STDs Expert Forum
Do symptoms/virus ever go away (gono/ chlamydia) w/out treatment?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Do symptoms/virus ever go away (gono/ chlamydia) w/out treatment?

I posted a few weeks back and thanks for your reply.  While I was waiting for my appointment at PP to come up, I was reading some other postings on this board, and two questions came to mind:

1) Do symptoms of gono/chlamydia ever show up, last for a few days, then disappear for good (while the virus stays with you)?  Or is the discharge/painful urination usually constant until treated?

2) I read where you referenced that these stds may have cleared up on their own, even within weeks in some cases.  I have never heard this before - I had always read that antibiotics are needed.  Are these viruses eventually attacked by your bodies defense systems and taken care of on their own?

I understand that someone should never "wait out" a possible illness and always get a check-up if at all at risk, but it seems that there may be some facts here that aren't always shared by the medical community.  

Thanks again for this service - it's really interesting and helpful.
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Most infections in humans clear up on their own, including the bacterial STD.  In the pre-antibiotic era, "only" 10% of people with bacterial pneumonia died--a horribly high rate, but 90% cleared up.  Same for most STDs.  The viral STDs, like herpes and HIV, are exceptions; they last for life.  (Gonorrhea and chlamydia are bacteria, not viruses.)  Symptoms can come and go while the infection persists.  You're right--you don't want to rely on the infection going away on its own; before it does, it may cause serious complications, and also can be transmitted to partners.

HHH, MD
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