The World of Pregnancy

How Long Does It Take For Chlamydia To Clear Up?

How long does it take for Chlamydia to clear up? Can you have Chlamydia for years and not know it? These are questions that give headache to a lot of women at some point in their lives.How Long Does It Take For Chlamydia To Clear Up

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection with the Chlamydia infectious agent, which is transmitted through sexual contact. It`s among the most common STDs in the world. Chlamydia infects the urethra in men and the cervix, urethra and superior reproductive organs in women. Chlamydia can also infect the rectum, eye surface and eyelids.

An infected mother can transmit the infection to her baby during childbirth. Between 50% and 70% of infants are born from infected mothers. They acquire the infection in the eyes, rectum, vagina and the back of the throat. Between 30% and 40% of these infected neonates develop complications, like conjunctivitis or pneumonia.

Chlamydia increases the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, in case of exposure.

Causes

Chlamydia is an infection caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. It`s transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sexual contact with an infected partner. A pregnant woman transmits the infection to the newborn during birth. The infection can be present even if there are no symptoms and can also be transmitted until it`s treated.

Regarding the question “Can you get Chlamydia if you use a condom?” – Abstinence is the only 100% safe method of avoiding a bacterial infection. If you want to lower your chances of getting this infection, you should opt for a polyurethane condom when doing vaginal or anal sex (even oral sex). This is basically because no condom is 100% safe. As already mentioned, they lower the risk of getting bacterial infections.

Risk Factors

The risk factors of Chlamydia include:

  • Unprotected sexual contact.
  • More than one sexual partner.
  • One or more high-risk partners. These include those who have more than one sex partner with Chlamydia.
  • The beginning of sexual life before the age of 18.
  • A weakened immune system.

Any child with clamidiasis needs to consult a specialist to determine the cause and investigate possible sexual abuse.

Read more on Which of the Following STDs Can Be Treated with Antibiotics!

Symptoms

Up to 90% of women and men with clamidiasis have no symptoms whatsoever.

The time period between the infection and the onset of symptoms, also known as the incubation period, might be from days to months. The symptoms usually start 1 – 3 weeks after the infected sexual contact.

Symptoms in women include:

  • Dysuria (arches or pain in urination).
  • Cloudy urine.
  • Abnormal vaginal loss.
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding between menstrual cycles.
  • Genital pruritus (itching).
  • Dysmenorrhea (irregular menstrual bleeding).
  • Low abdominal pain.
  • Fever and fatigue.
  • Inflammation of the bartolin glands (glands at the opening of the vagina).
  • Conjunctivitis.

Symptoms in men include:

  • Dysuria or feelling unpleasant during urination (it`s often the first symptom).
  • Cloudy urine.
  • Aqueous or viscous secretions of the penis.
  • Scratches on the head of the penis.
  • Sensitivity of the anus or scrotum.
  • Conjunctivitis.

Pathophysiological Mechanism

Chlamydia doesn`t cause long-term damage if treated prior to the complications. Untreated, clamidiasis can cause multiple complications, especially in women. If a woman was infected at the time of birth, the newborn may be infected as well.

A treated clamidiasis doesn`t protect against new reinfection. A new exposure causes reinfection even if the previous infection has been treated and healed.

The infection with Chlamydia increases the risk of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) when exposed to this virus.

Specialized Consultation

Emergency medical advice is recommended in case of the following symptoms:

In Women

  • Severe pain with sudden onset in the lower abdomen.
  • Low abdominal pain associated with vaginal bleeding or vaginal discharge and fever of 37. 8° C or more.
  • Dysuria, frequent urination or inability to urinate, and fever of 37.8° C or more.

In Men

  • Secretions from the penis and fever of 37.8° C or more.
  • Dysuria, frequent urination or inability to urinate, and fever of 37.8° C or more.
  • Pain, swelling or scrotum sensitivity and fever of 37.8° C or more.

Medical advice is recommended in case of the following symptoms:

In Women

  • Yellowish, thick vaginal discharges with bad odor.
  • Intermenstrual bleeding that occurs more than once then the menstrual cycles are irregular.
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse or showering.
  • Swelling, nodules, itching, bruising around the genital or anal area.
  • Burns, pain or itching when urinating, or increased urinary frequency lasting more than 24 hours.
  • Low abdominal or pleural pain without a clear cause, like diarrhea or menstrual cramps.

In Men

  • Swelling, nodules, itching around the genital or anal area.
  • Burns, pain or itching when urinating, or increased urinary frequency lasting more than 24 hours.
  • Abnormal secretions from the penis.

Also, it`s advisable to consult a specialist if it was an exposure to STDs.

You may want to read How to Get Rid of Scabies Naturally?

