Can You Get Chlamydia If You Use A Condom
A condom lowers your chances of getting chlamydia if used correctly.
Correct use of a condom includes:
When To Seek Medical Advice
If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.
You should also get tested if you don’t have any symptoms but are concerned you could have a sexually transmitted infection .
If you’re a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If you’re a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
Read more about chlamydia diagnosis.
Where Can I Get More Information
Health care providers with STD consultation requests can contact the STD Clinical Consultation Network . This service is provided by the National Network of STD Clinical Prevention Training Centers and operates five days a week. STDCCN is convenient, simple, and free to health care providers and clinicians. More information is available at www.stdccn.orgexternal icon.
Division of STD Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-38271-800-783-987
1. OFarrell N, Morison L, Moodley P, et al. Genital ulcers and concomitant complaints in men attending a sexually transmitted infections clinic: implications for sexually transmitted infections management. Sexually transmitted diseases 2008 35:545-9.
2. White JA. Manifestations and management of lymphogranuloma venereum. Current opinion in infectious diseases 2009 22:57-66.
3. Kreisel KM, Spicknall IH, Gargano JW, Lewis FM, Lewis RM, Markowitz LE, Roberts H, Satcher Johnson A, Song R, St. Cyr SB, Weston EJ, Torrone EA, Weinstock HS. Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: Prevalence and incidence estimates, 2018. Sex Transm Dis 2021 in press.
4. CDC. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2019. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services April 2021.
5. Torrone E, Papp J, Weinstock H. Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis Genital Infection Among Persons Aged 1439 Years United States, 20072012. MMWR 2014 63:834-8.
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What Are The Symptoms
Often people with chlamydia will have no symptoms and will not know that they have the infection.
A chlamydia infection in the rectum may cause discharge from the anus, rectal pain, mucous with stools, painful bowel movements and redness in the anal area.
For men, symptoms can include:
- Clear or mucous-like fluid from the penis
- Pain or a burning feeling when urinating
- Itching or irritation in the urethra the tube that urine passes through
For women, symptoms can include:
- Change in amount and/or colour of fluid from the vagina
- Pain or a burning feeling when urinating
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods or after sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain during vaginal sex
Chlamydia infection may occur in the throat but does not usually cause symptoms.
Symptoms may appear 2 to 3 weeks after exposure to the bacteria. Sometimes it can take as long as 6 weeks for the symptoms to appear, if at all.
How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be passed on through genital contact. This means you can get chlamydia from someone who has the infection if your genitals touch, even if you dont have sex or ejaculate .
You can also get chlamydia if you come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid, or get them in your eye.
Chlamydia cant be passed on through kissing, hugging, sharing towels or using the same toilet as someone with the infection.
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Is It Possible To Prevent Chlamydia
Since most people who have the infection do not have symptoms and may not be aware they are infected, it is commonly spread, and it can be difficult to prevent the infection. Male condoms can reduce the risk of spreading or acquiring the infection. Having a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested or treated also reduces the risk of contracting chlamydia infection.
How Do I Test For Chlamydia
You can get tested for chlamydia even if you dont have any symptoms.
Getting tested for chlamydia is easy and doesnt hurt. A healthcare professional will ask for a urine sample and/or take a swab from the area that might be infected. This is usually the lower part of the womb or the vagina for women, and the tip of the penis for men. If youve had anal or oral sex, you may have a swab taken from your anus or throat.
In some countries you can get a self-testing kit to do at home.
If you test positive for chlamydia, its important to tell any recent sexual partner/s so they can also get tested, and treated if necessary. If you need advice about how to do this, speak to your healthcare professional. You should also test for other STIs.
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Common Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Health Check Certified By: Dr. Andrea Eisenberg, MD
Chlamydia happens to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. With a whopping 2.3 million Americans infected, primarily men and women under the age of 25, Chlamydia can affect the genitals , the cervix, urethra, anus, throat, or the eyes in its human hosts.
Chlamydia is most known as a sexually transmitted bacterial infection, spread by human to human sexual contact, including penetration, oral sex, petting, or contact with an infected persons genitals, mouth, or anus. However, Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria can also be passed from mother to baby, or via contact with an infected persons hand to eye contact.
Unfortunately, Chlamydia doesnt always show obvious signs. However, you may experience the following symptoms within 5 to 10 days after you become infected
What Does Chlamydia Do To Your Body
Although chlamydia doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can be serious if you dont get treatment early on.
