Chlamydia – An STD Often Undetected

ChlamydiaChlamydia’s one of the most common sexually transmitted bacterial diseases in the world, with as many as 3 million new cases every year in the United States alone, but it often goes undetected and undiagnosed!!

As many as 1 in 4 men have no symptoms and only about 30% of women with chlamydia have symptoms.

How do you get Chlamydia/How can you get it? Chlamydia Causes:

Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If there is infected vaginal fluid on your fingers, or discharge from the penis of an infected man, touching your hand to your eye can also infect your eye.

If you have anal sex, you can also get the infection in the rectum.

It can also be found in the throats of women and men who have had oral sex with an infected partner.

How to tell if you have it? Chlamydia Symptoms:

The most common symptom is no symptom at all. However, symptoms in men include:

  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Discharge from the penis or rectum
  • Testicular tenderness or pain
  • Rectal discharge or pain
Symptoms in women can include:
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Rectal pain or discharge
  • Vaginal discharge

How to know if you have it? Chlamydia Tests:

The presence of chlamydia can be confirmed by lab tests done using a swab from the cervix or vagina or using urine. If you’ve had anal sex, a rectal swab is also recommended.

Relief spells (Rolaids?!) Chlamydia Treatment:

Oral antibiotics cure infection.

Be sure your partner will be treated as well to avoid reinfection.

Retesting is recommended three months after being diagnosed with chlamydia to detect new infections, which can be due to sex with undiagnosed and untreated partners.

What’s going to happen to me?!!?! Chlamydia Expectations:

Early antibiotic treatment is extremely successful and may prevent the development of long-term complications.

Untreated infection, however, may lead to complications.

Things to be aware of… Chlamydia Complications:

Chlamydia can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This happens in about 10-15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia. PID can lead to internal abscesses and long-lasting, chronic pelvic pain.

PID can damage the fallopian tubes enough to cause infertility or increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.

Chlamydia can also increase the chances of becoming infected with HIV.

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References:

Did this information help you or was this consistent with your experience? Are we missing something pertinent you think should be included in this in-depth description? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Comments

  1. DD wilsom says

    BOY starts having unprotected sex with GIRL. Month 4 the GIRL comes home from clinic POSITIVE for CHLAMYDIA!!! Guy tests NEGATIVE and so HE naturally THINKS SHE CHEATED. She explains that she DID NOT have any other partners during those 4 months and that she MUST have had the STD prior to them meeting. The Risk of Infection (%)(for men) from ONE Unprotected Encounter with CHLAMYDIA is 20%…* ( this statistic taking from MaleHealthCenter.com) If true the guy has just had 4 months of unprotected exposure……… COULD girl BE TELLING THE TRUTH???

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi DD Wilson –

      This is an EXCELLENT question and one people have all the time! Yes, it is quite possible the girl is telling the truth. The most common symptom of all STDs is no symptom at all. As a result, many people contract an STD and never know they have one unless they are tested. It’s likely she contracted this STD months ago without knowing and thus, just found out she had it because she got tested.

      Additionally, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for her to get retested after she’s completed her antibiotics as you are still susceptible even while she is completing the antibiotics she was prescribed and of course, you want to prevent contracting it as well because the two of you could re-infect one another.

      Knowing all of this now, you could both get re-tested together for the most commonly tested STDs – it could be a fun relationship-building activity – lol – just in case you have something from a previous relationship as well!! Sounds like fun, right?! My boyfriend and I just did it, actually; it wasn’t too awkward and we had cocktails when we got back our results! Anyhow, just a thought – I encourage all new couples to do that together – for peace of mind, and because being sexually healthy is sexy. :-)

      Thanks again for the great question!!

      • DD wilsom says

        Hello! thank you for your response….. If she contracted this STD months ago why would her new sexual partner of 4 months not have contracted it?

        • Jenelle Marie says

          Well – that’s where the trust comes in as well, of course, but the science surrounding the type of test that was done is notable too. Also, while it seems her partner would have contracted this by now, factors such as the type of sex and the frequency are important. The anatomy of the male and female body is such that vaginal intercourse makes women much more vulnerable to contracting an STD than men (tiny tears in the vaginal wall which occur naturally when having sex and are undetectable to the female provide an entry point for bacterias and viruses into the women’s system). Chlamydia is transmitted via fluids, and although the sex has been unprotected, if there was no way for the bacteria in her vaginal fluid to enter the males system, then he would remain unscathed. This is another reason her partner should get re-tested once antibiotics are completed. Here’s what I mean in terms of type of test being performed:

          Several types of tests can be used to find a chlamydia infection. Most tests use a sample of body fluid from the affected area. A negative test means the signs they were looking for weren’t there…..one could have recently acquired it from her and their body has not yet had the chance to build up a detectable level of antigens (in the case of an antigen test).

          Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). These tests find the genetic material (DNA) of chlamydia bacteria. These tests are the most sensitive tests available. That means they are very accurate and that they are very unlikely to have false-positive test results. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is an example of a nucleic acid amplification test. This test can also be done on a urine sample.
          Nucleic acid hybridization tests (DNA probe test). A probe test also finds chlamydia DNA. A probe test is very accurate but is not as sensitive as nucleic acid amplification tests.
          Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, EIA). This quick test finds substances (chlamydia antigens) that trigger the immune system to fight chlamydia infection.
          Direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA). This quick test also finds chlamydia antigens.
          Chlamydia culture. A culture is a special cup that allows the chlamydia bacteria to grow. This test is more expensive, and the results take longer (5 to 7 days) than the other tests. The culture must be done in a lab.

          So, in short, unfortunately, there’s no finite way to tell whether the woman cheated aside from a lie-detector test… :-) I know, that’s not really funny considering the worry that’s inevitably taking place. It is possible the male did not contract it in that amount of time. Personally, I’ve had 4 long-term relationships (2-4 years in length) where we broke up and the male then got the blood test for herpes to determine whether he had it and was asymptomatic and they were clear of it – after 2-4 years of frequent sex and I unfortunately, am NOT asymptomatic. :-) So, it is still very likely she is telling the truth if you want to take the more hopeful approach. Two entirely different STDs, I know (bacterial vs. viral) yet, some of the same points hold true.

          Hopefully, this helps, however, you’re welcome, of course, to ask as many additional questions as you’d like! :-)

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Yup – still no sure way of knowing. If it was very vigorous sex, rough and without lube where the guy may have gotten small cuts, it would be more likely he would have contracted it. However, even having anal, oral, and vaginal sex, the chlamydia bacteria would have had to have a point of entry into the male’s system. Were the male to have had chlamydia, it would be very likely the female would have contracted it within a 4 month period because the vagina tears, and the anus usually tears when entered (especially without lube!), so the semen carrying the chlamydia bacteria inserted into either the anus or the vagina could cause an infection. Again though, because it was the other way around, and it’s likely she doesn’t have chlamydia anally, it still might not have infected the man yet. All of these reasons are why women can contract a lot of STDs easier than men. Women have about 3 times higher rates of Chlamydia than men.

