Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility
A lot of us dont realize that some sexually transmitted diseases can cause no symptoms, meaning you could have an STD and not know it. And some STDs can silently lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or chronic pelvic pain.
Chlamydia is one of those diseases. CDC estimates that more than 2.8 million people are infected each year.
Many women, and some men, are infected with chlamydia but dont know it. Even without symptoms, the disease can cause complications, particularly infertility. The longer the infection is untreated, the more damage that can be done.
In pregnant women, chlamydia can cause premature delivery, the CDC says. A child born to an infected woman can develop an infection in their eyes and respiratory tracts.
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How Do You Get Chlamydia
Rarely, you can get chlamydia by touching your eye if you have infected fluids on your hand. Chlamydia can also be spread to a baby during birth if the mother has it.
Chlamydia isnt spread through casual contact, so you CANT get chlamydia from sharing food or drinks, kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on the toilet.
Using condoms and/or dental dams every time you have sex is the best way to help prevent chlamydia.
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How Soon After Unprotected Sex Can I Test For An Sti
Different STIs have different incubation periods, and therefore different testing windows. Below youll find the testing window periods for some of the most common STIs in the UK.
14 days after exposure
45 to 90 days after exposure
- HIV certain types can detect the virus sooner than others
12 weeks after exposure
Two of the more common STIs in the UK genital warts and genital herpes can only be diagnosed if youre having symptoms. If you develop any lumps, growths, sores or blisters around your genitals, you should go to the sexual health clinic to have a physical examination.
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How To Know If You Have Chlamydia
Chlamydia is incredibly difficult to diagnose due to its symptomless nature for 70% of women and 50% of men. The only certain way to know that you have chlamydia is to get tested. If you do have symptoms then you will still need to be tested to effectively diagnose that the symptoms are caused by chlamydia. If youre sexually active, you should get tested regularly whether you have symptoms or not.
Other Common Questions About Stds And Negative Results
Can you test negative for STDs like Chlamydia and still have them?
Yes, you can test negative for STDs and still have them. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common STDs that can cause false negatives, especially if you get tested too quickly.
All my STD tests were negative, but I still have symptoms. What should I do?
If your STD test was negative, but youre still worried or experiencing symptoms, you need to speak to a doctor, who may recommend that you take another test. You could have a false negative, so the best way to know whether you contracted an STD is to get tested again.
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What Does The Chlamydia Test Involve
The recommended tests for chlamydia are simple, painless and generally very reliable.
They involve sending a sample of cells to a laboratory for analysis. You don’t necessarily have to be examined by a doctor or nurse first and can often collect the sample yourself.
There are two main ways the sample can be collected:
- urinating into a container this should ideally be done at least 1 hour after you last urinated
The results will normally be available in 7 to 10 days. If there’s a high chance you have chlamydia for example, you have symptoms of the infection or your partner has been diagnosed with it and you’ve had unprotected sex with them you might start treatment before you get your results.
Read more about treating chlamydia.
What Is A Chlamydia Carrier
Whenever we talk about a carrier in medical terms, we are effectively talking about someone who can infect others with an infectious condition. Anyone with chlamydia is carrying the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria in their body. This bacteria is easily passed on through unprotected sex whether the person has physical symptoms or not.
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Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results
It can be helpful to bring questions to your doctor to learn more about your chlamydia test results. Helpful questions may include:
- What is my chlamydia test result?
- Did my test check for any other STDs?
- Do I need any treatment based on my results?
- How can I talk to my sexual partners about chlamydia?
- When should I be tested for STDs and how often?
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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Protecting Your Sexual Partners
If you have HIV, are taking HIV medicine exactly as prescribed, and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you will not transmit HIV to an HIV-negative partner. However, while having an undetectable viral load will prevent you from passing HIV, it will not prevent you from transmitting other STIs to your sexual partners. Using condoms the right way every time can prevent the transmission of other STIs like gonorrhea and chlamydia. Routine testing for STIs is also important .
If you have a detectable viral load and another STI, you are at risk for transmitting both HIV and other STIs to your partners. But you can protect your partners from HIV and other STIs by using condoms and choosing less risky sexual behaviors.
And if you have an HIV-negative partner who has another STI, they may have skin ulcers, sores, or inflammation that may increase their risk of getting HIV during sex.
