Recurrent infection after treatment: can Chlamydia come back?

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Can Chlamydia come back? Yes, you can get Chlamydia after your initial treatment, especially when you don’t follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor. Because it usually doesn’t cause visible symptoms, people can pass Chlamydia to others without knowing they are infected.

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Antibiotics can treat your body of your infection, but they can’t undo any damage that may have been caused before you started treatment. This is why it is essential to get tested regularly, consult your doctor at the first suspicion of symptoms, and get treated immediately if you’re infected.

Can Chlamydia come back?

Chlamydia is one of the most reported sexually transmitted diseases in the US. In addition, for some people, treating Chlamydia does not prevent reinfection even if they are not exposed to genital fluids carrying the bacteria anymore. The bacteria can survive in your gut and cause reinfection out of the blue. So, yes, Chlamydia can come back by itself after treatment.

How can Chlamydia come back?

As mentioned earlier, Chlamydia can come back even when the symptoms clear up after treatment. Some factors can influence the recurrence of these infections. Some of these factors include:

Using incorrect medication:

Treatment may not be fully effective if you’re taking the wrong medication. This is why you must consult your doctor immediately if you suspect you might have Chlamydia so they can put on on the correct medication required for effective treatment.

Using drugs incorrectly:

After your doctor has prescribed medication, ensure you follow and complete the treatment as directed. Don’t stop taking the antibiotic as directed, even if you feel relieved of your symptoms during the treatment.

Your partner is still infected:

Make sure you inform your consistent sexual partner of your Chlamydia infection so they can get tested and treated. Otherwise, you risk getting reinfected once you make sexual contact.

If you and your partner are getting treated, you both need to stay off sex for some time until the treatment is complete and has had time to work on the infection.

Is recurrent Chlamydia common?

According to this research, recurrent Chlamydia is common among young women. This might be due to reinfection from a sexual partner, incomplete treatment, or other considerable factors. Therefore, people who have been treated for Chlamydia are advised to get screened a few months after treatment as a routine prevention strategy.

When can I retest after treating Chlamydia?

The CDC recommends getting retested for Chlamydia about three months after completing treatment of the initial condition to detect reinfection. This is a priority for healthcare providers.

Getting Chlamydia tested within six weeks of the completion of treatment can produce a false-positive result due to residual DNA, which is present. Therefore, women and men who have gotten successful chlamydia treatment should be retested after three months even if they believe their sexual partners were cured.

When should I see a doctor?

Ensure you immediately contact a doctor if you notice an unusual discharge from your vagina, penis, or rectum. In addition, you should also contact your doctor if you experience pain during urination or feel a burning sensation in your genitals. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics even if you have no visible symptoms.

Common symptoms of Chlamydia 5 symptoms of Chlamydia

What happens when Chlamydia is not treated?

Even though Chlamydia may not cause visible symptoms, leaving the infection untreated can lead to severe and sometimes fatal complications. For example, untreated Chlamydia affects the body and may cause complications like:

  • Prostate gland infection
  • Infertility
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Infection of the testicles (epididymitis)
  • Infections in newborn babies
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Reactive arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome

Frequently Asked Questions

You can easily treat Chlamydia with antibiotics. Since it is a bacterial infection, once you’ve completed your treatment and tested negative for it, you’ve successfully gotten rid of the disease. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot get reinfected if you come to have sexual contact with someone infected.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. Anyone can be infected with this disease; however, it is most common among young people. According to the CDC, an estimated 1 in 20 sexually active women from the age of 14-24 years has Chlamydia. In fact, two-thirds of new people chlamydia spread to are among young people aged 15-24. 

You can only be cured of Chlamydia using antibiotics. It is safer to use antibiotics on your doctor’s recommendations. Home remedies might relieve some of the symptoms of the infection, but you have to complete the entire course of the antibiotics. Immediately contacting your doctor for treatment can help you avoid serious complications. 

A doctor can test and diagnose Chlamydia by taking a urine sample or swabbing the vagina, cervix, rectum, or throat. According to this fact sheet, it usually takes 7-21 days of exposure for chlamydia symptoms to appear, and a test can detect the infection within 1–2 weeks of exposure. 

Caused by chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia is one of the sexually transmitted infections that can reoccur in a patient. So why can Chlamydia come back? As highlighted above, there are a number of reasons why a chlamydial infection can come back. Some of these reasons include using incorrect drugs and incorrectly using drugs for treatment. In addition, ongoing sexual activities, including anal sex, with an infected partner after being Chlamydia diagnosed and treated can also cause the infection to reoccur.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

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