      • Jenelle Marie says

        Also – keep in mind the male might actually have Chlamydia now too, but when tested had recently contracted it and the bacteria or the antigens would have been in quantities too small for detection.

  2. AA Morris says

    I have just had a baby (8 weeks ago) last week i went to my family planning clinic to talk about IUD’s i decided to go for it but before i could have it fitted i had to do a chlamydia swab. i joked saying im in a serious relationship with a man who i now have a baby with. Well the test come back that i was infact infected. I was checked during my pregnancy for this and i was fine. My partner SWEARS he has not been unfaithful so i instantly made him go get checked incase mine was a false positive (both still waiting for our results) I want to know if he has been unfaithful but im struggling. We have only ever had anal sex twice, once when we were 1st dating and once after i had the baby. could i have had chlaymidia anally and given it to him the 2nd time we had anal sex then he infected me vaginally? could he of had it for the entire time we have been together (1.5yrs) and not given it to me until now? Also if i had it during child birth does my baby need treated? I am PRAYING its a false positive test, i dont want my family to be broken apart :( but if he has cheated i have no choice. im so confused and heartbroken please help.

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi AA Morris –

      What a debacle you have on your hands, indeed! I feel for you entirely as you’re stuck between a rock and hard place right now; it just sucks. I get this kind of question all of the time – so, I’ll do my best to help you sort out the possibilities teaming through your mind right now! :)

      Let’s talk about the baby first as that’s probably the most cut and dry of your questions. Women who have chlamydia during pregnancy tend to have higher rates of infection of the amniotic sac and fluid, preterm birth, and preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM). It also raises your risk of a uterine infection after you have your baby. What’s more, if you have a chlamydia infection when you go into labor, there’s a chance that you’ll pass the bacteria to your baby. In fact, up to half of babies born vaginally to mothers with untreated chlamydia (and even some babies born by c-section) will contract the infection. Between 25 to 50 percent of these babies will develop an eye infection (conjunctivitis) a few days to a few weeks after birth. (The medicated drops or ointments put in your baby’s eyes soon after birth to prevent gonorrheal conjunctivitis generally don’t prevent chlamydial eye infections.) And 5 to 20 percent of babies who contract chlamydia during delivery develop pneumonia a few weeks to several months after birth. These are just the facts (I know you’re not certain when you contracted it) – take a deep breath, what I’m about to write is much better. :)

      Although these infections can be very serious, babies who are treated promptly with antibiotics generally do well. So, I would call your provider and let them know that you recently tested positive for Chlamydia, and even though you were tested during pregnancy, you’re not certain when you contracted it, so you want to be sure your baby is treated if necessary. You can always get a second opinion if you don’t like their response too.

      Now, for the more tricky component of your questions… A false positive is less likely as tests either test for antibodies that respond to the infection or the infection itself – neither of those would be present without the Chlamydia infection – false negatives, however, are a little more common (combined, false-positives and false-negatives occur in about 5-10% of tests). So, I would first rule out the false positive for now until you receive additional results and whether or not your partner tests positive for Chlamydia too. I’m sorry, I wish I could give you hope in that direction. This means though, there’s also a chance you had a false negative during pregnancy (this is why it’s important you let your provider know in case your newborn should need to be treated as well). Even so, a false negative during pregnancy doesn’t help us determine when you contracted Chlamydia for sure. False negatives can happen for a couple of reasons, most commonly because the infection is new. So, I’d still wager there that if you received a false negative during pregnancy, you contracted Chlamydia fairly recently vaginally.

      It is possible you had Chlamydia anally and they didn’t detect it during your pregnancy – depending on the kind of test they performed….your doctor will be able to tell you which test was given (there are basically two kinds, like I said, ones that test for the antibodies and ones that test for the infection). It is also possible you had it anally and transmitted it to your partner recently via anal sex and then him to you via vaginal sex. Some of this would be less of a possibility if you used condoms, but I’m guessing you didn’t? Just guessing though, so, if you did, holler; that changes the likelihood quite a bit because Chlamydia is transmitted via fluids. So, if you’re a gal who previously had a lot of anal sex with other partners without also having vaginal sex with those partners, it is likely you had anal Chlamydia. However, if you usually had vaginal and anal sex with partners, it would be less likely you had anal Chlamydia from someone else for all of that time without also having a detectable Chlamydia vaginally. Do you see what I mean there? A lot of sex workers get Chlamydia anally (just as an example) and not vaginally because certain clients prefer anal sex, and if that client has Chlamydia, boom, they can contract anal Chlamydia – but when one person is having sex both ways and contracts Chlamydia, it’s very very unlikely it would only be anally (unless condoms were used vaginally and not anally). Let me know if this makes sense…sometimes trying to explain all of this in writing can be difficult. :)

      Lastly, it is also possible he’s had Chlamydia this entire time and you didn’t contract it….although, I would say this would probably be considered a stretch for some clinicians. If you guys have used condoms frequently and he rarely ejaculated inside you, the likelihood is a bit higher. Only you really know how frequently you have sex, what kind of protection (if any) is used, and if fluids would have been transferred to you often. Because you had a child with him recently, it’s obvious you haven’t always used protection and at that time his fluids would have come into contact with the mucous membranes in your vagina and thus you’d be highly susceptible (that is if he had Chlamydia at that time). It’s possible you wouldn’t contract it, but probably quite unlikely.

      If you’re not already on the antibiotics, you could have them do an anal swab for you to test for Chlamydia there – that would help rule out the theory that you had it all this time anally and only recently transmitted it to him that way. But again, some of those other factors would come into play, because unless you were just having anal sex with previous partners and not vaginal sex, it’s very very unlikely you’d only have it anally.

      While I just can’t tell you whether or not he’s cheated because of all of the factors that come into play here, I really hope this helps you narrow down some things. Please, of course, feel free to respond with any additional questions for clarification!!!

      • AA Morris says

        Thank you so much for taking time to reply, Ok so before i met my current partner i was in a long term relationship when that broke up my ex had been already seeing someone else (which i didnt know about) the very last time we were intimate it was anal sex and that was it, no vaginal sex, i never saw him again after that. I never had anal sex again until i met my current partner which was 5 months after and like i said in prev message we have only ever done it 2 times.

        I will go to my local clinic tomorrow and get swabbed anally and see what those results come back as. When the lady at the family planning clinic rang me and told me i had chlamydia she said before you go kill him please bare in mind it could be a false positive, but now reading your message i doubt it is.

        I dont know what to do, if he has cheated on me i cant be with him, i am trusting this man with my life, i need to be with someone who wont have unprotected sex with other people and possibly bring back something worse like HIV. If he did cheat on my he has already harmed my baby’s health and thats something i could not forgive.

        Honest opinion – what do you think? Could this std have been hiding and then came out or has he brought this in from another person?

        Again thank you for your time in replying to me, it means alot.

        • Jenelle Marie says

          Hey, it’s no problem at all – that’s why we’re here!

