Condom Fact Sheet In Brief
Consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of sexually transmitted disease and human immunodeficiency virus transmission. However, condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STD. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs are to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. However, many infected persons may be unaware of their infection because STDs often are asymptomatic and unrecognized.
Condom effectiveness for STD and HIV prevention has been demonstrated by both laboratory and epidemiologic studies. Evidence of condom effectiveness is also based on theoretical and empirical data regarding the transmission of different STDs, the physical properties of condoms, and the anatomic coverage or protection provided by condoms.
Laboratory studies have shown that latex condoms provide an effective barrier against even the smallest STD pathogens.
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
Guide To Using Condoms Correctly
Incorrect condom use can dramatically increase your chance of gettingmultiple STDs at once since it puts you at risk of STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and many others. Proper condom use ensures that you and your partner stay safe during the entire experience.
Read on for some guidance to keep in mind about condoms.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
When it comes to chlamydia, its a good idea to be proactive. Speak with your healthcare provider about your risks of infection. Make a plan to get screened regularly for STIs based on your providers recommendations for how often you should be tested. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if your partner tests positive for chlamydia or if you notice any signs or symptoms that you may be infected.
Can Chlamydia Be Prevented
The only sure way to prevent chlamydia is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading chlamydia. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Other Stds And Associated Conditions
- Consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk for many STDs that are transmitted by genital fluids .
- Consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk for genital ulcer diseases, such as genital herpes, syphilis, and chancroid, only when the infected area or site of potential exposure is protected.
- Consistent and correct use of latex condoms may reduce the risk for genital human papillomavirus infection and HPV-associated diseases .
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 didnât take it properly
- your symptoms donât go away
- youâre pregnant
If youâre under 25 years of age, you should be offered a repeat test for chlamydia 3 to 6 months after finishing your treatment because youâre at a higher risk of catching it again.
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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
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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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.
When To See A Healthcare Professional
If you suspect you have chlamydia, see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Abstain from allsexual activity until your appointment.
If you arent comfortable getting tested for STIs with your usual provider, you can find a clinic in your area.
There are many free or low-cost clinics. Heres how to find one near you.
You can also visit GetTested or call CDC Info at 800-232-4636 to find local clinics.
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You Can Catch Chlamydia If Youve Only Had Sex Once
You may have heard that its not possible to get chlamydia from a single sex act. If youve had sex with someone who has the infection, you could get it, too. One encounter is all it takes to pass on the bacteria, so get tested.
In up to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia, the infection spreads to the uterus and uterine tubes, leading to symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease.
If youve had unprotected sex and are worried that you might have chlamydia, get tested. The test is easy and painless. Your doctor could take a sample of your cells with a cotton swab or ask you to pee in a cup. The sample is tested for chlamydia bacteria. If your doctor says you have chlamydia, dont worry. Its treatable.
What Stds Can You Get While Wearing A Condom
Its important to remember that even with the perfect use of a condom, there are a number of STDs you can get even with a condom because they are transmitted in ways that dont involve condoms.
Condoms act as a barrier to STDs that can be found in bodily fluids like semen, blood and vaginal fluids.Some examples of STDs that are transmitted through bodily fluids include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis.
But certain STDs are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, not bodily fluids.
Condoms wont prevent the transmission of these infections unless the infected area is completely covered by the condom.Thus, how effective a condom is when it comes to protecting you from these STDs will depend on the size and location of the infected area.
Some examples of STDs that are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact include:
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Can You Get An Std From Outercourse
As mentioned above, outercourse refers to sexual activities that dont involve intercourse. Whether or not you can get an STD from outercourse depends mostly on which activities you participate in. Dirty talking or sexting doesnt present a risk of STD transmission. However, some forms of mutual masturbation, sharing of sex toys, or even kissing your partner carry a possibility of STD transmission.
Its Possible To Get Chlamydia Through Oral Or Anal Sex
You may have heard that its not possible to get chlamydia through oral or anal sex, but this is just a myth. If you have unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex, you could get chlamydia.
While its possible to get chlamydia through any of these sex acts, the risk varies depending on the type of sex youre having. Chlamydia isnt commonly passed through cunnilingus, but its possible. The infection is commonly passed through fellatio and anal sex.
No matter what type of sex youre having, its a good idea to use protection. This may include dental dams or condoms, depending on the sex act. Other types of contraception, like birth control pills and IUDs, dont provide any protection against chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections.
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How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
Chlamydia is sometimes called a silent infection because the majority of people who have chlamydia regardless of gender never notice symptoms. People who do notice symptoms often dont recognize the signs that they have chlamydia until a few weeks after theyve been infected. Because chlamydia cases are often asymptomatic, its easy to spread chlamydia to someone else without realizing it. And its easy to miss out on receiving the treatment needed to prevent the serious complications that can result from chlamydia.
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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Chlamydia Can Sometimes Go Away On Its Own
Some diseases and infections can go away on their own, so its not surprising that people wonder: does chlamydia go away on its own? The truth is, it sometimes does. In about 20% of people who have no symptoms, chlamydia may resolve spontaneously without treatment. It means that under certain circumstances host immune responses can control chlamydia naturally.
Untreated chlamydia can go on without any symptoms for a long period of time. Thats why its so important to get tested and catch it early. When chlamydia isnt treated, it can cause a number of serious complications. In women, the infection can spread to the uterus and uterine tubes, while in men, it can spread to the prostate gland. Chlamydia can also cause reactive arthritis, which affects your joints and eyes.
When chlamydia isnt treated, it can cause a number of serious complications.
Some people claim that chlamydia can be treated with home remedies like garlic and turmeric, but these methods are unproven and should be avoided. The only proven cure for chlamydia is treatment with antibiotics, which usually clear up the infection in a week or two.
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 Condoms Help Prevent Stds
Though they canât guarantee 100% protection from sexually transmitted infections, condomsâwhen used consistently and correctlyâcan dramatically reduce the risk of getting or transmitting STDs.
Hereâs how it works:
First, a condom must be used correctly to provide protection. When itâs used incorrectly, slippage or breakage can occur.
STD transmission is a risk any time you engage in sexual activityâso 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 âimpermeable barrierâ 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.
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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When To Seek Medical Advice
If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.
You should also get tested if you don’t have any symptoms but are concerned you could have a sexually transmitted infection .
If you’re a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If you’re a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
Read more about chlamydia diagnosis.