Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
Anyone who has sex can get chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.
Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman younger than 25 years, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as pregnant women should also get tested for chlamydia.
How Can You Get Rid Of Chlamydia
If your chlamydia test comes back positive, you may be wondering how to get chlamydia treated. Itâs important to discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider. Most likely, you will be treated for chlamydia with oral antibiotics. With treatment, infections often clear up in one to two weeks.
Even if your symptoms resolve sooner, however, itâs very important to complete your healthcare providerâs entire course of prescribed antibiotics. Otherwise, the infection may not be completely eliminated and you could be at risk for reinfection. You could also still pass chlamydia to a partner if you donât complete the recommended course of antibiotics.
Finally, as part of your treatment for chlamydia, connect with any sexual partners you may have unintentionally exposed to this infection. Your healthcare provider may also recommend antibiotics for your partner. This is a key part of chlamydia treatment, since it can help prevent reinfection when you resume sexual intercourse.
Chlamydia is a potentially harmful infection, but fortunately, itâs easy to test for. Itâs also simple to treat when you have a confirmed diagnosis. The important thing is stay informed and know your statusâsomething you can do from the privacy and comfort of home with our STD Test for women.
1. Overview: Chlamydia. National Health Service. URL. Accessed March 27, 2020.
2. Chlamydia – CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Accessed March 27, 2020.
Letting Partners Know You Have Chlamydia
Sexual partners may be infected too. If you have chlamydia, anyone you have had sex with from the last 6 months needs to be informed, tested and treated.
If they dont know, they could reinfect you or infect someone else if they are not treated. dont receive treatment.
Most people will appreciate being told they may have an infection and it is an important step in preventing further infection in the community.
Your local GP and sexual health centre can help you inform your partners and let them know that they need a test. This process is called partner notification. It can be done anonymously, and your confidentiality is always respected.
You can also anonymously notify your sexual partners of the need to get tested and treated for chlamydia via the Let Them Know website if you feel unable to speak to them personally.
There are also nurses who can help you anonymously notify your partners. They can be contacted on .
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Can Someone Get Chlamydia Without Having Sex
Because chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease, you cannot get an infection without participating in a sexual act. The only exception is if your mother passes the infection to you during birth.
Though you cannot catch chlamydia without sexual activity, you dont have to have penetrative sex to get an infection. Chlamydia can pass from person to person from sharing unclean sex toys with an infected person or allowing your genitals to come into contact with their sexual fluids.
How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is usually spread during sexual contact with someone who has the infection. It can happen even if no one cums. The main ways people get chlamydia are from having vaginal sex and anal sex, but it can also be spread through oral sex.
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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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.
Telling A New Partner About An Std
If you have an active STD, it’s normal to be nervous about telling someone new. Everyone raises the subject differently.
Here are some ideas for handling the conversation:
Imagine that your roles are reversed. What would you expect your partner to do and say if he or she were in your shoes? Be proud of your intentions. Your willingness to have this hard conversation shows that you care about the other person and your relationship. We’re more likely to trust and respect people who are honest enough to talk about tough topics like STDs.
It’s best to be direct. You could start by saying, “Before we have sex, I want us to talk about STDs and protection because I have an STD.” Say what type of STD you have and how you got it. You don’t have to share every detail of your past relationships, but showing that you’re open to talking and answering questions can help your partner feel more comfortable.
It’s best to be honest. It’s better for your partner to find out because you said something before getting an infection.
Let the conversation proceed naturally. Listen rather than doing all the talking. Prepare for your partner to be surprised. Each person reacts differently to the news. Some might get panic. Some might be full of questions. Others might just need to time to think.
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Can You Get Chlamydia More Than Once
Its possible to have chlamydia multiple times. The bacteria will not create antibodies to protect your body from further infection. You can get re-infected by continuing sexual relations with a partner who is untested and untreated.
Its best to always use condoms with partners who may have chlamydia.
Testing Before The Incubation Period
Every STD test has an advised date from which a test becomes accurate. 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.
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What Can Happen If Chlamydia Is Not Treated
Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a serious infection of the reproductive organs. PID can cause:
- Tubal pregnancies, which can lead to death of the mother and unborn child.
- Inflammation surrounding the liver.
A mother also can pass the infection to her child during birth. Infection in newborns can lead to:
- Eye infections .
How Do You Get Chlamydia Without Cheating
Other than cheating, the most likely explanation for a partners positive chlamydia test would be that the infection was pre-existing before the relationship. The bacteria that causes chlamydia has many features which make identifying the infection fairly difficult until it starts causing problems.
STIs are notoriously difficult to identify due to their frequent asymptomatic nature, as clarified by the CDC This means that someone can have the infection, but they may not display noticeable symptoms that would otherwise prompt them to get tested.
Due to the absence of symptoms, it is possible that you or your partner could have had a pre-existing chlamydia infection before your current relationship. This can also be the culprit for confusing situations where one partner tests positive, while the other partner claims to not have an STD. It is possible that they are not aware of the infection.