          Yeah, I would wager less that it’s a false positive (she might have said that because of the type and quality of test they use), but still, I wouldn’t bet money on it until you know a little more (whether you have it anally and whether he tests positive or not). But let us know if you find out it was a false positive, because it would be a good aspect to address here as well. :)

          Considering your story – if your ex had just contracted Chlamydia from the new person he was seeing and you only engaged in unprotected anal sex with him at that point, it’s definitely possible you contracted Chlamydia then anally and have unknowingly had it since then.

          Men are less susceptible to STD transmission than women because of their physiology, so it’s also possible you’ve had it anally for a year and a half and your partner just recently contracted it from you via the 2nd time you had anal sex… That is, if you didn’t use a condom, of course, as the rate of transmission for fluid-based transmission STDs is much much lower with effective condom use.

          If you don’t test positive for Chlamydia anally, I think it’s more likely you contracted Chlamydia recently due to the test you had when you were pregnant – even if that was a false negative, the odds are it was a false negative because of recent exposure. Unfortunately, I really can’t give you a for sure in either direction right now – especially because there are still some unknowns here. I understand entirely why you want to narrow it down though!

          In terms of the antibiotics given to you intravenously, it would depend on the type of antibiotic specifically (not all antibiotics can cure Chlamydia), and even then, there might have been a chance of transmission during birth (this is if you had Chlamydia then)… Nevertheless, this is definitely a question you’ll want to ask your provider as they’ll know exactly what they gave you and if that was sufficient to protect the baby.

          Did they test you for Chlamydia prior to putting you on the antibiotic IV? That might also have effected the test results!!

          I’m thinking you have to get a couple more answers first before making any solid decisions in either direction. I’m also happy to chime in again, of course.

  3. AA Morris says

    Also i have group B Strep and when i was in labour i had an IV with antibiotics to protect the baby so would this had cleared chlamydia at this point?

  4. AA Morris says

    I just got my results! It was a False Positive!!! i have the all clear and so does my partner!! Pheeewwwww!! I am SO happy!!!!!! Thank you for all your advice!!!

    • Jenelle Marie says

      That’s great news – glad to hear it!

      For our readers, it’s important to remember that false positives are not common.

      Several types of tests can be used to find a chlamydia infection. Most tests use a sample of body fluid from the affected area.

      Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). These tests find the genetic material (DNA) of chlamydia bacteria. These tests are the most sensitive tests available. That means they are very accurate and that they are unlikely to have false-positive test results. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is an example of a nucleic acid amplification test. This test can also be done on a urine sample.
      Nucleic acid hybridization tests (DNA probe test). A probe test also finds chlamydia DNA. A probe test is accurate but is not as sensitive as nucleic acid amplification tests.
      Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, EIA). This quick test finds substances (chlamydia antigens) that trigger the immune system to fight chlamydia infection.
      Direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA). This quick test also finds chlamydia antigens.
      Chlamydia culture. A culture is a special cup that allows the chlamydia bacteria to grow. This test is more expensive, and the results take longer (5 to 7 days) than the other tests. The culture must be done in a lab.

      The accuracy of tests varies, depending on the type of test that is used. Recommended tests are said to be around 90-95% sensitive. This means that they will detect chlamydia in most people who have the infection with a 5-10% chance of a false-negative or a false-positive. Commonly, patients are treated in both instances due to the possibility of a false-negative after receiving a false-positive result and vice-a-versa.

  5. Anonymous says

    If the entry point of infection with chlamydia is the throat, can one’s own body spread the infection to the urethra, uterus, or vagina? No sexual intercourse involved?

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi there –

      Good question! If the entry point is the throat, the bacteria would not be able to spread on its own to the genital area without additional contact in that area. So, for instance, if someone performed oral sex only on someone who had Chlamydia and contracted Chlamydia in the throat, it would not then transfer to the genitals of that person as well.

      Not that this relates to your question directly, but I think it’s important to point out, that’s why it’s good to be completely honest when answering clinician’s questions about the types of sex one has been having with people – despite some of their questions feeling intrusive. If a practitioner is aware someone has only performed oral sex on some people, they will know to swab the throat to check for Chlamydia on top of doing a common urine sample too.

      Hope this helps! :)

      • Anonymous says

        Thank you for the answer, it was not a personal question as it does not apply to me, but I am taking a microbiology course and the professor could not answer the question for a fellow student, and it got me curious as to whether. Blood or saliva could be a vehicle for the pathogen, in ones own body. so when I saw how educated your answers are I figured id get some help from another , you! One more question I would like answered, if one has a throat infection from such a pathogen and a person gets saliva in the eye, can the pathogen colonize in the eye? Can the pathogen even travel through saliva?

        • Jenelle Marie says

          No problem at all!

          From my understanding, the specific answer to your first question is highly dependent upon the pathogen itself – some viruses and bacteria are heartier than others and can live throughout the different environments within the body. For example, some pathogens would not make it through the digestive system as its ph would kill them where others thrive there. Blood in particular is an entirely different vehicle than saliva as well and blood-borne infections can and do spread throughout the body – one can become infected with HIV in the mouth (though contracting HIV through the mouth happens very infrequently) and then transmit HIV genitally.

          To answer your second question, pathogens can certainly colonize in the eye as well and can cause conjunctivitis. Chlamydia, actually, has been known to cause Chlamydial conjunctivitis via touching the eye after coming in contact with fluids housing the Chlamydia bacteria (saliva, semen, vaginal secretions, etc.) and I think it’s possible to spread to the eye via the upper respiratory tract and sinuses as well, but I’m not well-versed in that kind of transmission, so don’t quote me there. :)

  6. Anonymous says

    hi, i am wondering if my 12 week old son can catch anything from any physical contact with my brother in law and his wife who are swingers and practice unsafe sex ?

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi there –

      Your question is interesting in that there are a couple of different way I could interpret it. So, I’m going to touch on both of the thoughts that ran through my mind right away in hopes of covering all of the bases here. Overall, though, there’s probably very little you need to worry about your son contracting when coming into contact with someone who practices unsafe sex.

      A couple of questions to ponder… Are you certain your brother-in-law and his wife are practicing unsafe sex? Being that they are swingers doesn’t necessarily make the sex they are having unsafe. There are quite a lot of swingers who go through strict qualifying rules before allowing anyone else to participate in their activities. When digging deeper into swinger-lifestyles, one finds that some swingers practice much safer sex than traditional monogamous relationships. Meaning, they get tested for STDs (a full panel) before and after each new addition to their activities, they discuss barrier methods required for participation, they are honest and upfront about the number and types of activities they have participated in without protection, etc. The same is true for polyamorous and BDSM relationships – two other kinds of polarizing activities that often receive unfair judgments. The reason I mention this is because I want you to be certain you actually know whether or not they are practicing unsafe sex before considering reducing the amount of time they hold him or you allow them to watch him. Or, if you’re determining their sexual activities to be unsafe because they are engaging in activities you do not approve of, that’s a different matter altogether, and I respect your choices as a parent to either be ok with him in that environment or not. For a look at what it means to practice comprehensive safer-sex (for any kind of lifestyle), read this article: http://www.thestdproject.com/what-is-safer-sex/. You’ll notice, the last category – limiting sexual partners – is questionable with a swinger’s lifestyle, however, they may be practicing all of the other steps and thus reducing some of that additional risk. If you approach them with an open-mind and a kind heart, you can attempt to ask them if they are making sure to practice a comprehensive safer-sex regimen – all around the context of you worrying about their overall health and longevity – if you are, in fact, worried about their overall health as it relates to their lifestyle choices and how that may eventually impact your family, of course.