The bacteria can spread to your fallopian tubes and uterus. If this happens, it might cause pelvic inflammatory disease which results in abdominal and pelvic pain. Even if PID does not cause abdominal and pelvic pain, it can still do permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to an inability to get pregnant, long-term pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy.
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What Is The Prognosis For A Female With Chlamydia
As discussed previously, chlamydia infection can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease if untreated, which can have serious consequences. Complications include permanent damage to the reproductive organs, including infertility and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia infection in pregnancy can also lead to low birth weight and premature delivery as well as pneumonia and eye damage in the newborn.
Having an untreated chlamydia infection can also increase a person’s risk for acquiring HIV infection. It can also increase the risk that a person with HIV infection will transmit the infection to others during sexual intercourse.
Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Risks
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two extremely prevalent, extremely similar STDs. In fact, its often difficult to tell the difference between the two. Plus, you can even have both chlamydia and gonorrhea at the same time. Though these infections are widespread, they are not harmless. For one, they both can cause pain and discomfort on their own. Women with either may experience pain during urination, sexual intercourse, or vaginal itching. Worryingly, chlamydia and gonorrhea can also contribute to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease .
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How Do You Prevent Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be passed on by sharing sex toys. Always cover sex toys with a new condom and wash them after use to reduce your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs.
Its important to regularly test for chlamydia, even if you dont have any symptoms, especially if youve had multiple sexual partners.
The contraceptive pill and other types of contraception wont prevent you getting chlamydia, and neither will PrEP.
Chlamydia In Female Genitals
Chlamydia in female genitals is often recognized by:
- vaginal discharge
- bleeding when not on period
- Pain and discomfort whenurinating
- Bleeding immediately after sexualintercourse
For most women, chlamydia will infect the opening to their uterus, known as the cervix. This is the type of infection that causes discharge and redness. If left untreated, there is a high chance it will travel to the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. In such cases, chlamydia can result in pelvic inflammatory disease and cause painful intercourse, inflammation, and abdominal pain.
The image below depicts a cervix inflammation in the early stages and has resulted in redness and vaginal discharge. Complications have not yet occurred, but if this infection isnt properly managed, it can cause serious complications in the fallopian tubes and result in infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
In this particular example, the discharge is white andcan easily be confused with a harmless discharge. But, the infected fluid canhave a very strong smell. If the color of the discharge is yellow, it couldmean the vagina has been infected and could possibly carry chlamydia.
Aside from discharge and a cervix inflammation,chlamydia can also cause blood in the urine. Infected females can experiencevaginal bleeding or spotting after intercourse or between periods.
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Who Is At Risk For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. It is a very common STD, especially among young people.3 It is estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 years has chlamydia.5
Sexually active young people are at high risk of acquiring chlamydia for a combination of behavioral, biological, and cultural reasons. Some young people dont use condoms consistently.15 Some adolescents may move from one monogamous relationship to the next more rapidly than the likely infectivity period of chlamydia, thus increasing risk of transmission.16 Teenage girls and young women may have cervical ectopy .17 Cervical ectopy may increase susceptibility to chlamydial infection. The higher prevalence of chlamydia among young people also may reflect multiple barriers to accessing STD prevention services, such as lack of transportation, cost, and perceived stigma.16-20
Men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydial infection since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex. Among MSM screened for rectal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 3.0% to 10.5%.6.7 Among MSM screened for pharyngeal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 0.5% to 2.3%.7.8
How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
Chlamydia is sometimes called a silent infection because the majority of people who have chlamydia regardless of gender never notice symptoms. People who do notice symptoms often dont recognize the signs that they have chlamydia until a few weeks after theyve been infected. Because chlamydia cases are often asymptomatic, its easy to spread chlamydia to someone else without realizing it. And its easy to miss out on receiving the treatment needed to prevent the serious complications that can result from chlamydia.
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How Common Is Chlamydia In The Throat
Pharyngeal chlamydia isnât as common as urogenital or rectal infections. One review of existing studies found that pharyngeal chlamydia was equally frequent in women compared to men who have sex with menâoccurring in up to 3.2% of women and 3.6% of men who have sex with men, based on study populations at high-risk settings like sexually transmitted disease clinics (which means these figures donât apply to the general population. Less research has been done around the rate of pharyngeal chlamydia among men who have a female sexual partner.
