Plan B: Get Testedand Treated If Necessary
Maybe the hook up has already happened and you need to know what you can do now to protect your health. Even if you dont have symptoms, its important to get tested. In women, an untreated bacterial STI can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease , which can cause pain and scarring in the fallopian tubes. Scars can also block the tubes and make it difficult for some women to get pregnant when theyre trying to.
Luckily, chlamydia and gonorrhea are easy to detect and easy to treat. Testing is painless. Find a clinic near you, pee in a cup, and hand it over to the clinic staff. They may be able to tell you a result right away or within a few days. If you live in certain areas, you might be able to get a home testkit for free in the mail. Getting treated is easy tooyou just take the prescribed antibiotic pills.*
What about that awkward moment when you have to tell somebody else they may have an infection? Here are some tips for letting a partner know in person, over the phone or online.
If you would prefer to go to a health care provider or clinic you already knowmaybe a place where youve gotten prescription birth control or condoms in the pastyou can talk to your provider about STI testing without shame. It doesnt have to be about whether youre worried you have an STIit can be as simple as, Hey, I heard I should get tested for this every year. How about it?
Bacterial STIs are too common to ignore, and nothings hotter than being on top of your health.
Chlamydia Cdc Fact Sheet
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease that can be easily cured. If left untreated, chlamydia can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.
Basic Fact Sheet | Detailed Version
Basic fact sheets are presented in plain language for individuals with general questions about sexually transmitted diseases. The content here can be syndicated .
What Are The Chances Of Getting An Std With A Condom
by CourteneyPublished on November 28, 2018Updated on June 15, 2020
Figuring out the chances of getting an STD with a condom on isnt as simple as citing a statistic. There are a lot of different factors that can affect your chances of contracting an STD even if youre using a condom.
Latex condoms have shown to be an effective protective barrier against STDs. However, in order to benefit from this protection, condoms must be used consistently and correctly.
Correct practices include:
- using a new condom for every vaginal, anal and oral sex action throughout the act.
- putting the condom on before any genital contact.
- withdrawing the condom carefully and disposing of it so that it wont be handled by others.
- replacing a broken condom immediately at any point during sexual activity.
- using a water-based lubricant with latex condoms, as an oil-based lubricant can cause the latex to deteriorate.
You may practice all these correct condom use behaviors and still be at risk for a number of STDs. Several STDs are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact as well as intercourse. Condoms wont do much to prevent these infections because its likely that parts of your and your partners bodies outside the condom will also be coming into contact with one another.
Some of these STDs include:
Like herpes and HPV, syphilis can be spread through sexual contact as well as contact with sores caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum.
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How To Help Partners Get Treatment
If you are not sure whether your sexual partner will seek treatment, ask your doctor for extra chlamydia medication . You can give it to them so they can be treated as soon as possible.
This is known as patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia. Talk to your doctor to see if PDPT is right for you and your sexual partner.
How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
Most people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system.
Women with symptoms may notice
- An abnormal vaginal discharge
- A burning sensation when urinating.
Symptoms in men can include
- A discharge from their penis
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Pain and swelling in one or both testicles .
Men and women can also get infected with chlamydia in their rectum. This happens either by having receptive anal sex, or by spread from another infected site . While these infections often cause no symptoms, they can cause
- Rectal pain
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD. STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
Sharing Needles And Blood Transfusions
Syphilis can be passed on by sharing needles and injecting equipment. To reduce your risk, avoid sharing needles or injecting equipment. Read more information on getting new needles and injecting safely.
Its possible for syphilis to be passed on through blood transfusions, but this is very rare as most places test blood for infections including syphilis before transfusions. If youre worried about a blood transfusion, speak to your healthcare provider.
When Should I Get Tested
Don’t delay getting tested if you think you might have chlamydia. Being diagnosed and treated as soon as possible will reduce your risk of developing any serious complications of chlamydia.
You can get a chlamydia test at any time although you might be advised to repeat the test later on if you have it less than 2 weeks since you had sex because the infection might not always be found in the early stages.