      Now, to answer the other part of your initial question in a little bit more detail. Some STDs are transmitted by fluids (vaginal and penile secretions, breast-milk, and very rarely, saliva), others by blood, and then some via skin to skin contact. Unless your son is coming into contact with their fluids and/or blood, you really have nothing to worry about. The type of saliva he would be exposed to after sharing a glass, a kiss, the bathroom, etc. would not be nearly enough for him to contract any fluid-borne infections. STDs transmitted by skin-to-skin contact are a slightly higher concern depending on the type of play or rough-housing they engage in as he grows older and how often he is held without being fully clothed now. Those STDs are molluscum, herpes, HPV, and scabies. Molluscum is commonly found in elementary schools and day-cares because it is quite contagious and easily spread. If your family is a kissing family, your son could contract herpes from any family member who has cold sores – that’s the most common way HSV-1 is spread (remember, although traditionally regarded as not a big deal, your son could contract oral herpes, later perform oral sex on a girl and give her genital herpes – so, just be conscientious of that from all family members). HPV – the sexually transmitted strains – is generally not on exposed places of the body where he would come into contact with them – the non-sexually transmitted ones like warts on the finger can be contracted from anyone. Lastly, some of the borderline STDs/general infectious diseases – cytomegalovirus, intestinal parasites, hepatitis a, and mononucleosis – are contracted both from sexual and non-sexual activities. Even if your son caught one of those from your brother-in-law and his wife, you’d be hard-pressed to pinpoint their sexual activities as the culprit as they (them and your son) could have contracted it elsewhere, and as a child, it’s more likely your son would contract one of those viruses from daycare or school (when he begins to run around and play with friends, that is).

      So, I’m not sure whether I helped or increased your concern. :) Really, I think there are two things to consider – do you KNOW unsafe sex is occurring, and either way, your son could contract some of the more common infections from anyone. I think you have little to worry about and what I might reduce is the amount of kissing you allow people to do – so many people dive in to kiss and snuggle small babies to the detriment of the child later in life (herpes, for instance). Feel free to respond with additional questions or ask me to clarify anything I wasn’t very clear on here.

      Congratulations on a healthy and happy 12 week old son!

  7. js says

    I had my pap, and I had chlamydia, my partner who is now my ex got a urine test and did not come back positive, I didn’t cheat and I didn’t have unprotected sex with anyone else.. we also had a 8 month long sexual relationship. Is it possible he carried it but did not contract it? Or his test just failed, he admitted to having unprotected sex with atleast one other female. I get tested every year, so i know its from him but his test was negative! He got treated so did I, but now hes looking for questions I have no answers for.

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi there, js –

      This is a really good question. If your ex carried Chlamydia, he would have also contracted it. What I mean is, if he carried it, it’s possible he was not showing any signs or symptoms, but he would still have been able to transmit it to someone else. So, then, how do we account for his negative test, right? That being said, it’s still possible he had a false negative test – those are quite common depending on when he contracted it, how his body is responding to the bacteria, and what kind of test was performed. That you were positive and he was not is a little odd, albeit, not entirely implausible at all.

      In general, there are two kinds of tests for Chlamydia – those that test for the actual bacteria itself and those that test for the body’s response to the bacteria – antibodies. There are also two different types of fluids they use to test for either of those things – vaginal/penile secretions and urine. As you mentioned getting tested with your pap smear, I’m guessing your test was done with vaginal secretions…maybe not, however, this could account for why you tested positive and he tested negative (the bacteria/antibodies would naturally be higher in vaginal/penile secretions than in urine). Also, I’m guessing you both had two different types of tests done and the accuracy, coupled with the fluid used for testing, and whether or not they tested for bacteria or antibodies (antibodies come later once the bacteria has been in the system for a little while and the body attempts to fight it), could all factor in to why he was negative and you were positive.

      Since you’ve both already been treated, unfortunately, there’s no way to go back and know FOR SURE….but, you can both contact the doctor’s office/place where you were tested and ask what specific test was performed. If you both, in fact, were tested with totally different tests and methods, it’s not all surprising you received different results – this is especially true considering his admonition of sleeping with at least one other female unprotected – this could have been a brand new infection which some tests might not have detected. If he’s trying to be 100% ethical, he should also tell those other women as it’s likely they are wandering around with an infection and not knowing it. Not only could they transmit an infection to someone else, if left untreated, they could have larger long-term problems.

      So, anyhow, you can see how STDs are so easily spread then, huh? :) Anyhow, here’s a short list of the different types of tests which could have been performed and their relative accuracy.

      Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). These tests find the genetic material (DNA) of chlamydia bacteria. These tests are the most sensitive tests available. That means they are very accurate and that they are very unlikely to have false-positive test results. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is an example of a nucleic acid amplification test. This test can also be done on a urine sample.

      Nucleic acid hybridization tests (DNA probe test). A probe test also finds chlamydia DNA. A probe test is very accurate but is not as sensitive as nucleic acid amplification tests.

      Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, EIA). This quick test finds substances (chlamydia antigens) that trigger the immune system to fight chlamydia infection.
      Direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA). This quick test also finds chlamydia antigens.

      Chlamydia culture. A culture is a special cup that allows the chlamydia bacteria to grow. This test is more expensive, and the results take longer (5 to 7 days) than the other tests. The culture must be done in a lab.

      I hope this helps answer some questions for you guys!

  8. Karen says

    I tested positive for chlamydia, but my boyfriend tested negative for ALL STD’s, including HIV. How is that possible when I was a virgin when we had sex the first time and I haven’t been with anyone but him?

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi Karen –

      Good question!

      It’s possible he had a false negative test – those are quite common depending on when he contracted it, how his body is responding to the bacteria, and what kind of test was performed. That you were positive and he was not is a little odd, albeit, not entirely implausible at all.

      In general, there are two kinds of tests for Chlamydia – those that test for the actual bacteria itself and those that test for the body’s response to the bacteria – antibodies. There are also two different types of fluids they use to test for either of those things – vaginal/penile secretions and urine. I’m guessing you both had two different types of tests done and the accuracy, coupled with the fluid used for testing, and whether or not they tested for bacteria or antibodies (antibodies come later once the bacteria has been in the system for a little while and the body attempts to fight it), could all factor in to why he was negative and you were positive. You can both contact the doctor’s office/place where you were tested and ask what specific test was performed. If you both were tested with totally different tests and methods, it’s not surprising you received different results. This could have been a brand new infection which some tests might not have detected.

      Anyhow, here’s a short list of the different types of tests which could have been performed and their relative accuracy.

      Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). These tests find the genetic material (DNA) of chlamydia bacteria. These tests are the most sensitive tests available. That means they are very accurate and that they are very unlikely to have false-positive test results. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is an example of a nucleic acid amplification test. This test can also be done on a urine sample.

