The sexually transmitted infection of chlamydia is passed between people through sexual contact.
What Causes This STI?
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted through sex. Both men and women can have it and have no symptoms. That is the reason you can either contract or pass it on without even knowing it.
Your chances of becoming infected are higher if you
- Have unprotected sex
- Have more than one partner
- Have been infected with chlamydia before
After you become infected symptoms if you have any will usually appear in one to three weeks. Some of the symptoms that women have had are
- Pain in the lower back or abdomen
- Itching or burning
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse or in between your normal monthly cycle
- Sometimes nausea and a fever
If you have any of these symptoms you should see your doctor right away.
Exams And Tests
When you go to your health care provider he or she will collect a culture (a swab) or run a test called a nucleic acid amplification test.
In the past you would have to go to your doctor for a pelvic exam to collect a swab but now there accurate test that can be run on samples of urine or swabs that the woman has collected herself. Results usually take 1 to 2 days to come back, your health care provide may run other STD tests as well.
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics some of which are safe to take while you are pregnant. Some of the common side effects of these antibiotics are diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain. The two most common antibiotics used to treat chlamydia are azithromycin (single dose) and doxycycline (usually 2 a day for 7 to 10 days).
Once you test positive for chlamydia and are prescribed antibiotics you must finish the entire course even if you feel better. Your partner(s) should have been tested and given antibiotics as well if they were positive; again they need to finish their medication. This will prevent the two of you from passing it back and forth to each other.
Treatment for gonorrhea is often given at the same time since it frequently occurs at the same time as chlamydia.
Will You Be Ok After Treatment?
Antibiotic treatments will cure it 99% of the time especially if the treatment is followed precisely as directed by the health care provider by both partners.
If you still have symptoms after your antibiotic is finished, you need to return to the doctor. The doctor may want to retest you in 10 days to make sure it is gone.
Prevention with safe sex practices, monogamous relationships, and yearly exams are the best way to deal with chlamydia. In order to keep from getting re-infected, both partners must be tested and treated. If properly treated you can be cured, but if you do not seek treatment long term health issues such as infertility and PID can be caused. If you think you have chlamydia or show symptoms seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to prevent further passing of the infection as well as other long-term side effects.