Ways You Can Get An Std Without Having Sex
Considering the fact that the S in STD stands for sexually, it must be impossible to get STDs without doing the horizontal mambo, right? WRONG. STDs can spread without even having sex. Things like kissing a loved one or family member, conducting oral, sharing contaminated food, borrowing unclean towels, and more can transmit STDs like chlamydia, herpes, and hepatitis.
20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections spread in the U.S. every year. Although sexual intercourse is a common way to contract an STD, you may be wondering how you wound up catching one yourself without having sex. Thats why weve put together a list of some of the most common ways people contract STDs without having sex.
How Common Is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is the most common STI caused by bacteria. Nearly 2 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the CDC in 2019. The number of infections is likely even higher. When compared to previous years, 2019 infection rates increased among people of all genders, all races and ethnicities, and in every region of the U.S. Most cases of chlamydia are asymptomatic, which means there are no signs or symptoms of an infection. Many of these cases likely go unreported.
Certain demographic characteristics may make you more likely to get diagnosed with chlamydia. Youre more likely to get diagnosed if youre:
- A teen or young adult aged 15 to 24. More than half of all diagnosed chlamydia cases in the U.S. occur in this age group.
- A cisgender woman aged 15 to 24. Young women in this age group are targeted for chlamydia screenings, and the rate of infection among those who are tested is high.
- A man who has sex with men . Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect men who have sex with men.
- Black and non-Hispanic. Chlamydia infections disproportionately affect non-Hispanic Black populations.
Who Is At Risk For Chlamydia
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Anyone with genital symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination, unusual sores, or rash should refrain from having sex until they are able to see a health care provider about their symptoms.
Also, anyone with an oral, anal or vaginal sex partner who has been recently diagnosed with an STD should see a health care provider for evaluation.
Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs have been demonstrated to reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women. CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women age 25 or younger and older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections . Pregnant women should be screened during their first prenatal care visit. Pregnant women younger than 25 or at increased risk for chlamydia should be screened again in their third trimester. Any woman who is sexually active should discuss her risk factors with a health care provider who can then determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not recommended for men. However, the screening of sexually active young men should be considered in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.
What are the symptoms?
What kinds of complications can the infection cause?
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How Do You Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. The bacteria are usually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids .
You can get chlamydia through:
- unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex
- sharing sex toys that are not washed or covered with a new condom each time they’re used
- your genitals coming into contact with your partner’s genitals this means you can get chlamydia from someone even if there’s no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation
- infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye
It can also be passed by a pregnant woman to her baby.
Chlamydia cannot be passed on through casual contact, such as kissing and hugging, or from sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or cutlery.
Im Pregnant How Does Chlamydia Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection to your baby during delivery. This could cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your newborn. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby too early.
If you are pregnant, you should get tested for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.
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Antibiotics Are A Highly Effective Cure For Chlamydia Infection
Antibiotics prescribed for chlamydia include:
A single oral dose of Zithromax is the most common treatment. Other drugs may be given in varying doses for a period of up to a week. Most cases of chlamydia clear up within a week after you start on antibiotics.
If you think you have been exposed to chlamydia, Stoner says, see your healthcare provider to receive antibiotic medication to prevent the onset of infection.
The partners of individuals diagnosed with chlamydia will need treatment, too, and in some states they can get it without a doctor visit through a practice called expedited partner therapy, in which the first person treated delivers the treatment to their partner or partners.
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.
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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.
Why People Need To Tell Their Partners
So what do you do if your test comes back positive? After being treated yourself, its important to tell your sex partners. Why? Their health is at risk, so they need to know whats going on. Its natural to feel worried, embarrassed, and even scared. But to protect your partner, its a conversation you need to have.
Need more reasons?
- STDs can cause serious health problems, especially if theyre 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 youre treated for an STD but your partner isnt, 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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How Do People Get Chlamydia
People get chlamydia by having sex with someone who has the infection. Chlamydia can still be transmitted even if a man does not ejaculate. People who have had chlamydia and have been treated can get infected again if they have sex with an infected person.
Chlamydia can be spread from an infected woman to her baby during childbirth.
How Did I Get Chlamydia If I Didn’t Cheat
17 Nov 2021
Most people dont expect to experience symptoms of a new sexually transmitted disease when theyre in a committed, monogamous relationship. If this does happen, your first instinct could be to think that your partner has cheated on you. But although rare, its actually possible to have new symptoms of an STD, such as chlamydia, even if no one has cheated. How can this happen?
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What Other Sexual Activities Can Transmit An Sti
To be very clear, STIs arent weeds: They dont simply sprout up out of nowhere.
For an STI to be transmitted, someone must be doing the transmitting. And for someone to do the transmitting, they must be STI-positive.
According to Gersh, depending on what the STI is and where its located, an STI could be transmitted during any sexual activity that involves the following:
- the mouth, lips, throat, or saliva
- blood or breast milk
- vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculation , semen, or anal secretions
- the internal anal canal, anal entrance, or perineum
- the vaginal canal, vulva, penis, or testicles
That means that, in theory, an STI can be transmitted during any of the following sex acts:
However, most of the fearmongering around nonsexual STI transmissions for instance, that you can get an STI from a toilet seat, hot tub, or public pool is *not* based in science under most conditions.