      Nucleic acid hybridization tests (DNA probe test). A probe test also finds chlamydia DNA. A probe test is very accurate but is not as sensitive as nucleic acid amplification tests.

      Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, EIA). This quick test finds substances (chlamydia antigens) that trigger the immune system to fight chlamydia infection.
      Direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA). This quick test also finds chlamydia antigens.

      Chlamydia culture. A culture is a special cup that allows the chlamydia bacteria to grow. This test is more expensive, and the results take longer (5 to 7 days) than the other tests. The culture must be done in a lab.

      That being said, you should both be treated regardless of his testing negative, because you could pass it back and forth to one another if you continue to engage in sexual activities.

      I hope this helps!

      • ED22 says

        Hi, I need some advice please. Around 7-8 months ago I broke up with my boyfriend for a few weeks. I got very drunk one night and had unprotected sex with one of my male friends. He didn’t ejaculate inside me as within a couple of minutes I realised I was making a mistake. Around 3-4 weeks later I went to get tested for STDs as I was scared I had caught one (had no symptoms) but just wanted to be sure. In the mean time I got back together with my boyfriend (who I am still with). The tests came back negative. However, in the last couple of months I have started getting symptoms such as; pain during sex, bleeding in between my period and a smelly discharge at times. My boyfriend and I have regular unprotected sex but he never ejaculates inside me. We have never had anal sex and i have never had it before with any previous partners. I am really frightened that the test I had back then did not show the true results as it was only 3-4 weeks after the event. Could it be that the infection is only showing up now?

        • Jenelle Marie says

          Hi ED22 –

          You ask a really good question. Depending on what you got tested for, these are the testing windows that can tell you when you’re most likely to receive an accurate result. So, based on your timing, it can’t hurt to get tested again, just to be on the safer side, and in case of a false negative.

          That being said, some of the symptoms you’re mentioning could also be a simple yeast/bacterial vaginosis infection (vaginitis), which, can be exacerbated by sex – yeast infections can be transmitted to partners. A medical practitioner will be able to discern upon seeing you if that’s the culprit right away.

          I understand how frightening the whole thing can be. However, I think your best bet is to go in and be seen – be specific about your symptoms, when you think you were at risk, and the tests you’ve already taken. Should you find out it is an STD/STI, your boyfriend will also want to get treated. However, if it’s a yeast or bv infection, you’ll likely just have to abstain from sex for a bit while you’re being treated.

          Feel free to respond with additional questions or for clarification, of course!

  9. tyler says

    so i got with a girl that i did not know was pregnant, now i find out i have chlamydia, so i went and got treated. she has not been treated beacuase her doctor just did her papsmer, and blood work and whats to wait on the results! we have not had sex, kissed on the lips or done anything sexual! what im wondering is can i become reinfected by just touching her ( like holding her hand, etc), or kissing her on the cheek? Also she has had this once before when she was pregnant with her first child and was treated for it, is this something that even if we both get clean we can become reinfected later? im worried and what answers because i like this girl, and she might be pregnant with my child, but could be the guy before me! i have heard that if you have been infected or become reinfected, it can cause hiv, im just wondering if by me staying with her if this could be a reacurring thing, or become worse like both of us contracting hiv! im just looking for answers, and how to prevent this from happing again! if someone with real medical knowledge on this could give me answers to my questions id be much appreciative! thank you

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi Tyler –

      Good questions. You cannot become reinfected by touching or kissing. Chlamydia is transmitted via bodily fluids. If she has Chlamydia in her throat (as a result of oral sex), it’s possible you could become reinfected orally, but the likelihood is minimal – and remember, there would need to be a significant amount of saliva exchanged for this to happen at all.

      If you are both treated, you cannot become reinfected later unless one of you comes into contact with the bacteria from sexual contact with someone else. Chlamydia is a curable STD/STI, so, once treated, it will not return unless you are with a new partner that has Chlamydia.

      Knowing that, if you are infected or become reinfected, it cannot cause HIV, rather, having any STD/STI puts you at a higher risk of contracting an additional STD/STI (HIV included), because often, the present STD involves open wounds/sores/small tears/abrasions that would provide additional entry points for a new infection.

      If you stay with her and are monogamous, there is no risk of contracting HIV (unless she already has HIV) or the Chlamydia itself becoming a reoccurring thing. Once treated – meaning, the prescription is taken in its entirety and both partners abstain from sexual activity while being treated – there should be no risk of the Chlamydia reoccurring.

      The best way to prevent this from happening again is to start adhering to a safer-sex regime (it sounds like you’re already doing some of the things listed in that post), getting tested and treated for whatever you have presently, and considering a monogamous relationship.

      Hope this helps, Tyler – please feel free to comment with any additional questions you have or you can send me a message through the contact form as well.

  10. Silly Goose says

    So I work in the medical feild, and I’m a bit worried now. I work with babies. Now we wear gloves during diaper changes and anything to do with them having their bottoms exposed. We wash and/or sanitize our hands after having contact with each baby. What we didn’t find out until the next day at the beginning of our shift AFTER mom and baby were discharged is that mom ended up testing positive for chlamydia. So I guess my biggest worry is that even though we washed our hands and stuff, could we still end up with it?

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Silly Goose –

      Nope, you guys weren’t at risk.

      Chlamydia is transmitted through bodily fluids. Touching the fecal matter of an infected baby would not have posed a significant risk (if any at all) as it’s not saliva, genital fluids, etc. and you were doing so with gloves and with thorough washing afterward. Keep in mind, all bacteria, viruses, and parasites need a way into the body; just having infected fluid on your hands would also not necessarily pose a big risk unless you then touched your hand to your eye, to an open cut, or to a place where you have mucous membranes (nose, throat, vagina, urethra, anus).

      Of course, all of that is assuming the baby was positive as well. That mother tested positive also doesn’t mean baby did too.

      Even so, with the process you’ve described and that you weren’t coming into contact with the fluids that can typically carry Chlamydia, there wasn’t a risk of transmission.

      Thanks so much for your question!

  11. JT says

    Hi,
    I just got the ever so lovely “I have an STI text message” from a dude. So mature… I didn’t even get a phone call. pfffft. Charming – but the guy is younger so lacking maturity. All good, perhaps he’ll learn… ok rant over.

    I’m going to get tested on Friday and know that if positive I just get a course of antibiotics and it’ll be fine.

    My questions are:
    What is the rate of infection for a one time unprotected sex act with a man with Chlamydia?
    Do I have to contact men that I’ve been with and used Condoms with during vaginal sex?
    Do I have to contact men that I’ve been with and have had perform oral sex on me?
    Thankfully the number is minimal!
    Thanks
    JT

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi JT –

      Great questions!

      So, there’s no statistical research that will give you the rate of infection after a one time unprotected sex act with a man who has Chlamydia, unfortunately. The reason for this is because every sex act has varying degrees of risk coupled with all of the other circumstantial factors involved in partnered activities.

