Last updated on July 27th, 2018 at 05:31 pm
How long can you have chlamydia without knowing is a common question after an unprotected sexual contact.
What is chlamydia infection?
Chlamydia infection, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. In the united stated, more than 1.4 million new cases of chlamydia are detected yearly.
Chlamydia can affect the eyes (Eye chlamydia), the joints, the vagina, anus and the penis. It may sometimes cause infertility if left untreated in men and women.
In women, chlamydia infection can ascend up the genital tracts resulting to pelvic inflammatory disease with symptoms like fever, abdomen pain and difficulty conceiving.
How is chlamydia transmitted?
Chlamydia trachomatis infection is transmitted through
- Unprotected anal intercourse
- Unprotected oral intercourse
- Unsafe vaginal intercourse
- Contact with genital fluid from an infected man or woman
- Sharing of toys with an infected person
What are the symptoms of chlamydia infection
Chlamydia symptoms may not be obvious in more than 50% of infected men and women. However, if you are asymptomatic to chlamydia infection, you may still develop long-term effects of chlamydia.
Symptoms and signs of chlamydia in men are
- Watery penile discharge
- Pus-like discharge from your urethra
- Cloudy or sometimes thick discharge
- High body temperature or fever
- Swollen and painful testes
- Difficulty getting your female partner pregnant after regular intercourse
- Pain in your joints
- Red eyes due to conjunctivitis
- Purulent eye discharge due to hand to eye infection
- Severe pain and bleeding during anal intercourse
READ MORE: Symptoms and signs of chlamydia in men
Symptoms and signs of chlamydia in women
- Chlamydia discharge which may be yellowish green or whitish discharge
- Vaginal itching
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Bleeding between periods
- Severe menstrual cramps
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Recurrent miscarriage
- Heavy period
- Ectopic pregnancy
If you’ve had intercourse with these symptoms, then it’s likely you have chlamydia. You should inform your doctor ASAP or get a chlamydia test kit to detect chlamydia.
How long can you have chlamydia without knowing?
If you’ve had intercourse with an infected man or woman, chlamydia symptoms may appear between 1 – 3 weeks after contact.
However, you may still be asymptomatic after a chlamydia infection. This is because chlamydia can be silent or dormant for months and years without showing symptoms.
In men, about 50 – 70 percent will show symptoms of chlamydia while only 30 – 50 percent of women will be symptomatic. Absent symptoms of chlamydia do not mean absent infection. You should take chlamydia test to confirm if you have the infection or not.
How is chlamydia diagnosed and treated
If you have chlamydia symptoms or had intercourse with someone without protection, you should inform your doctor about testing or take a home chlamydia test.
Chlamydia can be detected at home. You should get a chlamydia test kit and use urine for your test.
However, if you have oral chlamydia symptoms, you may need to see your doctor for throat swab culture. The culture of chlamydia takes about 3 – 7 days.
If diagnosed with chlamydia, you can easily be treated and cured with azithromycin or doxycycline tablets.
During pregnancy, chlamydia infection can be treated safely with azithromycin.
How is chlamydia prevented
You already know chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection. Therefore, the safest and easiest way to prevent chlamydia is sexual abstinence. Other ways chlamydia can be prevented in men and women are
- Use condoms for intercourse
- Reducing sexual partners
- Get your male or female sexual partners tested for the infection
- Recheck for chlamydia infection after 5 weeks of treatment
- Avoid intercourse while on chlamydia treatment
- Use adult toys with condoms
Now it’s your turn. Do you have any chlamydia symptoms? Let us know if we can help.