STIs generally cannot exist outside the homeyness of the bodys mucosal membranes for very long. And all the chemicals in pools and hot tubs kill off any infectious agents.
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
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How Chlamydia Is Treated
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
If you have doxycycline, you should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
If you have azithromycin, you should wait 7 days after treatment before having sex .
It’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.
Under-25s who have chlamydia should 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.
Sexual health or genitourinary medicine clinics can help you contact your sexual partners.
Either you or the clinic can speak to them, or they can be sent a note advising them to get tested.
The note will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
How Does A Doctor Treat Trichomoniasis
During antibiotic treatment
- Take all the medicine prescribed even if your symptoms go away. You need to finish all the antibiotics to avoid antimicrobial resistance.
- Sexual partners must also be treated.
- Only initiate sexual activity at least seven days after completing the course of antibiotics.
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How Common Is Asymptomatic Chlamydia
As we mentioned above, its possible for someone to have an asymptomatic case of chlamydia and pass it to a new partner. Its difficult to determine exactly how many people have chlamydia, but the CDC has estimated that there were approximately four million new cases of chlamydia in the United States in 2018.
According to HealthDirect, 3 out of 4 women and 1 out 2 men wont show symptoms of chlamydia. Women can have asymptomatic chlamydia for many years, and men can have it for several months. So its entirely possible for you to be experiencing symptoms of chlamydia because your partner was asymptomatic and gave you the infection without knowing it.
According to Avert, the symptoms of chlamydia can include:
- Increased vaginal discharge that can be white, yellow, or grayish
- Bleeding or spotting after having sex or urinating
- Lower abdominal pain, particularly after sex
- Pain during intercourse and/or urination
- Painful or swollen testicles
- Watery or mucous-like, white, or cloudy penile discharge
Ways You Can Get Sti Or Std Without Having Sex
Although the S in STI or STD stands for sexually, there are actually several ways you can contract an sexual infections without getting horizontal in the sheets. In 2016, one statistic stated that although there was a . This may be because fewer tests were being carried out, rather than fewer STIs being transmitted. Overall, 160,000 fewer chlamydia tests were carried out in 2016, compared to 2015 a fall of 5%. So what does this mean? It means we need to empower our own protection in every way possible. The first step?
LETS START WITH EDUCATION
PLAYING KISSY FACE
Although kissing can be sweet and innocent its not quite as innocent as you think. Because you are swapping saliva as you pucker up, you can still catch an STD. Mononucleosis is probably the most common, but theres also a high probability of catching oral herpes the virus that causes cold sores.
People have different opinions on whether oral sex is real sex but you can definitely catch real diseases this way. Secretions, sores or broken skin that are exposed during oral sex can easily transmit STDs or STIs if the vagina, penis or anus are infected. One of the most common STDs that can spread this way is the herpes simplex virus 2. On occasion, you can be at risk for chlamydia. Chlamydia, in rare cases, can infect your throat during oral sex.
GETTING CLOSE WITHOUT CLOTHES
SHARING CLOTHES, SHEETS, TOWEL, ETC ITEMS
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If I Have An Unusual Rash Pain Or Discharge Does That Mean I Have An Sti
Maybe. Sometimes STIs do cause problems that you might notice. These symptoms donât always mean you have an STI, they could indicate another health problem such as a yeast infection or UTI.
If you have any of these symptoms on or near your genitals, anus, or mouth, see your healthcare provider:
Chlamydia Is Only Contagious From Person To Person
You can only get chlamydia by having intimate sexual contact with an infected person, not from casual contact, touching another persons clothing, or consuming contaminated food or water.
The chlamydia organism lives only in human cells and cannot be transmitted by external contact, such as towels or toilet seats, Schaffir says.
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How Did I Get Chlamydia If I Didnt Cheat
Chlamydia cant be transmitted without sexual contact, so in some cases, a new chlamydial infection could mean that someone has been unfaithful in the relationship. But penetrative sex isnt a requirement for chlamydia to spread, and other types of intimate contact can also lead to this infection.
However, its also possible for your partner to have asymptomatic chlamydia and be completely unaware of it. In fact, most people with chlamydia will never develop any signs of the disease, but they can still pass it on to new partners and develop complications from a chronic infection. So if you develop new STD symptoms that are compatible with chlamydia but havent cheated, its possible that your partner has had an asymptomatic infection for some time and passed it on to you.
So how exactly can you get chlamydia? Lets find out.
How Do You Catch Chlamydia
- Through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who has the infection
- Infected semen or vaginal fluids getting into your eyes
- Sharing sex toys that have not been washed or covered with a new condom every time they are used
- Your genitals touching someone elses genitals even if there is no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation
Pregnant women can also pass the infection to their baby during childbirth, which means that their baby could develop an eye infection such as conjunctivitis or a lung infection like pneumonia.
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Dont Delay Your Chlamydia Screening
At Rapid STD Testing, you will receive the answers you need concerning your body. Whether you have concerns about chlamydia, trichomoniasis, or how to test for herpes, we offer quick, confidential screenings.
If you think a recent exposure to an STD is likely, dont delay. Contact Rapid STD Testing at and explore your testing and treatment options today.
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.
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