Chlamydia: Signs & Symptoms

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI). It is usually spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex and can also be passed in childbirth from mother to baby. It often has no symptoms. Antibiotics can cure chlamydia, but if left untreated, it can cause serious health problems for women, such as difficulty getting pregnant.

What are the signs and symptoms of chlamydia?

Chlamydia is known as a “silent” infection because most women who have chlamydia do not show symptoms. If symptoms develop, they may not manifest for several weeks after the bacteria begins to develop. Common symptoms may be:

• Bleeding between periods
• Burning when urinating
• Fever
• Low back pain
• Lower abdominal pain
• Nausea
• Pain during sex
• Unusual vaginal discharge

You should get tested for chlamydia if you have:

• Had a new sex partner
• Had your sex partner tell you s/he has chlamydia
• Traded sex for money or drugs
• Had chlamydia or another STI in the past
• Not used condoms during sex
• been in relationships that are not monogamous

Chlamydia is detected by either a urine test or a swab test. A PAP smear will not detect chlamydia.

How is chlamydia treated?

We can prescribe antibiotics that can cure chlamydia. However, they cannot remedy permanent damage done to your body caused by a prolonged infection. This includes scarring of your reproductive organs.

Call us at 865-546-1642 to schedule a test, and if testing finds the presence of chlamydia, take the antibiotics as directed as soon as possible. We’ll be with you along the way!

Wondering if you or your child should get the HPV vaccine?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common viral infection that has potentially serious consequences such as genital warts and cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal, mouth and throat cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. More than half of the sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some time in their lives. Most HPV infections don’t cause any symptoms and go away on their own. Still, several types of HPV can be prevented by vaccination.

  • HPV vaccines prevent infection but cannot treat infection.
  • The ideal age for HPV vaccination is 11 or 12 years in girls and boys; however, they can be given as young as age 9 and up to age 26.
  • HPV vaccine is given in a 3-dose series within a 6-month period. It is important to have all 3 doses.
  • Three types of HPV vaccines are licensed by the FDA.  They all are effective in protecting against the two HPV types that cause most cervical cancer.
  • The vaccine can prevent most cases of cervical cancer in females, especially if it is given before exposure to the virus.
  • The vaccine can prevent other HPV-associated diseases such as anal, oral and throat cancers, especially when administered before sexual activity begins.
  • It is best to give the vaccine before sexual activity begins, but it can be given at any time up to age 26.
  • The vaccine can be given if you have already tested positive for HPV or had genital warts.
  • Protection from HPV vaccine is expected to be long lasting, but vaccination is not a substitute for cervical cancer screening.
  • Studies show that the vaccines are very safe and effective. They do not contain live viruses, so they cannot cause an HPV infection.

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) the HPV vaccine is a crucial part of ensuring your and your family’s health.

Genital HPV

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. HPV is primarily spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex, but sexual intercourse is not required for infection to occur. Most people who have genital HPV don’t know they have it because there are often no symptoms, and it can go away on its own-without any serious health problems. There is no cure for HPV, but there are treatments. Anyone who has ever had genital contact with another person can have genital HPV. Both men and women can get it and pass it on without realizing it. There is no reason to be tested just to find out if you have genital HPV.

The surest way to prevent HPV is not to have sex. If you decide to be sexually active, limit the number of partners you have. Condoms may lower chances of getting HPV however HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom. You cannot prevent any sexually transmitted disease by washing the genitals, urinating, or douching after sex. Women and men can get vaccinated to protect against the types of HPV that most commonly cause health problems. The vaccines are given in 3 doses over 6 months. The vaccines are most effective when all doses are received before a person has had sexual contact with his or her partner.

There are many types of HPV. All HPV infections are either low-risk or high-risk. Low-risk HPV infections can cause genital warts, which can be treated with medication applied to the area or surgery to remove them. High-risk HPV infections can sometimes develop into cancer of the cervix. These infections may also lead to other cancers, such as anal cancer. In some people, high-risk HPV infections can persist and cause cell changes. If these cell changes are not treated, they may lead to cancer over time. It is important to know about the link between HPV and cervical cancer and about the steps you can take to prevent the disease. Most types of HPV do not lead to cancer. Women can protect themselves from cervical cancer by getting regular Pap test. The Pap test is the best way to screen for cervical cancer. Changes that are caught early can be treated before they lead to cancer.

Most people who have sex will have HPV at some time in their lives. There is no blame, no shame about having genital HPV. The virus is very common. If you have HPV, don’t blame your current partner or assume your partner is cheating. People can have genital HPV for a very long time before it is detected. Talk openly and honestly with your partner about HPV and other STDs.