You Can Get Chlamydia More Than Once
With some diseases, having one infection makes you immune to future infections. That’s not the case with chlamydia. If you engage in sexual activity with a person who has a chlamydia infection, you can get it again, even if you’ve just completed treatment for it.
“Both partners should be treated before reinitiating sexual intercourse to prevent relapse,” Schaffir says.
Can You Develop A Chlamydia Infection On Your Own
Fortunately, you canât contract chlamydia on your own because it spreads through sexual contact with other people.
Chlamydia bacteria does, however, thrive in vaginal fluid, semen, and pre-ejaculate . For that reason, using a latex condom properly during sexual intercourse and avoiding any kind of unprotected sex is the best way to protect yourself from developing or passing on a chlamydia infection. Caution is important, but fear is unnecessary: you donât need to worry about contracting chlamydia from kissing someone or sitting on a public toilet seat.
How To Treat Oral Chlamydia
Oral chlamydia is treated in the same way as other chlamydia infections: with antibiotics. The CDC recommends:
- Doxycycline two times a day for seven days
Alternative treatments include:
- Azithromycin in a single dose
- Levofloxacin once a day for seven days
A single dose of azithromycin may be the simplest way to treat chlamydia. However, people have developed resistance to this antibiotic, whereas doxycycline has a nearly 100% cure rate.
After being diagnosed with a chlamydia infection, all sexual partners need to be told and treated as well. You should also refrain from having any sex for seven days after completing treatment.
Chlamydia is easily treated and cured, but you can get chlamydia again. If you are sexually active, it is essential to test for sexually transmitted infections regularly.
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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.
How Easily Is Chlamydia Transmitted During Sexual Intercourse
Unfortunately, chlamydia is very easily transmitted through unprotected sexual contact. This is especially true because chlamydia infections are sometimes asymptomaticâmeaning they donât cause noticeable symptoms.
In fact, any time you come in contact with the bacteriaâeven if your sex partner doesnât ejaculate or you arenât fully penetratedâyou could become infected or pass along the chlamydial infection. This being the case, men and women should get tested for STIs before beginning any new sexual relationship.
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Davina is a native of Grenada and a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. She’s a content specialist with a passion for empowering women to thrive and reach their full potential. In her free time, Davina is probably painting, reading, or baking something unnecessarily sweet.
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.
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How Is Chlamydia Treated
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotic medication, which are medications taken by mouth. Since both you and your sex partner have been infected, both of you must be treated.
With treatment, the infection should clear up in about 7 days. Continue to take your medication, even if the symptoms go away.
Also, never take someone else’s medication to treat your illness. By doing so, you may make the infection more difficult to treat.
You should also:
- Tell anyone with whom you have had sex in the last 3 months that you are infected. This step is especially important because chlamydia may have no symptoms. Women, especially, may not have symptoms and may not seek testing or treatment unless alerted by their sex partners. Abstain from sex until you have taken all of your medication.
- Get checked for HIV/AIDS and other STIs .
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.
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How Can I Prevent Chlamydia
The best way to prevent chlamydia or any STI is to not have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
If you do have sex, lower your risk of getting an STI with the following steps:
- Use condoms. Condoms are the best way to prevent STIs when you have sex. Because a man does not need to ejaculate to give or get chlamydia, make sure to put the condom on before the penis touches the vagina, mouth, or anus. Other methods of , like birth control pills, shots, implants, or , will not protect you from STIs.
- Get tested. Be sure you and your partner are tested for STIs. Talk to each other about the test results before you have sex.
- Be monogamous. Having sex with just one partner can lower your risk for STIs. After being tested for STIs, be faithful to each other. That means that you have sex only with each other and no one else.
- Limit your number of sex partners. Your risk of getting STIs goes up with the number of partners you have.
- Do not douche. removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from infection. This may increase your risk of getting STIs.
- Do not abuse alcohol or drugs. Drinking too much alcohol or using drugs increases risky behavior and may put you at risk of sexual assault and possible exposure to STIs.
The steps work best when used together. No single step can protect you from every single type of STI.
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 .
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Women Difficulties Of Without Treatment Chlamydia
Some women develop PID, an infection that can harm the womb, cervix, as well as ovaries. PID is an uncomfortable condition that frequently requires hospital therapy.
Ladies can likewise come to be infertile if chlamydia is left neglected due to the fact that the fallopian tubes might come to be marked.
Pregnant females with the infection can pass the microorganisms to their infants throughout birth, which can create eye infections and pneumonia in infants. How Is Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia In The Rectum Throat Or Eyes
Chlamydia can also infect:
- the rectum if you have unprotected anal sex this can cause discomfort and discharge from your rectum
- the throat if you have unprotected oral sex this is uncommon and usually causes no symptoms
- the eyes if they come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid this can cause eye redness, pain and discharge
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What Should I Do If I Have Chlamydia
Chlamydia is easy to treat. But you need to be tested and treated as soon as possible.
If you have chlamydia:
- See a doctor or nurse as soon as possible. Antibiotics will treat chlamydia, but they will not fix any permanent damage to your reproductive organs.