You should consider getting tested for chlamydia if:
- you think you could have a sexually transmitted infection
- a sexual partner tells you they have an STI
- you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy
- you’re offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP
If you live in England, you’re a woman under 25 and sexually active, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If you live in England, you’re a man under 25 and sexually active, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
If you have chlamydia, you may be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated. This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.
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Could I Get Chlamydia
Anyone who is sexually active, including people who experience sexual violence, can get chlamydia.
Chlamydia is most easily passed on during sex without a condom this includes vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse.
Although less common, chlamydia can also be passed on:
- when a person with the infection in their mouth or throat gives oral sex to another person
- when a person gives oral sex to a person with an infection of the genitals
- through oral-anal contact
- through sharing sex toys or during a hand job or fingering if infected fluids get onto the toy or hand
Condom Use During The Treatment Period
- Avoid having sex without a condom during treatment because the infection can still be transmitted. Use condoms for 7 days after the start of treatment and until 7 days after all current sexual contacts have been treated.
- If you are on a combined oral contraceptive pill, use a condom for 14 days when having sex, as antibiotics can affect the reliability of the contraceptive pill.
After completing the treatment, phone your doctor or return to the clinic for a follow-up after 3 months to check you have not been re-infected.
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Will I Need To Go Back To The Clinic
If you take your antibiotics correctly, you may not need to return to the clinic.
However, you will be advised to go back for another chlamydia test if:
- you had sex before you and your partner finished treatment
- you forgot to take your medication or didn’t take it properly
- your symptoms don’t go away
- you’re pregnant
If you’re under 25 years of age, you should be offered a repeat test for chlamydia 3 to 6 months after finishing your treatment because you’re at a higher risk of catching it again.
Stds You Can Get While Using A Condom
While condoms can dramatically reduce the risk of getting or transmitting STDs, they cant guarantee 100% protection from sexually transmitted infections.
Heres how it works:
First, a condom must be used correctly to provide protection. When its used incorrectly, slippage or breakage can occur.
STD transmission is a risk any time you engage in sexual activityso to offer effective protection, a condom needs to be used every time you have sex .
In laboratory settings, the latex condom has been shown to provide a nearly impermeable barrier to particles that are the size of STD-causing pathogens. This means that it prevents the infectious agent from passing through the barrier, significantly reducing the risk of contracting or transmitting an STD.
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How STDs are transmitted
To understand what condoms protect against, its first helpful to understand how STDs are spread. Infections like HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis are commonly spread when infected secretions of the urethra or vagina contact mucosal surfaces, which include the male urethra, the vagina, or the cervix.
Infections typically associated with genital ulcers are often passed on through contact of ones skin with the mucosal surfaces or infected skin of a partner who has the infection.
Now that we know how STDs are transmitted, here are some that you need to be worried about even if you, or your partner, straps a condom on.
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How Can I Prevent Getting Chlamydia
Anyone who is sexually active can catch chlamydia. You’re most at risk if you have a new sexual partner or don’t use a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom, when having sex. You can help to prevent the spread of chlamydia by:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex
- using a condom to cover the penis during oral sex
- using a dam to cover the female genitals during oral sex or when rubbing female genitals together
- not sharing sex toys. If you do share sex toys, wash them or cover them with a new condom between each person who uses them.
How Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia
Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:
- An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
- Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
- Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.
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Can You Get Chlamydia In Mouth
Can you get chlamydia in your mouth?
Though it is less common to get chlamydia in your mouth and throat, it is possible.
Chlamydia may be transmitted when someone performs oral sex on someone who has genital chlamydia It is also possible for someone who has chlamydia in the throat to give it to another person via oral sex.
Chlamydia is most commonly spread through unprotected anal, vaginal and/or oral sex.
Its also important to note that contact with chlamydia bacteria from one location to another can lead to the transmission. For example, it would be possible to get anal chlamydia if a person living with vaginal or penile chlamydia used toilet paper in an infected area and then later wiped a non-infected area.