Another aspect to consider would be the misdiagnosis of symptoms. As outlined by the CDC, when chlamydia does cause signs of infection, it is most common to experience burning urination or abnormal discharge. Both of these can easily cause confusion between UTIs and STDsdelaying awareness and treatment.
Extended Incubation Time
In the case that your partner initially tested negative and then positive later in the relationship, this is a probable cause for such contradicting information.
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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.
Chlamydia Signs And Symptoms
Many people with chlamydia have few or no symptoms. In fact, 75% of women and 50% of men do not experience symptoms. If symptoms do show up, itâs 1-3 weeks after infection.
In men, the following symptoms can indicate a chlamydia infection:* Pain and/or swelling in your testes* Pain or burning whenever you pee* Increased amount of clear or cloudy discharge from the penis* Itching in or around your urethra
In women, the following chlamydia symptoms may appear:* Pain or burning when you pee* A change in color, odor, or consistency of your discharge from your normal* Pain or discomfort during sex or after sex* Bleeding after sex or outside of your normal menstrual cycle* Lower abdominal pain or discomfort
The most common and serious complications occur in women. Chlamydia in women can lead to serious consequences like pelvic inflammatory disease , ectopic pregnancy, tubal factor infertility, and chronic pelvic pain.
Symptoms of chlamydia in the throat are caused by having oral sex with someone with the infection. Chlamydia in the throat is considered a mouth infection and may look a lot like pharyngitis.and swallowing can be painful.
Throat symptoms donât show up very often, but if they do, youâll notice them a week or several months after the initial infection.
If you think you contracted the virus through oral sex, let your provider know so they can do a throat swab and test for the infection that way.
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The Most Common Myths
So much wrong information about sexually transmitted diseases gets passed around that its no surprise the diseases do too.
Myth 1: You do not need treatment for chlamydia as it goes away on its own.
Fact: It is highly unlikely for chlamydia to go away on its own. Although the symptoms may subside temporarily, the infection persists in the body in the absence of treatment . The bodys immunity cannot destroy chlamydia 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 serious complications such as:
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases or PID
- Fitz-Hugh-Curtis Syndrome
- Untreated chlamydia in pregnant women can cause serious consequences such as pre-term delivery and ophthalmia neonatorum and pneumonia in the newborn.
- Reactive arthritis may develop in men and women following chlamydial infection.
- Males have lesser health conditions linked to chlamydia as compared to females. Chlamydia infection can sometimes spread to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. Rarely, chlamydia can cause infertility in males.
- Infection with chlamydia can increase the chances of infection with other STDs like HIV
Myth 2: You can get chlamydia from a toilet seat
Myth 3: Once you get cured for chlamydia you cannot be re-infected
Myth 4: You should share your chlamydia medications with your partner
Myth 6: You cannot get chlamydia through oral or anal sex
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.
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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 is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The infection is carried in semen , pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. Chlamydia can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, eyes, and throat. Most people with chlamydia dont have any symptoms and feel totally fine, so they might not even know theyre infected.
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.
Chlamydia Can Lead To Infertility
A lot of us don’t 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.
Chlamydia is most common in sexually active young adults. More than half of all infections involve people ages 18 to 24. You can get chlamydia during oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with an infected partner. The disease can cause penile discharge in men and infertility in women. It can also cause serious health problems in newborn babies of infected mothers.
Many women, and some men, are infected with chlamydia but don’t 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.
If symptoms do show up, they usually occur within weeks of exposure. Men and women may face painful urination, an abnormal discharge from the urethra, or both. Women also may have abdominal pain, bleeding, and an abnormal discharge from the vagina. Symptoms usually appear within one to three weeks after being infected and may be very mild.
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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Can You Test Negative For Chlamydia And Still Be A Carrier
Modern medical testing is incredibly accurate and this includes STD tests. However, no medical testing method is 100% accurate and there can be a very small number of false negative test results. A false negative is where a person has a condition, despite the medical test saying they are all clear. As well as these small amounts of false negatives there are a number of scenarios that can cause a person to have chlamydia and still test negative.
Why People Need To Tell Their Partners
So what do you do if your test comes back positive? After being treated yourself, it’s important to tell your sex partners. Why? Their health is at risk, so they need to know what’s going on. It’s natural to feel worried, embarrassed, and even scared. But to protect your partner, it’s a conversation you need to have.
Need more reasons?
- STDs can cause serious health problems, especially if they’re not found and treated.
- Some STDs can lower the chances of having babies in the future if not treated early on.
- Telling a past or current partner gives that person the chance to get checked out and, if needed, treated.
- Telling a future partner lets that person to make an informed decision about his or her own health.
- If you’re treated for an STD but your partner isn’t, you can get re-infected.
- Not telling a partner about an STD after a confirmed diagnosis may be a criminal offense in some states.
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