Chlamydia : Treatment

Treatment

The mainstay of therapy for chlamydia includes appropriate antibiotic treatment — these include: tetracyclines, azithromycin, or erythromycin.

You can get chlamydia with gonorrhea or syphilis, so if you have one sexually transmitted disease you must be screened for other sexually transmitted diseases as well. All sexual contacts should be screened for chlamydia.

Sexual partners must be treated to prevent passing the infection back and forth. There is no significant immunity following the infection and a person may become repeatedly infected.

A follow-up evaluation may be done in 4 weeks to determine if the infection has been cured.

Prognosis (Expectations)

Early antibiotic treatment is extremely successful and may prevent the development of long-term complications. Untreated infection, however, may lead to PID, scarring, and ultimately infertility.

Complications

Untreated infection may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes and result in infertility. Tubal scarring also increases the likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy).

If a women is infected with chlamydia while pregnant, the infection can cause premature labor and delivery. In addition, the infant may develop chlamydial conjunctivitis (eye infection) and chlamydial pneumonia.

Calling Your Health Care Provider

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of chlamydia.

Because many people with chlamydia may not have symptoms, sexually active adults should be screened periodically for the infection.


Review Date : 5/21/2008
Reviewed By : D. Scott Smith, M.D., MSc, DTM&H, Chief of Infectious Disease & Geographic Medicine, Kaiser Redwood City, CA & Adjunct Assistant Professor, Stanford University.  Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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