It is highly unlikely for chlamydia to go away on its own. Although the symptoms may subside temporarily, the infection may persist in the body in the absence of treatment (subclinical infection). It is important to seek diagnosis and timely treatment to get rid of the infection.
If treatment is not sought, chlamydia can lead to the following serious complications:
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases or PID (infection of a woman’s uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes)
- Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome (an inflammation of the tissue lining the liver and surrounding tissue)
- Untreated chlamydia in pregnant women can cause serious consequences such as preterm delivery (delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy), ophthalmia neonatorum (conjunctivitis or pink eye of the newborn), and pneumonia in the newborn.
- Reactive arthritis (joint inflammation) may develop in men and women following chlamydia infection.
- Men have less symptoms linked to chlamydia compared with women. Chlamydia infection can sometimes lead to epididymitis (infection of the tube that carries the sperm from the testicles), causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can cause infertility in men.
Is it possible to get chlamydia from a toilet seat?
Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacteria that causes chlamydia infection, cannot survive outside the human body. Thus, you cannot get chlamydia from a toilet seat. Chlamydia can also not be transmitted through other means of casual contact, such as hugging, kissing, or by sharing towels, bed linen, swimming pools, or cutlery.
Some people are concerned about what will happen if they come in contact with a fresh droplet of the body fluid containing chlamydia left on a towel, bed linen, or toilet seat. However, merely coming in contact with the droplet just because it touched your skin or buttocks is not sufficient for you to get the infection. The bacteria need to come in contact with a suitable body tissue such as the cervix, urethra, or cornea of the eye to survive.
How does chlamydia affect a pregnant woman?
Chlamydia in pregnant women can be passed on to the baby causing serious complications in the newborn such as ophthalmia neonatorum (conjunctivitis) and pneumonia. Untreated chlamydia in pregnant women is also likely to cause preterm labor (delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Chlamydia infection is also associated with a high risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in which the fertilized egg grows outside the womb or uterus).
Pregnant women should get tested for chlamydia at their first prenatal visit because testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent complications.
Is chlamydia curable?
Yes, chlamydia is curable with the right treatment. Testing and treatment are the best approaches to get rid of chlamydia and prevent complications. You need to take all the medicines prescribed by your doctor to cure the infection. You must not share medicines for chlamydia with anyone, not even your partner.
Once cured, it is possible to get reinfected with chlamydia. It is essential to protect yourself by following practices such as the use of latex male condoms. These condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of getting or giving chlamydia. The most definitive way to prevent chlamydia is to abstain from vaginal, anal, and oral sex or to be in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested for chlamydia and is known to be uninfected.
You must be retested about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner(s) got treated for chlamydia.