How Does Chlamydia Spread
Chlamydia is spread when a person has unprotected sex with an infected person.
Because chlamydial infection often has no symptoms, many people do not realise they have the infection.
Even if you know a person well, you may not be able to tell they have an STI, because people can look healthy and still have chlamydia.
Remember, you can get chlamydia and other STIs from a new sexual partner who has in the past had sex with someone who is infected.
It can also be spread from a long-term partner who has had sex with other people.
How To Talk About It
Talking about STIs can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. If one person tests positive and their partner does not, they may worry about infidelity. It is important to know that having different test results does not definitively mean this is the case.
It can be helpful to discuss chlamydia with a healthcare professional to understand each partners risk.
Some topics to talk about with one another include:
- whether both partners are and have been monogamous
- mutual reassurance and support
Encourage Your Boyfriend To Get Treated
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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.
So A Partner Told You That They Have
When a partner tells you that they have tested positive for an STI, it is normal to feel some distress! Check out our guide below to your next best steps when a partner tells you that they have
For more details on each of these STIs, click the links to see our detailed information pages.
Gonorrhea: Make an appointment with your local sexual health clinic, STI clinic, university clinic, walk-in clinic, or family doctor, even if you dont have any symptoms. Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is treated with an injection of antibiotics. A medical professional will have to administer the drug. If a partner or Public Health did not tell you that they have tested positive, but your encounter was high-risk , gonorrhea can be accurately tested after 7-10 days. Consider getting tested for sexually transmitted blood-borne infections .
Chlamydia: Make an appointment with your local sexual health clinic, STI clinic, university clinic, walk-in clinic, or family doctor, even if you dont have any symptoms. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is treated with antibiotics in pill form. A medical professional will have to prescribe the drug. If a partner or Public Health did not tell you that they have tested positive, but your encounter was high-risk , chlamydia can be accurately tested after 7-10 days. Consider getting tested for sexually transmitted blood-borne infections .
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Be Prepared To Deal With A Variety Of Responses
Young People Not Getting Tested
Telling your partner that youve got chlamydia is one thing. But you need to know youve contracted it in the first place.
Thats where it gets tricky.
Professor Jane Hocking heads up the sexual health unit at the University of Melbourne. Hockings new research reveals that around 1 in 5 young people aged 16-29 didnt get tested for chlamydia even after their GP suggested they do so.
For men, 23 per cent didnt provide a specimen, compared with 18 per cent in women, Jane Hocking told Hack. The younger you are, the less likely youll take the test. Among the 16-19 year-olds, it was just over 21 per cent were less likely to leave a specimen, compared with about 18 per cent among the 25-29 year-olds.
Theres already low numbers for sexual health screenings in Australians aged 15-29.
Less than 10 per cent of this age group are screened each year in general practice, the studys authors write in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Doctor Melissa Kang, Senior Lecturer at the Sydney Medical School in Westmead, says talking about sexual health doesnt always come easily. And that can be especially true for young people who have only just started to become sexually active.
All sexually transmitted infections carry some kind of stigmait can kind of mess with peoples sense of who they are, how they feel about themselves.
The awkwardness, the feeling self conscious factor is probably never going to go away, Dr Kang told Hack.
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Give Your Boyfriend Space To Process
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.
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How Did I Get Chlamydia In Faithful Relationship
Guest over a year ago
We continued to date even though she thought I had cheatedon her, no matter how many times I tried to tell her I never did. Everythingwas still going good, but now we just broke up because she just couldnt get over the whole Chlamydia thing and not being ableto trust me. Please someone help me out, this whole thing has ruined myrelationship of 2 years.
CoCoMoNo237779 over a year ago
cay12345 over a year ago
Guest over a year ago
Guest over a year ago
How Can I Protect Myself From Chlamydia
Its not always possible to know if a current or potential partner has chlamydia, though, especially since many people with chlamydia never notice symptoms. With prevention in mind, its a good idea to make safer sex practices a regular part of your sex life:
- Dont share sex toys, but if you do, wash them after each use and cover toys used for penetration with a condom.
- Have sex with only one partner, who only has sex with you.
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How Can I Prevent Catching It
The only way to prevent getting an STI is to use condoms or a dental dam during oral sex. If you have a long term partner then you should both have a check-up to ensure you are free from STIs before you stop using condoms. If you are planning to stop using condoms, youll need to use an alternative method of contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
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.
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Get Straight To The Point
Does This Mean They Have Cheated On Me
If you have tested positive for chlamydia this doesnt mean your partner has cheated on you. They could have had it for a long time without knowing. Many people dont get tested unless they get symptoms or think they have reason to worry so it may be that they never thought they were at risk of having chlamydia.
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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.
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
The most common test for chlamydia is called a nucleic acid amplification test . Your provider takes a sample of fluid by doing a vaginal/cervical swab or collecting a urine sample. Then, they send the sample off to a lab to check for the bacteria that causes chlamydia. Your provider may do the test in an office, or they may ask you to do an at-home chlamydia test. Follow your providers instructions carefully to ensure you get accurate test results.
Because most chlamydia cases are asymptomatic, its important to get screened for chlamydia even if you dont notice any signs of infection. The CDC recommends that sexually active cisgender women who are high-risk for chlamydia get screened regularly. Women, more so than men, experience the most severe complications from chlamydia. Transgender men and nonbinary individuals with vaginas should be screened regularly, too, as they can experience the same complications of chlamydia.
Youre considered high-risk if you:
- Have had chlamydia infections previously.
Cisgender men, or trans and nonbinary individuals with penises, should be screened for chlamydia if:
- They live in a setting where chlamydia spreads frequently, like correctional facilities, adolescent clinics and sexual health clinics.
- They have sex with other men.
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Do I Need To Get Tested Even Without Symptoms
If you are sexually active you should still get tested for chlamydia regularly even if you dont have symptoms. Passing on chlamydia can make any relationship or sexual encounter extremely awkward and can also have serious repercussions for the other persons health.
Even without symptoms chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women which can seriously hard reproductive health. It can also cause fertility problems for men. Testing regularly is the most straightforward way to protect both your health and the health of your future sexual partners.
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.
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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.
What Do I Need To Do
- In NSW, PDPT is being offered at some Publicly Funded Sexual Health Clinics and some Family Planning Clinics call 1800 451 624 to find out where in NSW. If you live outside of NSW check with your doctor as its not available everywhere in Australia
- Make sure you read or print off these fact sheets for you and your partner/s. This one is for you and this one is for your partners
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Your Partner Suddenly Withdraws From Sexual Affection
We all have times when we may not feel like engaging in sex or sexual activity, even with a partner we love. When your partner suddenly deviates from your relationships typical sexual pattern or withdraws from sex completely, however, it could be a sign to watch out for.
This may indicate your partner is trying to hide symptoms from you. Some STD symptoms, including several associated with gonorrhea or chlamydia, are visible in the genital area, so withdrawing from sex could be an attempt to prevent you from seeing these symptoms firsthand.
It could also be that your partner is trying to protect you from transmission, but hasnt summoned up the courage to tell you about their STD.
Last, it may be that your partner feels guilt about being in a sexual relationship with someone else. In this case, even if they dont know whether theyve contracted an STD, theyre still placing you at risk by engaging in sexual activity with multiple partners.
If you find yourself in this situation, its important to talk openly with your partner. Ask for an explanation, but be compassionate. Remember, their withdrawal from sexual activity might be completely innocent, stemming from anxiety, emotional distress or another cause. Regardless of your partners answer, however, it might be wise to get an STD test, just in case theyre not being completely honest with you.