      The good news is, you’re getting tested and Chlamydia is curable. Be sure to get a comprehensive test, though, as you may have come in contact with more than one STD – so, this will help determine if you should be treated for or concerned about the other STDs they can test for.

      Ethically, yes, you should contact all partners regardless of activity or barriers used. The good news is, there are some great partner notification services (dontspreadit.com, inspot.org, and sotheycanknow.org) who can do this for you anonymously if the conversation is too uncomfortable or you’d rather not have that information shared otherwise.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to reach out with any additional questions.

      • JT says

        Cool… thanks for the info.

        I’ve recently been tested for all other STDs and I asked the guy if he’d had a full screen and he said yes and that the only thing that came back was Chlamydia. I’m getting everything else done anyway just for piece of mind when the 3 month window for blood born pathogen detection is up.

        And with the notification, ss far as I’m concerned, I’ll just be an adult and ring the people. Being an adult is shit sometimes, but if you’re old enough to have sex you’re old enough to deal with the consequences and I don’t hide from uncomfortable conversations. You learn a lot about people from how they react! And I really don’t care what people think about me anyway as I’m secure in who I am as a person. Shit happens, you deal with it!

        Thanks heaps.
        :)

        • Jenelle Marie says

          Happy to help!

          Food for thought: ‘full screens’ mean different things depending upon the place one gets tested. Most ‘full screens’ do not include tests for strains of herpes, hepatitis, and cannot test for HPV. So, the even better question to ask – since you’re super savvy and not awkward with these things – is what specifically was said individual tested for…

          The windows are a little different for everything – you can use this guide now or in the future to help too. :)

          Anyhow, yes, I totally agree – you can tell A LOT about someone by how they respond to questions about their sexual health – if only that they’ve never been asked, which, should give cause for additional conversation and consideration, of course.

          Cheers to you for being proactive!

  12. Gan says

    Hello,

    i have just been told by a ex partner who i had a very short fling with around 9 days ago that he has contacted Chlamydia. I am obviously going to get tested but i wanted to ask the likely hood of contact please. i am gay so this was a man to man encounter.

    There was lots of kissing, oral both ways. And i received anal as well. Without sounding too graphic as i want to know everything. He couldn’t get a full erection. There was no lube and i only had it in me for no more than about 2 minutes, there wasn’t really any movement involved as as i said, the lack of erection stopped any chance of this. Nobody ejaculated. I am now terrified as this encounter happened during a break from my partner who i have no started a sexual relationship with again.

    As i said i am calling the gum clinic tomorrow for a test asap. But any and all information would be a huge help

    Thanks

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi Gan –

      I can see why you’d be concerned.

      Chlamydia is transmitted via genital fluids. Since there was no ejaculation, the risk is slightly lower, but there’s certainly still a risk there, because of pre-ejaculate, that the anus contains permeable mucous membranes which are more susceptible to infection naturally, and the oral activity you two engaged in (mucous membranes are there as well)… I hate to be the bearer of bad news.

      That being said, if I were you, here’s what I’d do: First, check out this guide to determine when to go into your nearest Gum clinic, then when you go in, make sure to be honest about the oral and anal activities you’ve engaged in as they might choose to swab anally and orally as opposed to just a urine sample (as is customary if you’d had vaginal intercourse only). In the meantime, though, you’ll want to abstain from sexual activities with your partner – or you could tell him, but I’m guessing that’s why this is causing so much trepidation, because you’d rather not.

      Great questions – thanks so much for reaching out, and hopefully this helps a bit. :)

      • Gan says

        Thank you so much.

        I’m really confused by the different things I keep reading. Can you get throat chlamydia that is separate to anal chlamydia or once you’ve got it either way then it is spread every which way after that? Your response was a huge help. I’m not sure if paranoia is making me feel symptoms now or if it is just that fast acting. Needing to urinate more often. Is it true also that it is quite rare to catch orally as that is something else that I have come across quite frequently online. I’m trying to decide whether it is wise to tell me partner or get tested first. Or tell him and go get tested together or get tested together and then deal with the consequences? I understand that is my decision. But once again all information would be highly appreciated.

        Thanks again.

        • Jenelle Marie says

          Hi Gan –

          So happy to hear we were able to help!

          Yes; you can get chlamydia separately – meaning, if you have a urine test, but you have chlamydia orally or anally it won’t be detected unless you also have it genitally. It’s very very unlikely you’d transmit chlamydia from one part of your body to another on your own. It is not spread throughout your system – that is why you have to be tested in specific locations based upon the activities you’ve engaged in.

          It’s not rare to catch chlamydia orally. If you engaged in oral sex – especially if you’ve not used barriers – it’s possible.

          Best of luck, Gan; I know this stuff isn’t easy!

  13. Mai says

    Hi… I had recently had a stillbirth… Hospital asked me for a urine sample the day I was discharge… About a week from then I received a call from a nurse at doctor’s office telling me my lab result came back n I tested + for chlamydia… I’ve been with my husband for 6+ yrs also have a 6mos old son… We both are very upfront n honest ppl… I’ve been tested every year (Pap smear) and tested – and normal for everything… But this time my lab test (PCR) came back as + …I panicked and had already taken the antibiotics (azythromycin)… It has cause such a turmoil within our family… The nurse I spoke to was of no help, she automatically pointed the fingers of accusations for… Mind u I’m still mourning+postpartum from my stillborn son… My husband refuse to take the antibiotic till he gets his result back… N his came back -… Could my result be a false + due to the fact that I just had a stillbirth and that there could be a possibility of cross contamination from the after birth? Btw, the nurse did not inform me of why and what they needed my urine sample for til I got a call from my doctor’s office…

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi Mai –

      First, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I’m sure this is an incredibly heartbreaking and confusing time for you.

      That being said, I will do my best to help where I can.

      Keep in mind, pap smears don’t test for sexually transmitted diseases – they test for abnormal cells on your cervix caused by HPV, but they do not typically test for HPV itself, and they do not test for any other infection. So, it’s likely you’ve had chlamydia for quite some time. Since you already took the antibiotics, there’s no way to know if you had a false-positive, but I’m inclined to think your results were accurate. It’s also important you’re re-tested after completing your antibiotics to ensure the infection is cured.

      Unfortunately, I’m guessing they decided to take a urine sample, because you had a stillbirth, and they were trying to determine its cause… An untreated long-term infection can cause reproductive issues – pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and stillbirths.

      Lastly, we can’t replace a doctor’s medical advice – especially since you’re presently under the care of a physician – but we can advocate for you to seek a second opinion should you feel your current doctor isn’t sufficiently explaining things or answering your questions. So, certainly, do not be afraid to seek the advice of another practitioner if that’s the case. It’s imperative you are treated professionally and effectively so as to avoid any further complications.

      Again, Mai, I’m so sorry for your loss.