An HIV-negative partner can take medicine to prevent HIV, called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, but PrEP does not protect against other STIs. PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who dont have HIV but who are at risk of acquiring HIV. PrEP involves taking HIV medicines exactly as prescribed to reduce the risk of HIV infection. Both oral HIV medicines and a long-acting injectable form of PrEP are available.
Factors That Affect Test Accuracy
Most STIs have a window period during which the body hasn’t produced enough antibodies to produce an accurate test result. If the tests are performed too soon after infection, it may return a false-negative result. In such cases, a person may be asked to come back for retesting if the exposure was recent and the risk of infection is high.
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What Should I Do If I Think Ive Been Exposed To Hiv
Becoming infected with HIV is life-changing, but with early diagnosis and treatment you can live a relatively normal and healthy life. For this reason, if you think youve been exposed to HIV, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
You may even be able to avoid infection altogether if you seek emergency treatment after unprotected sex. Post-exposure prophylaxis is a medication that can be taken in the weeks following unprotected sex to prevent infection with HIV.
What Do I Need To Know If I Get Treated For Chlamydia
If youre getting treated for chlamydia:
- Take all of your medicine the way your nurse or doctor tells you to, even if any symptoms you may be having go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics.
- Your partner should also get treated for chlamydia so you dont re-infect each other or anyone else.
- Dont have sex for 7 days. If you only have 1 dose of medication, wait for 7 days after you take it before having sex. If youre taking medicine for 7 days, dont have sex until youve finished all of your pills.
- Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure your infection is gone.
- Dont share your medicine with anyone. Your nurse or doctor may give you a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner. Make sure you both take all of the medicine you get.
- Even if you finish your treatment and the chlamydia is totally gone, its possible to get a new chlamydia infection again if youre exposed in the future. Chlamydia isnt a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and get tested regularly.
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Why Did My Partner Test Negative For Chlamydia
This is because the bacteria needs enough time to multiply within your body in order for it to reach a detectable level when taking a chlamydia test. For chlamydia this is often 14 days. If you test before that 14 days is over, you may test negative, but you could still pass the bacteria on following your test.
I Tested Positive For Chlamydia But My Boyfriend Tested Negative In Two Different Tests Did I Have A False Positive
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Can You Test Negative For Chlamydia And Still Have It
Asked by:Mona Boehm Jr.
Summary. New diagnostic accuracy studies without major methodological limitations indicated that false-positive rates for gonorrhea and chlamydia were 3 percent or less, and false-negative rates ranged from 0 to 9 percent for gonorrhea and 0 to 14 percent for chlamydia across all NAATs and specimen types.
Getting A Chlamydia Test
Because you can have and transmit the infection without symptoms, a test is necessary to detect the presence of the bacteria and begin treatment. Even if you had sex once, you could still contract chlamydia.
Men should have a chlamydia screening if they experience any symptoms that could be an infection. They should also see a doctor if their partner tests positive for chlamydia regardless of their sexual orientation.
For women, testing should occur at least once a year if youre under 25 and sexually active. Younger people are more likely to contract an STD because they tend to have more unprotected sex or multiple partners. Women should also undergo an annual screening if theyre over 25 and have a new partner.
Another reason for women to have a chlamydia test is pregnancy. A mother can pass chlamydia to their baby during birth, resulting in medical issues for the newborn.
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Can You Have An Sti Even If You Tested Negative
Reviewed by our clinical team
If youre sexually active, theres always a bit of risk associated with having sex with a new or casual partner. This is the case even if you use condoms although its true that condoms do reduce your risk of STIs significantly.
Many STIs including the most common one, chlamydia dont always cause symptoms in their early stages. This means that you might not know youre infected until you get tested.
However, STI testing is complicated by the fact that different infections have different window periods. Certain STIs will show up on a test within a couple of weeks of infection, while others will take much longer. This means if you test too early for certain STIs, the infection might not show up.
In other words, its possible to have an STI even if you tested negative the first time.
How Is Chlamydia Treated
If detected early, chlamydia can be treated with a single dose of antibiotic.
If complications from chlamydia infection are present such as pelvic inflammatory disease in women a longer course of antibiotics will be required.
