Treating Chlamydia can be easy when you are proactive about the disease and adhere to a doctor-recommended management plan. Bearing in mind, it is crucial to get informed about Chlamydia (symptoms with pictures) and learn how it is treated, we are going to walk you through the process and show what to expect if you’re diagnosed with this sexually transmitted disease (STD).
How is Chlamydia treated?
Once Chlamydia is diagnosed, the doctor educates a patient about the treatment of this STD. Although a patient may feel frustrated and stressed out due to diagnosis, it’s crucial to remember that Chlamydia is a treatable disease. You can recover and get rid of the STD, prevent spreading it to someone else, and avoid complications. Bearing in mind that Chlamydia is a bacterial disease, it is treated with antibiotics.
The most common types of antibiotics prescribed for the treatment of Chlamydia are:
- Azithromycin – used to treat different infections caused by bacteria, including Chlamydia. It works by stopping bacteria from multiplying, destroying them, and thereby treats the infection. The patient with Chlamydia usually receives one dose of azithromycin (1g)
- Doxycycline – used to treat bacterial infections such as STDs, eye infections, skin infections, respiratory infections, among others. Doxycycline belongs to a class of drugs called tetracyclines, which work by blocking the production of bacterial protein because they bind to certain units of the protein. As a result, protein stops growing, thus treating the infection. A patient usually takes doxycycline for one week (100mg orally twice a day for seven days). Even when symptoms are gone, it is important to finish the whole course of prescribed medication to make sure the infection does not return
Both antibiotics are effective in the treatment of Chlamydia. One study aimed to compare the efficacy of azithromycin and doxycycline in 416 female patients. Both antibiotics had high success rates, but doxycycline proved to be more effective. The success rate of azithromycin in women with rectal Chlamydia was 78.5%, while doxycycline had 95.5%. In cases of vaginal Chlamydia, the effectiveness of azithromycin and doxycycline was 93.5% and 95.4%, respectively.
According to the World Health Organization alternatives to the above-mentioned antibiotics in the treatment of Chlamydia include:
- Erythromycin 500mg orally four times a day for seven days
- Ofloxacin 200-400mg orally twice a day for seven days
- Tetracycline 500mg orally four times a day for seven days
These alternatives are usually prescribed to patients who cannot use the primary choice of antibiotics for one reason or another. Pregnant women with Chlamydia cannot take tetracycline and doxycycline due to the risk of affecting the development of the baby’s bones and teeth. On the flip side, azithromycin is safe and effective. In other words, the doctor takes various factors into consideration before prescribing a specific antibiotic to treat Chlamydia.
In many cases, the choice of treatment depends on the convenience of dosage, the cost and quality of medications in different settings, and equity considerations. When the priority is to reduce costs, the doctor usually prescribes doxycycline. But in cases when the convenience is prioritized, the healthcare providers prescribe azithromycin.
Are there any side effects of antibiotics for Chlamydia?
Treatments prescribed to patients with Chlamydia are generally safe and well-tolerated. That being said, some patients may experience adverse reactions such as:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Skin rash when exposed to sunlight (in patients taking doxycycline)
- Stomach pain
Side effects are not very common, and they’re usually mild in nature. Always bear in mind that refusing to treat this STD paves the way to complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease in women or epididymitis and reactive arthritis in men.
When can I start having sex again?
Chlamydia resolves within one to two weeks, in most cases. During that time, a patient should abstain from sexual intercourse. Basically, you should not have oral, vaginal, or anal sex until seven days after the treatment is over. The same applies to situations when your partner is treated for this STD; you can start having sex again seven days after their treatment is over.
Patients with Chlamydia should inform their sexual partners about their diagnosis so they can get tested as well. Don’t wait for the partner to complain about symptoms similar to Chlamydia. Bear in mind that in many cases, people experience no symptoms at all, but are still affected. By informing your sexual partners, they can get treated in a timely manner. Otherwise, the infection could be passed back and forth between you and the partner.
Does Chlamydia treatment protect me from this STD in the future?
Chlamydia treatment destroys the bacteria that caused this STD and manages symptoms a patient experiences. The treatment does not prevent or protect you against developing Chlamydia in the future, nor is it intended to so. In order to protect yourself from Chlamydia, you should practice safe sex such as using condoms every time, avoiding having sex with multiple partners, and getting tested regularly.
Sexually active men and women should get tested for Chlamydia once a year or more often if they have multiple sex partners. Thanks to test kiting kits, it has become easier to get tested and determine whether you have Chlamydia or not. Home tests are accurate, easy to use, and provide much-needed privacy.
Chlamydia Is a Treatable STD
Remember, Chlamydia is a treatable STD, but in order to eliminate it, you need to get screened and receive a diagnosis. This way, you will be able to decrease the risk of complications and live your life, knowing you’re safe and healthy. Do not wait for symptoms to show up because, in many cases, they don’t. Get tested and urge your sex partners to do so as well.