  14. Rob says

    I been with my girlfriend for 5 years and we been having unprotected sex for 3 years recently she had a yeast infection and I had sex with her before she knew she had one and a couple of days ago I felt a stinging sensation after I urine so I got checked my girlfriend got rid of her yeast infection with over the counter medicine but o tested positive for chlamydia and once I told my girl shr was instantly shocked amd went straight to the doctor to get tested she waiting on her results and we never cheated on each other so how is this possible and she had no symptons of chlamydia but I did

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi Rob –

      Chlamydia is commonly asymptomatic; so, it’s quite plausible one of you had symptoms while the other didn’t, actually. Our bodies are unique and an infection will respond differently to two different people, and that is especially true when those two people are of the opposite sex. For that reason, people often carry chlamydia around for months or even years without knowing they have it while still being able to pass it along to others.

      The trouble is, chlamydia doesn’t go away on its own; so, getting treatment is imperative – for both of you. You’ll also want to abstain from sexual activities while you’re undergoing treatment, as you don’t want to risk reinfecting one another.

      Thanks so much for your question.

  15. Monique says

    Hey, my first question is if someone contracts chlamydia in the throat can it travel to getting infected in the vagina because I’ve been given a positive with swabs from my vagina, I haven’t had unprotected vaginal sex in a very long time and after that I did a test, it came negative, so yeah I just wondered whether or not it could travel so bacteria could be found there.

  16. Monique says

    Okay thanks, my second question is now quite complicated and do not believe it has been answered

    So In April I went for an STI check is was negative, I was involved with someone at the time and we stopped being sexual for 3 months, I was then involved with someone else in September, I got tested in October and it said I was was positive for Chlamydia, I contacted my previous partner even though it was negative when I was with them and as suspected their results were negative and my current partner had positive results however he is saying I couldn’t have gotten it from him because in August he did a test to figure out why he was feeling off which was later found out to be prostate cancer and those tests in August were apparently negative. So, it then leaves this mystery of where exactly it has come from, I have had chlamydia before in November 2012, that cleared up soon after in January 2013 I got tested then and in April as I already stated, they both were negative, so I’m just really confused and trying to find some clarity to the situation

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi Monique –

      So, the unfortunate thing about most infections – especially when dealing with those that are commonly sexually transmitted – is it’s very hard to pinpoint the culprit.

      There are a couple of things you could consider:

      Men are less susceptible to STDs, in general, so it is possible you had chlamydia prior to your last partner, and he didn’t contract the infection. This would be even more likely if you used condoms with that partner.

      It’s also possible your current partner thinks he was tested and wasn’t or had recently been infected and received a false positive.

      Lastly, when you say your previous infection ‘cleared up’, do you mean you took an antibiotic or that the symptoms went away? Without an antibiotic, chlamydia symptoms commonly subside, but the infection persists – the infection does not go away on its own and must be treated with an antibiotic. Remember, both partners should be treated, and you should abstain from sexual activities while you’re completing treatment.

      As you can see, there are a number of different possibilities. Although it’s quite normal to want to know the how and why, you can still use this as an excellent learning opportunity – you’re expanding your knowledge of STIs and STDs, risk, and ways to mitigate risk, and, as such, you’re improving your sexual health. :)

  17. Corey says

    Hi,
    I have been with my girlfriend for a year and a month as of this December 11. She gets her pap done regularly and last November (we met in the end of October and started dating on the 11 of November) she had her pap test and she had gotten HPV. Well here it is December a little over a year latter and we are 11 weeks into having a baby. i went with her to her 2nd doctors appointment for the baby and the first one she had a pap test and when we went for the 2nd she took a urine culture I believe it was called. Well the HPV has gotten worse which is upsetting to both of us because of the risk of cancer, but also we were told that we have chlamydia (her for sure, i need tested too but would assume I have it too) which in November when she had her pap no chlamydia had shown up. So because of this she is upset with me because I have given her HPV and chlamydia (before me she was clean, i thought i was as far as i have known) and now she believes I have cheated on her during our relationship. I have been 100% faithful and have not cheated so my question would be how could this have happened? How would nothing have shown up last year and now this year were told we have chlamydia? I’m just so mind blown about this situation its crazy and all i hear is to explain to her ow this has happened without me cheating on her but I cant find an answer at all. I have been online searching for some kind of answer or explanation and cant find anything. I’m sorry I have wrote so much I just wanted to explain my whole situation so i can hopefully get a better answer for me and my girlfriend, I thank you for your time and hope to hear soon.

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi Corey –

      Great questions – no apologies necessary at all. In short, I won’t be able to ‘prove’ that you haven’t cheated, but I can help. There’s one VERY important thing that you and your girlfriend need to know about Pap smears, HPV, Chlamydia, and all STDs, in general:

      Pap smears don’t test for HPV, and they certainly don’t test for STDs.

      Pap smears test for abnormal cell changes to the cervix that are caused by HPV (they don’t test for the infection itself). When the doctor said that your girlfriend’s HPV had gotten worse, he/she probably meant that there were more abnormal changes on the cervix than last time. Typically, HPV clears on its own, and because it hadn’t improved, the doctor was concerned and decided to test her urine sample for two of the most common bacterial STDs (Chlamydia and Gonorrhea).

      It’s also likely that she was not tested for either of those infections (or any other STD) a year ago, because, again, Pap smears don’t test for STDs. This is a common misconception, and it gets people in a lot of dramatic situations unnecessarily.

      Remember, assuming you are free of STDs is much different than getting tested regularly and knowing which tests have been performed. (We don’t use the word ‘clean’ to describe anyone, as hygiene has very little to do with STD transmission.) :)

      Anyhow, even if she was, by chance, tested for STDs during her annual exam (she would have had to ask to be tested for STDs, because they don’t usually just test on their own), and if her results were negative, she could have recently contracted the infection, and then it wouldn’t have shown up on the test yet.

      What does all of this mean?

      She might have contracted HPV and Chlamydia from you, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you cheated, because the infections could have come from a prior relationship. She also could have had both infections before you got together – if you test negative for Chlamydia, she’s had that infection since before you were together, and you didn’t give it to her. If you test positive for Chlamydia, it’s hard to tell who gave it to whom, because she probably didn’t get tested when you first got together (she thought she had, because she was getting her Pap smear done, but that’s not the same thing as an STD test). Unfortunately, men can’t be tested for HPV, but the timing of her diagnosis (right after you got together) means it could be from you or a partner before you. Both Chlamydia and HPV (and all STDs, for that matter) can lie dormant in someone’s system for some time without causing any noticeable symptoms.

      Unfortunately, this doesn’t provide you a solid yes or no in any direction, but at least it gives you the information you need to have an educated and not so accusatory conversation with your significant other.

