways. For example, it is not spread through touching, kissing, coughing, or sitting on a toilet seat. However, if you are pregnant and have chlamydia, the disease can be passed onto your baby during birth.
Therefore, it is important to take a repeat test if you have unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
How Long Does Chlamydia Treatment Take?
If you have chlamydia, your medical professional will put you on a course of antibiotics for 7 days. However, you will still be infectious during this time, and you should avoid sexual activity completely.
You will also be infectious for up to two weeks after the treatment and should avoid sex.
You can start having sex again following the 7 days or 21-day treatment using doxycycline. Depending on your condition, your medical professional might ask you to return in 3 months for a check-up in case of any complications.
How Do You Know if Chlamydia is Gone After Treatment?
The antibiotics azithromycin and doxycycline are very effective against chlamydia. Following a 7-day course or a 21-day course, you will not have to test for the infection again - it will be gone.
But, if you are under 25 and sexually active, you might be invited back after 3 months to re-test.
How Can I Reduce My Risk of Getting Chlamydia?
The best way to avoid picking up this sexually transmitted infection is to avoid having sex completely.
For most people, this is unrealistic. The second best way to avoid infection is to check that your sexual partners have tested negative and test frequently.
If you have sex with more than one partner and wear suitable protection such as a latex condom or dental dams, you significantly reduce your chances of catching chlamydia.
However, you will not eliminate the risks; even with protection, there is a chance you will catch chlamydia.
If you decide to have sex with a different partner, ask them when was their last sexual health check up? With iPlaySafe, you can get your STI test results in the form of a 'play badge' to share with potential new partners! Make sure they have theirs ready too.
You can also wear a condom to prevent the risk of STIs, and ensure that it's used in the correct way. Check the expiration date of the condom and make sure there is no excess air in it when putting it on. After sex, hold the end of the condom before pulling it out and dispose of it safely.
Will my Doctor Help me Get Tested for Chlamydia?
If you have symptoms that you think might be chlamydia, you can contact your doctor for advice, diagnosis or treatment. Chances are your doctor will refer you to a sexual health clinic, but they might offer you a test in the surgery.
iPlaySafe offer quick and easy at-home STI testing services with an integrated app. Your results will be sent to you within 2-5 days of returning your test to our laboratory (in the pre-paid envelope provided).
In the UK, the largest demographic affected are sexually active people under the age of 25. If you're in this category, you should get tested regularly.
Is chlamydia only transmitted through sex?
For the most part, yes! Chlamydia is an infection passed on through sexual fluids; this tends to be vaginal fluid and penis semen shared during unprotected sex. Chlamydia is not transferred by kissing or holding hands, but by sharing unwashed sex toys, you can catch it.
You might also contract the disease if your genitals contact the genitals of an infected person, even if there is no penetration. Infected fluid can also get into the eyes and cause infection.
What is the result of untreated chlamydia?
Apart from the obvious pain symptoms, chlamydia infections can cause infertility in both men and women.
In women, the infection eventually spreads to the reproductive system causing complications. In addition, it damages sperm in sexually active men.
What are the symptoms of chlamydia?
Chlamydia symptoms present differently in females and males. Most people experience little or no symptoms, but there are some signs that you might have the disease and might want to get tested for chlamydia.
Symptoms of chlamydia in women
Even if you don't have symptoms, it's still a good idea to get a regular chlamydia test if you have unprotected sex since 70% of women don't know they have it.
The symptoms take several weeks to show after contracting the disease. That's if they show up at all; unfortunately, the disease can be difficult to detect, especially if it's mild.
- Some pain during sex
- Pain in the stomach or pelvis
- Some pain when urinating
- Vaginal discharge
- Bleeding after sex
- Bleeding between periods
However mild, if you notice any of these symptoms, you should go to your doctor or a sexual health information clinic for advice or a chlamydia test.
When left untreated, chlamydia moves into the cervix and causes a condition known as a pelvic inflammatory disease. This condition can ultimately lead to infertility.
Symptoms of chlamydia in men
Chlamydia is often seen as a more dangerous STIS for females than for males. However, chlamydia can also lead to male infertility. As with females, the symptoms of chlamydia are mostly invisible, but there are some signs for men that they might have the disease. These include:
- Cloudy discharge from the penis
- Pain in the urethra
- Pain in the penis when urinating
- A burning or itching penis
- Swelling testicles
- Uncommon discharge from the anus
- Pain in the eyes
If you discover some of these symptoms, you shouldn't ignore them or dismiss them; they might not be symptoms of chlamydia, but if they are, it puts you and your partner at risk of infertility.
Contact your medical professional or take a home chlamydia test, then contact your sexual partners.