Recommended Doctors

The physicians who can diagnose clamidiasis are:

  • Family doctors.
  • Internists.
  • Gynecologists.
  • Dermatologists.

Diagnosis and treatment for clamidiasis aren`t expensive, and are usually available to family doctors.

Some people don`t feel comfortable consulting their family doctor for a STD. Most developed countries have clinics or specialized and confidential hospitals for the diagnosis and treatment of Chlamydia infection. However, it`s good for the family doctor to know about the illness, so that he can adequately address subsequent care.

Investigations

Chlamydia infection is diagnosed through medical history, physical examination and certain tests. During the medical history, the doctor may ask the following questions:

  1. Do you think you have been exposed to a STD? How do you know? Did you tell your partner about this?
  2. What are your symptoms?
  3. Do you have an abnormal discharge? In case of an affirmative answer, the color and odor must be mentioned.
  4. Have you found bumps around the genital area or any other area of the body?
  5. Do you have urinary symptoms, including frequent urination, burning or stinging urine or urinating in small amounts?
  6. Do you have pelvic pain or cramps during sex?
  7. What method of contraception do you use? Do you use a condom to protect from STDs?
  8. Do you or your sexual partner have risky sexual activities?
  9. Have you ever suffered from any previous STD? Was the disease treated?

Once the medical history has been completed, the following must be done:

  • A gynecological examination for women.
  • A urological (for urethritis or epididymitis) examination for men. – More info!
  • An urine test for Chlamydia, if there`s no reason to do gynecological or urological examinations.

There are several types of tests that can be done to diagnose Chlamydia infection. Test results are usually available in 2 or 3 days, except cultures which require between 5 and 7 days.

If associated with Chlamydia, other infections may occur. Testing is recommended for:

Diagnosis

An annual screening of all teenagers and women up to the age of 25 is recommended. Women over 25 years of age who have sex behaviors at risk should also be mentioned every year. At least one urine test should be performed for Chlamydia (if available!), even if a full genital or pelvic examination isn`t performed.

It`s recommended to test pregnant women with risky sexual behavior, in order not to transmit the infection to the newborn. All pregnant women should be monitored during the first trimester of pregnancy. If a pregnant woman is at risk for Chlamydia infection, it should be retested in the third trimester.

It`s also recommended to retest after 4 – 6 months after the end of treatment. Women can infect again if they have sexual contacts with the same partner or partners.

Watchful Waiting

The vigilante expectancy period is the time when the person in question and the specialist doctor should see the disease or symptoms without medical treatment. The vigilante expectancy period isn`t appropriate for Chlamydia. This infection doesn`t cause long-term damage if treated prior to complications. If left untreated, it can lead to multiple complications. It`s advisable to avoid sexual contact before consulting a specialist.

If exposure to Chlamydia is known, both sex partners should be treated. The treatment should be done even in the absence of complications for safety reasons. All sex partners in the last 60 days must be declared and notified. If there has no sexual intercourse in the last 60 days, the last sexual partner should be contacted.

Treatment

Chalmydia infection can be cured with antibiotics. This disease doesn`t cause long-term damage if treated accordingly before complication occur. However, it may cause various complications if left untreated.

Treatment is recommended:

  • People who received positive Chlamydia test results.
  • Sexual partners in the last 60 days, even if they don`t show any symptoms.
  • Newborns from infected mothers at birth.

It`s essential to avoid sexual contact for days after the end of treatment for Chlamydia.

If the sexual partner isn`t treated concomitantly, reinfection occurs. The treatment of the partner or sexual partners should also be encouraged. Condoms are recommended to reduce the chances of reinfection.

Regarding the questions “Can you get Chlamydia if you use a condom?” – Abstinence is the only 100% safe method of avoiding a bacterial infection. If you want to lower your chances of getting this infection, you should opt for a polyurethane condom when doing vaginal or anal sex (even oral sex). This is basically because no condom is 100% safe. As already mentioned, they lower the risk of getting bacterial infections.

To Remember

Some people who have Chlamydia infection might also have gonorrhea. In these cases, the treatment includes antibiotics that heal both Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections.

Reinfection is possible – any symptom that continues after the treatment is probably caused by a more intense reinfection than the treatment`s ineffectiveness. To prevent reinfection, sex partners should be evaluated and treated if necessary.

Repeated cluster infections increase the risk for sexually inflammatory disease. Even a single infection can lead to sexual inflammatory disease if it`s not properly treated. The medical prescriptions of antibiotics recommended by the doctor should be followed correctly. The treatment must be followed completely, even if the symptoms improve after a few days.

It`s recommended to retest after 3 or 4 months after treatment, to reduce the risk of complications of reinfection.

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