Do not have sex for 7 days after you and your current partner have completed treatment. This includes all kinds of sex with or without a condom.
You can get reinfected with chlamydia if you have sex within the 7 days.
After you have completed treatment, have another test for chlamydia in 3 months time to make sure you have not been re-infected.
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Frequently Asked Chlamydia Questions
Below youâll find answers to some of the questions people ask about Chlamydia and contacting their partners. For more information on Chlamydia .
How common is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a very common infection, particularly in young, sexually active people who donât always use condoms. In 2007, in Australia, there were 52,000 recorded cases of Chlamydia and 80% of these infections occurred in people aged 15-29 years.
However, the actual number of infections may be much higher than this as many people with Chlamydia do not realize they are infected and so never get tested.
Chlamydia is passed from one person to another by sexual contact.If you have Chlamydia, then it is very likely that one or more of your sexual partners also have this infection. Telling your sexual partners is important because it:
- is the only way most people will know they have this infection
- stops you getting the infection back again
- shows your partner that you care about them
- reduces the chance of your partner developing serious problems such as infertility
- stops your partner passing the infection to others
Remember, most men and women with Chlamydia donât have any symptoms and so they donât know they have the infection.
You need to tell your partners that they:
- may be at risk of having Chlamydia
- need to get tested and treated for this infection by a doctor.
- need to contact their other partners
How do I go about telling them?
What if I donât want my partner to know itâs me who has Chlamydia?
What Your Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Test Results Mean
Having a negative chlamydia test result means that you do not have an active chlamydia infection, at the time of the test. However, this does not imply that you will remain negative if you had high risk sex. Having a positive chlamydia test result means that you have an active infection that has to be treated by your doctor. The treatment normally consists of an antibiotic, such as the Zithromax, that should clear the infection in one to two weeks. If the chlamydia infection is severe, women might need hospitalization and an intravenous antibiotic.
Having a negative gonorrhea test results means that you do not have an active gonorrhea infection at the time of taking the test. This test is not significant for people will get engaged in risky behaviors such as having unprotected sex with multiple partners, among others. In that case, even if your test is negative, you have to repeat it after a possible infection. Having a positive gonorrhea test indicates an active gonorrhea infection. You will have to check with your doctor to address problem and, get treated with a course of antibiotics.
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Chlamydia Is Really Common
Chlamydia is a SUPER common bacterial infection that you can get from sexual contact with another person. Close to 3 million Americans get it every year, most commonly among 14-24-year-olds.
Chlamydia can be easily cleared up with antibiotics. But if you dont treat chlamydia, it may lead to major health problems in the future. Thats why STD testing is so important the sooner you know you have chlamydia, the faster you can cure it. You can prevent chlamydia by using condoms every time you have sex.
Herpes : : Chances Of Transmitting It To Your Partner
So Ive been with someone since August and Ive only ever had one outbreak last October. I take the medication somewhat sporadically but more often if I know we are going to mess around. I was wondering if anybody with genital herpes has NOT given it to their partner when or if they have unprotected sex? Its possible right? I mean for your partner to not catch it? The doctor told me the meds would help reduce outbreaks and the chance of me giving it someone. Is this true? Has anybody had unprotected sex with someone and they didnt catch it?
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How To Talk About It With A Partner
Its best to have this conversation before sex has happened, or is right about to happen, says Duran.
Why? Because it gives everyone involved time to get tested and get their results back, and time to process any information they may have just learned about a partners STI status.
That said, an STI conversation at some point is better than no STI conversation at all.
Its best to talk to a partner about STI status while also talking about your own status, he says.
If youre just asking your partner a ton of questions about their status without bringing up your own, it can feel accusatory. Fair point.
Here are some ways you might bring it up:
- Hey, I know that weve been having sex without barriers, but until we both get STI tested to learn about our current STI status, Id like to start using barriers. Are you open to getting tested?
- Before we meet up later, I want to be transparent about the fact that I havent been tested since my last partner. Do you know your current STI status?
- I just wanted to let you know that I made an appointment for next week to get my annual STI exam. Id love to ask you to get tested, too. Is that something youd be open to?
Duran adds that if you havent yet had sex with someone but youre planning to, another option is to ask them what their preferred dental dam brand or condom is.