Other Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia In All People
- Conjunctivitis, spread by touching the infected area and then touching the hand to the eye
- Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the rectum , if the chlamydia is from anal sex
- Varied symptoms, such as joint and eye inflammation, caused by bacterial infection
- Lymphogranuloma venereum, or LGV. This is caused by a type of chlamydia that is usually rare in the United States, but it is becoming more common in men who have sex with men. It causes open sores in the genital area, headache, fever, fatigue, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin. It also causes proctitis in people who get chlamydia through anal sex.
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Chlamydia Symptoms All Women Should Know
Chlamydia, an STI caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, is most prevalent in women under 25, but any sexually active person is at risk. Its actually really common in both men and women, and can be spread via vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Unfortunately, chlamydia symptoms can be easy to miss.
The STI is sometimes called a silent infection, meaning that most people dont experience symptoms, according to the CDC. This is especially problematic for women. If chlamydia is left untreated, it can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease. Both PID and untreated chlamydia can cause permanent scarring in the reproductive organs, blocking sperm and eggs from meeting and leading to infertility. In fact, about 25 percent of infertility cases are due to obstructed fallopian tubes, Meike L. Uhler, M.D., a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at the Fertility Centers of Illinois, tells SELF. In some cases, this can be fixed surgically. In others, it cannot be reversed.
Pregnant women with chlamydia are more likely to deliver prematurely, and can pass the infection to their babies, causing eye infection or pneumonia.
Lots of things can change how your discharge looks, smells, and feels. A smelly, yellow-green color can be an indication of an infection like chlamydia.
Especially if the infection has been left untreated for a while and has caused PID, you may experience lower abdominal pain.
Painin The Stomach Or Pelvic Area
When chlamydia is left untreated, there is a 30% chance, and the infection will spread towards the pelvicorgans and cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This disease is often associatedwith sharp, dull, or cramping pelvic pain. The pain will usually start from thepelvic area and travel to the abdomen.
The image below is a clear representation of pelvic inflammation. In this particular example, chlamydia has infected the entire uterus and fallopian tubes.
The second picture is a typical example of a normal versus an inflamed fallopian tube. The left side of the image shows a healthy fallopian tube, while on the right side, inflammation has affected the area and caused the tube to double in size.
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How Is Chlamydia Treated
Chlamydia can be cleared up with antibiotics in about a week or two. But dont stop taking your medication just because your symptoms improve. Ask your provider about what follow-up is needed to be sure your infection is gone after youve finished taking your medicine.
Part of your treatment should also include avoiding sexual activities that could cause you to get re-infected and ensuring that any sexual partners who may be infected also get treatment. You should:
- Abstain from sex until your infection has cleared up. Starting treatment doesnt mean that youre in the clear. Take all your medication as your provider directs, and avoid all sexual contact in the meantime.
- Contact all sexual partners. Tell any sexual partners from the last 3 months that youre infected so that they can get tested, too.
- Get tested for other STIs . Its common to have multiple STIs, and its important to receive treatment thats tailored to each infection.
Antibiotics can get rid of your infection, but they cant reverse any harm the bacteria may have caused to your body before treatment. This is why its so important to get screened regularly for chlamydia, to see your provider at the first sign of symptoms, and get treatment immediately if youre infected.
What Is The Risk Of Chlamydia
Untreated chlamydia infection increases the risk of developing the pelvic inflammation disease. A big problem is that this disease usually does not cause any noticeable signs or ailments. This allows the bacteria able to evolve long enough to strike suddenly and violently. It is therefore recommended that you visit your doctor or medical institution if you meet the following criteria:
- You are under 25 years old.
- Have had intercourse with multiple partners.
- Have had sexual intercourse without contraception.
- Have used spiral.
- Had pelvic inflammation before.
It is also possible to buy a test kit for chlamydia in our store. The test is easy to use and allows you to test yourself regularly and privately.
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Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Chlamydia
Sexual health plays an important role in fertility. Many STDs can cause scarring and inflammation, making it more difficult to conceive, even after the infection has been treated.
In the case of chlamydia, the infection can damage your reproductive health, if left untreated. The bacteria can cause PID which can do permanent damage to your reproductive system. PID can lead to inflammation, scarring, and blockage in your reproductive organs. In some cases, it can also cause ectopic pregnancy which can be deadly if the pregnancy isnt removed in time.