Oral sex is a less common route of transmission, or in other words, chlamydia is less likely to be transmitted during oral sex. The bacteria associated with chlamydia generally targets warm and moist environments such as the genitals. Chlamydia bacteria is more likely to thrive in the genital areas.
How Can I Reduce My Risk For Chlamydia
As with other sexually transmitted infections , there are things you can do to reduce or eliminate the risk of chlamydia. These include the following:
- Abstinence is a sure way to avoid infection.
- Mutual monogamy is another way to avoid infection.
- Using latex condoms consistently and correctly for vaginal and anal sex can reduce risk of transmission.
- Water-based spermicides are not recommended for the prevention of chlamydia. Recent studies have shown that nonoxynol-9 , which is found in most water-based spermicides, is not effective in preventing chlamydia.
Since chlamydia can be transmitted even if the penis or tongue does not completely enter the vagina, mouth or rectum, using latex condoms at the beginning of sexual contact until there is no longer skin contact is the best form of prevention.
Several barrier methods can be used to reduce the risk of transmission of chlamydia during oral sex. A non-lubricated condom can be used for mouth-to-penis contact. Household plastic wrap, a dental dam, or a latex condom cut-up and opened flat can reduce the risk of transmission during mouth-to-vulva/vagina or oral-anal contact.
It is important that you talk to your partner as soon as possible so she or he can get treatment. Telling a partner can be hard, but keep in mind that most people with chlamydia do not know they have it. Also, it is possible to pass chlamydia back and forth, so if you get treated and your partner does not, you may become infected again.
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How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you questions about your past health and your sexual history, such as how many partners you have. You may also have a physical exam to look for signs of infection.
Several types of tests can be used to diagnose chlamydia. Most use a sample of urine or a swab from the cervix, vagina, or urethra.
Since chlamydia can cause serious problems but may not cause symptoms, it’s a good idea to get tested once a year if you are sexually active and in your mid-20s or younger. Local health departments and family planning clinics usually offer low-cost testing.
Understand The Limitations Of Testing
Did you know that the no way to test people assigned male at birth for HPV?
The bad news: Both of these things are true. The good news: Now you know this information, you can take additional precautions.
For example, you might ask a potential partner if they specifically asked to get tested for HSV and what their results were. Or, you may ask if theyve ever kissed or received oral sex from someone with a cold sore , to their knowledge.
Its not a bad idea to ask a potential partner if any of their past partners had a confirmed case of HPV or cervical cancer or pre-cancer, Gersh adds.
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How Is Syphilis Treated
Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics. However, its important that you get tested and treated early on, as some health problems caused by late-stage syphilis cant be resolved.
The specific antibiotics used to treat syphilis may vary depending on where you are. Ask your healthcare professional any questions you have about your treatment.
Your healthcare worker will be able to tell you when your infection has cleared. They may advise you to avoid having sex until you have finished your treatment, the sores have healed and they say its ok.
Remember, having been treated for syphilis previously does not make you immune. You can still get syphilis again.
What Should You Do If You Receive A Positive Result
The short answer: What your doctor or healthcare professional tells you to do.
If you receive a positive result, the doctor will probs prescribe a dose of antibiotics in the case of curable STIs .
Or they might prescribe a method that can help you manage the symptoms of treatable STIs .
Your move: Take this medication.
The doctor will also tell you to abstain from all or some sex acts for a certain period of time, which you should do in order to reduce the risk of transmission.
Next, its a good move to talk with any past partners youve had that may have also been exposed.
If you have access to the people still, make the call or send the text, Duran says. If you got a gonorrhea diagnosis, for example, and had five partners since your last test, you want to check in with all of to let them know that they may have been exposed, so they can get tested as well.
How to tell a partner about possible exposure
Keep it simple and free of blame or judgment. You might say:
- Hey! Just wanted to let you know that I got tested for . My doctor recommended that I let any recent partners know, so they can get tested, too.
- Hi! I went in for my annual STI screening and found out I have . My doctor told me it can be spread even if a condom was used, so you might want to get tested to be safe.
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