What is Chlamydia ?
Chlamydia is one of the most curable STDs (sexually transmitted disease) and is quite common. The cause of chlamydia is a type of bacteria called the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. It can be passed to other people during sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral or anal). Each year in the United States, there are an estimated 2.8 million new infections of Chlamydia. Most of these cases go undiagnosed.
What are Chlamydia’s symptoms ?
Usually, you will not see any signs. It is possible that you can have it and not know it. If Chlamydia does show signs or symptoms, they will appear shortly after sexual contact (usually a few weeks later). Painful urination, stomach pain, bleeding in between periods and odd vaginal discharge are the usual Chlamydia symptoms in women. In men, the symptoms can be unusual penis discharge, burning or itching near the penis or painful urination.
How is Chlamydia contracted ?
It is contracted through anal, vaginal and oral sex (oral sex only sometimes). Even if the tongue or the penis does not completely enter the anus or vagina, Chlamydia can be transferred to another person. If you want to prevent Chlamydia, the best way is not to have sex at all. That is the only way to be 100% safe from contracting a sexually transmitted disease. However, if you do choose to be sexually active, use a condom every time for all anal, vaginal and oral sex. That will be your best bet for staying healthy.
How can I get tested for Chlamydia ?
There is a urine test called the Chlamydia Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAA). This is offered in both of the Test Panels. The CDC highly recommends this test for its ability to be very accurate. There is no swabbing involved.
What else should I know about the Chlamydia test ?
The urine test is the most accurate test for detecting Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. It is the current standard. because it is based on the amplification of the bacteria’s DNA. This test is also highly unlikely to produce false-positive results. When your results are ready, you will be put in contact with a professional physician if you are positive. There will be no extra cost. This doctor can advise you of your next steps depending on your situation. If necessary, treatment can be prescribed.
Does Chlamydia have a cure ?
Yes, Chlamydia is completely curable, and treatment is simple. A doctor can give you antibiotics if you are positive, and these will kill the Chlamydia bacteria. Before you can have sex again, remember you and your partner must both have Chlamydia treatment. This is the most sure-fire way not to get infected again. As with every medication, you must follow your doctor’s instructions exactly and read labels carefully for the medication to work correctly.
What happens if I do not get treated for Chlamydia ?
There are serious consequences for people who go untreated for Chlamydia. Infections left untreated in women can lead to serious pelvic pain, infertility, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) and possibly dangerous tubal pregnancies. There are also prenatal issues that can happen for unborn babies (including pneumonia). Women who have Chlamydia are at a much higher risk for HIV. For men, the untreated Chlamydia infection can spread throughout the penis, testicles and prostate, and there can be painful inflammation and pain. Men can even become sterile.
With proper treatment, chlamydia can be cured?
If you have been diagnosed with chlamydia, there is good news. It can be treated easily and effectively with the proper course of antibiotics. However, it must be a certain type of antibiotics. Azithromycin and Doxycycline are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics. Your doctor may have you take a single dose of Azithromycin by mouth or a 7 day course of Doxycycline. However, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) states that doctors can opt to prescribe a different seven day course of antibiotics including Levofloxacin, Ofloxacin, and Erythromycin. It is important to discuss your options with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.
Are there any treatment options besides antibiotics?
There really are not any options. There is no other treatment option that has a success rate greater than 90% of killing the bacteria that causes chlamydia like antibiotics.
I have had chlamydia once before. Can I contract it again?
The chlamydia infection should clear up within one week once you have been cured. However, being cured does not mean that you are immune. It is possible to be re-infected with chlamydia multiple times. This is why it is important for sexual partners to be treated together. If only one person is treated, the other partner will continue to carry the bacterial infection. This means they can re-infect the treated partner.
Individuals infected with chlamydia are frequently treated for gonorrhea at the same time.
Doctors usually recommend that people infected with chlamydia be treated for gonorrhea as well. This is because individuals with chlamydia are frequently infected with gonorrhea as well. This treatment regimen involves another antibiotic, either Cefixine in a pill or liquid form. However, there is also the option of being given a single injection of Ceftnaxone.
It is safe for pregnant women to take antibiotics.
Chlamydia can easily and effectively be cured during pregnancy with antibiotics. Always discuss your treatment options with your doctor before starting an antibiotic while pregnant. It is understandable to be somewhat apprehensive about taking antibiotics during your first trimester, but this is the time in your pregnancy when it is most important to protect your fetus from infection. According to the CDC, chlamydia is the leading cause of prenatal (before baby’s birth) pneumonia as well as conjunctivitis (pink eye) in newborns. These health problems can lead to blindness or infant death. Mothers can pass chlamydia to their baby during process of giving birth. Your physician will discuss the risks involved to determine a treatment regimen that makes you feel most comfortable. Azithromycin or Erythromycin are the oral antibiotics of choice for pregnant women. However, Amoxicillin may occasionally be prescribed.
Does the Chlamydia test mean I have to get swabbed?
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) highly recommends the NAA Test (Chlamydia Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) to check for Chlamydia. This test is recommedended for its accuracy. There is no swabbing involved. The test is based on the amplification of Chlamydia trachomatis DNA. Molecular tests like this one are more sensitive and specific than other swab tests (the conventional culture test), and therefore they are generally better and can identify a large number of specimens that are positive.
What do I get out of the test result?
If you have a positive test, this means there is an active chlamydia infection. A course of antibiotics will kill the Chlamydia infection.
What if my results are negative?
If you have a negative test result, that means that at the time you took the test, there was no sign of the Chlamydia infection. You should get tested for all STDs, including Chlamydia, before every new sexual relationship. This has been shown in newer studies conducted on the topic. It is very common to have re-infection.
If I test positive should my partner get tested?
Remember that your sexual partner or partners need to be tested and treated as well if you find that you are positive.
Should I do any follow up testing?
Once you have been cured of Chlamydia, you should be tested again after 3 months.
The reason for being tested again after 3 months is that you need to have a “test for cure.” You are at risk of re-infection even if you were already treated for Chlamydia. This is true especially if your partner was not treated as you were. Finally, don’t forget that if you really want to be 100% sure that you are not re-infected by Chlamydia from a partner who might not have been properly treated, you must be tested again.
Does this require a blood or urine sample ?
The chlamydia test that we use is a urine test. Upon arrival to the lab, you will simply urinate into the cup we provide. You will not need to get undressed or experience any uncomfortable swabs.
Do I need to do anything to prepare for the test ?
No, simply come in. No fasting or other special instructions are involved.
Who needs to be tested for chlamydia ?
Essentially everyone should get a chlamydia test. There are more than 2.8 million new infections of chlamydia reported every year in both men and women. It is easily spread and rarely causes an individual to experience any symptoms. Having a test completed is the only way to know for certain if you are infected. The CDC recommends that all sexually active women under the age of 25 or those that have a new sex partner or multiple partners be tested for chlamydia. It is recommended that you consider chlamydia testing as part of your routine STD testing. This is especially true if you have engaged in unprotected sex with an individual whose STD status you are do not know or are concerned about.
What do the results mean ?
Chlamydia test results will either be positive or negative. Positive means that the test found the presence of chlamydia. Negative means the test did not find any indication of chlamydia in the body. Be aware that it is possible to be tested too early for chlamydia. You should wait at least 7 to 10 days after you may have been exposed to obtain the most accurate test results.
Can chlamydia be cured ?
Yes, antibiotics will eliminate the bacteria from your body. Our physicians will determine which course of antibiotics is the best option for you. If needed, we will send a prescription electronically to the pharmacy of your choice.