- Take all of your medicine. Even if symptoms go away, you need to finish all of the antibiotics.
- Tell your sex partner so they can be tested and treated. If they are not tested and treated you could get chlamydia again.
- Avoid sexual contact until you and your partner have been treated and cured. Even after you finish your antibiotics, you can get chlamydia again if you have sex with someone who has chlamydia.
- See your doctor or nurse again if you have symptoms that don’t go away within a few days after finishing the antibiotics.
Do I Need To Get Tested For Chlamydia
- If you are 24 or younger and have sex, you need to get tested for chlamydia. Chlamydia is most common in women between 15 and 24 years old. You need to get tested if you have had any symptoms of chlamydia since your last negative test result or if your sex partner has chlamydia.
- If you are older than 24, you need to get tested if, in the past year or since your last test, you:
- Had a new sex partner
- Had your sex partner tell you they have chlamydia
- Traded sex for money or drugs
- Have had chlamydia or another STI in the past
- Did not use condoms during sex and are in a relationship that is not monogamous, meaning you or your partner has sex with other people
You also need to be tested if you are pregnant or if you have any symptoms of chlamydia.
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In Men Untreated Chlamydia Can Lead To:
- Epididymitis painful inflammation of the inner structures of the testicles, which may cause reduced fertility or sterility. A rare complication of Epididymitisis reactive arthritis, which causes pain in the inflamed joints that can be disabling
- Occasionally, Reiters syndrome
- Urethritis inflammation of the urethra with a yellow discharge appearing at the tip of the penis. Untreated urethritis results in narrowing of the urethra which leads to painful urinating and can cause kidney problems
How Can You Tell If You Have Chlamydia
You can have chlamydia without experiencing any symptoms. In fact, many womenâapproximately 70% of those who are infectedâare completely asymptomatic, which means that they are also unaware that they are carrying Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria.
The lack of symptoms can cause health problems over time because an untreated chlamydia infection can lead to complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease . Also, if you become pregnant and have chlamydia, you may develop an ectopic pregnancy . Some people with untreated chlamydia may develop reactive arthritis, a form of joint inflammation thatâs caused by the chlamydia bacterium . Untreated chlamydia can also damage your reproductive organs, which could potentially lead to infertility.
Thankfully, effective treatments exist for chlamydial infections. But to get treatment, you first need to determine if you have chlamydia in the first place. As mentioned above, you could have chlamydia without any symptoms. But there are certain telltale symptoms you may experience that can help identify it.
Chlamydia symptoms look very different in men and women. If your male partner experiences urethritis , or has discharge from his penis, he may have chlamydia. If thatâs the case, you should both test for sexually transmitted infections.
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How Do People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected partner. Ejaculation does not have to occur for chlamydia to be transmitted or acquired. Chlamydia can also be spread perinatally from an untreated mother to her baby during childbirth, resulting in ophthalmia neonatorum or pneumonia in some exposed infants. In published prospective studies, chlamydial conjunctivitis has been identified in 18-44% and chlamydial pneumonia in 3-16% of infants born to women with untreated chlamydial cervical infection at the time of delivery.9-12 While rectal or genital chlamydial infection has been shown to persist one year or longer in infants infected at birth,13 the possibility of sexual abuse should be considered in prepubertal children beyond the neonatal period with vaginal, urethral, or rectal chlamydial infection.
People who have had chlamydia and have been treated may get infected again if they have sexual contact with a person infected with chlamydia.14
I Was Treated For Chlamydia When Can I Have Sex Again
You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex.
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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.
How Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of getting or giving chlamydia.53 The surest way to avoid chlamydia is to abstain from vaginal, anal, and oral sex, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
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Probability Of Chlamydia Transmission
If someone knows or suspects they have been exposed to chlamydia, they should get tested as soon as possible, so that they can have the infection diagnosed and treated if necessary. They should also abstain from sexual activities until they have been tested and received the all-clear.
That said, if someone has had unprotected sex with an infected person, it does not necessarily mean they definitely have chlamydia.
Estimated transmission rates tend to vary and, as discussed above, the likelihood of infection depends on the sexual act performed but Professor Victoria von Sadovszky, an expert from the Ohio State University College of Nursing, states that the transmission rate from a single unprotected exposure is thought to be around 25 percent.
Other estimates put the male-to-female transmission rate from one sexual instance at 40 percent and the female-to-male transmission rate at 32 percent.
Obviously, the more someone has sex with an infected person, the higher the chances of transmission become.
Using barrier protection can reduce the chances of picking up the infection dramatically. Provided they are used accordingly, condoms are thought to be 99 percent effective at reducing the transmission of STIs.
Find out more about preventing chlamydia transmission on our information page.
Chlamydia Symptoms & Treatment
- Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that is normally passed on through sex without a condom or sharing sex toys with someone who has the infection.
- Using male or female condoms and dental dams during sex will help to protect you from getting chlamydia.
- Chlamydia is often symptomless however if left untreated it can lead to long-term health problems.
- Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics.
- Chlamydia can be passed on from mother to child during pregnancy, so its important for pregnant women to get tested.
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