  18. jada315 says

    Hey I’m 30 weeks pregnant. I was diagnosed with chlamydia at 20weeks. I know I had it for a long time, because my fiance was a virgin before me. He even waited months and months before wanting to try anything with me. He’s the type to really watch a female and see if she is the one. However my ex before him did cheat on me, and I have found out that he gave chlamydia to two other girls recently. So I’ve had this for a long time without knowing. I thought a papsmear would let me know back then, but as I’ve read here, pap smears don’t test for stds. Well I got treated for it, but me and fiance only waited 6 days instead of the week. And I think I may still have it because I’ve noticed discharge and and also have abdominal pain sometimes. Also blood in my urine, which isn’t a uti, because they tested that. I gave oral to my fiance some weeks ago and I got a sore throat that hasn’t gone away. So I’m pretty sure I still have it. I got retested and I’m getting the results today or tomorrow. Is it possible that treatment didn’t work because I’ve had it for so long without knowing?Its been two and a half years to three. I asked my obgyn about PID, but she said that doesnt pass on to the baby, so even if I did have it, she would treat after my baby was born. I have also a very important question. Since I did engage in oral sex with my fiance, this while time I’ve probably had it in my throat too. Well I have a 7year old sister. We sometimes share cups, or drink out of the same straw, or shes ate out of my spoon a couple times. Could she have contracted it that way?I’m worried about that and don’t know what to do about that. I’m also very worried about my baby, he seems fine, and is very active, but having chlamydia so long is stressing me. Please help

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi jada315 –

      Chlamydia, while transmitted via fluids, is not transmitted via cups, straws, sharing drinks, etc. It’s not as easily transmitted as, say, the common cold, flu, or even something like mononucleosis (mono). Although, while you’re under treatment for anything, it’s not a bad idea to refrain from sharing things with others. It’s also not a bad idea to teach your 7 year old sister to use her own glasses and such. I grew up doing that too – sharing cups, forks, whatever, with family and friends – but it’s just good hygiene.

      Anyhow, in terms of your infection, its location, and your fiance… Your fiance should be treated as well. You may have had the infection first, but if you’ve had it for some time and have been engaging in sexual activities with him, it’s very likely he also has the infection, and unless he gets treated too, you could pass it back and forth. This is especially important since you’re pregnant, as you want to be on as few antibiotics as possible, and spreading the infection back and forth will only prolong your treatment.

      With oral infections, remember that you also need to be tested orally (swabbed). A urine test will not detect an oral infection. You could take a urine test, test positive for a genital chlamydia infection, get treated, perform oral sex on your fiance who hasn’t been treated, and then get an oral chlamydia infection – all while a urine test comes out negative.

      Antibiotics, however, if taken correctly and completely (without engaging in activities during treatment and both partners getting treated) will cure both an oral and a genital infection.

      Short story: you and your fiance should be treated at the same time, and you need to abstain from sexual activities until both of your treatments are complete. Otherwise, you could be reinfecting one another.

      If you don’t have PID now, things like not taking all of your treatment, engaging in activities with an infected partner while undergoing treatment, and your partner not getting treatment could lead to a much harder to treat disease like PID.

      Great questions. Thanks so much for reaching out!

      • jada315 says

        Hi thanks for the reply. My sister and I have stopped sharing anything since I found out. I hope it wasn’t transferred. Me and my fiance both were treated at the same time, we just didn’t wait the whole week. I still haven’t got my results. But I’m going to ask my doctor to also do a throat swab test.

        • Jenelle Marie says

          No problem!

          Like I said, Chlamydia is not transmitted via surfaces or sharing eating utensils.

          It’s a good idea that you are both re-tested (genitally and orally), since you didn’t wait the recommended time.

          Just be honest with your practitioner, let them know you didn’t wait the whole time to engage in activities and that you’d like to be sure you don’t have an oral infection as well, and they should be happy to swab test you.

          Since you both took the antibiotics, you’re probably in the clear now, but it never hurts to double check.

      • jada315 says

        Hey
        My results came in and there negative. However I’m still worried If they are accurate or not. How accurate are swab tests? Are they better than urine tests? I’m thinking about going to a different clinic just to make sure it wasn’t a false negative

        • Jenelle Marie says

          Hi jada315 –

          Swab tests aren’t necessarily more accurate than urine tests, they just test a different location. A urine test will detect a genital infection, and a swab test will detect an oral infection. If you think you contracted chlamydia in both locations, you should get tested in both locations. However, a round of antibiotics will clear both infections.

          It’s not a bad idea to get tested (swabbed and urine sample) after you’ve completed the antibiotics just to be sure, and especially because you’re pregnant.

  19. Alyosha91 says

    Hello,

    I’ve had unprotected sex with a woman and after 1 month again with another woman. Another month later i had again unprotected sex with the second woman and after a few days i’ve discovered chlamydia sypmtoms. I went to the doctor,tested it, got positive. Now, my questions are:
    Whats is most likely, getting infected by first or second woman?
    Is it impossible to get infected by the first one?
    Can a woman have Chlamydia for 10-12 months and have no idea or no sypmtoms?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Alyosha91 –

      Unfortunately, unless they both get tested and one tests positive and the other tests negative, there’s no way to tell which woman it came from. It’s just as likely that it came from the first as the second, because it’s quite common for someone to have chlamydia (or any STD, for that matter) for 10-12 months or longer without symptoms.

      Thanks for your questions!

  20. joe36 says

    So this may be a really dumb question, but I was recently treated for chlamydia (about 2 days ago) well today I was masturbating and some semen shot into my mouth, could I reinfect myself?

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi joe36 –

      That’s not a dumb question at all. The antibiotics you’re taking will cure a chlamydia infection no matter where it’s at. So, as long as you complete your medication as prescribed, your own semen in your mouth will not re-infect you.

      You can, however, transmit an infection to someone else, if your semen gets in their mouth before you’ve completed treatment, but it doesn’t sound like that’s the issue here. So, you’re good to go.

      Thanks so much for your question!

  21. trs123 says

    Hi, I hope you’re still around to answer questions. I’ve come across a situation with my gf that has made me super distraught! We’ve been together for 2 years, with a small break up period of about 2 months. We’ve had sex hundreds of times. She went to the Gyno and they had her take a test and it came back the she had chlamydia. So I got tested 2x and both were negative. She swears up and down that she has never slept with anyone else or had sexual contact with anyone else even when we were apart for a short period of time. I have not either.
    I just do not know what to believe and it’s really affecting my life because I love this girl but I will not stand for being cheated on. Is it possible she had it before we were together and I somehow did not contract it, and what would the chances of that be?

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi trs123 –

      Good question!

      It is possible she had it since before you were together. However, it’s hard to say for sure either way since you’ve been having sex for 2 years… If you’ve used protection during that time, it would make sense that you haven’t contracted the infection yet, because barriers are highly effective at preventing bacterial infections such as chlamydia, and men are less susceptible to infections, in general.

      So, your girlfriend could be telling the truth here, and unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure, because it’s just as likely that she contracted the infection while you were separated for a short time…

  22. Jay7634 says

    Hello,
    About 2 months ago I tested positive for Chlamydia. That day they gave me a shot in my butt and the azithromycin. The symptoms never went away, but I tried to give it time just in case. On March 5th, I started taking the doxy for the full week. My symptoms have definitely lightened up, but I still have discharge and I recently (last week) had spotting between my period. I have a doctors appointment on wednesday with my gyno. However, I’m just wondering (because I’m freaking out) is there a type of chlamydia that won’t go away or what could I possibly have that has yet to be cured by two rounds of antibiotics? I think I may have had chlamydia for a while and I saw information about PID, but what I found said that the same antibiotics prescribed for chlamydia should have cured it.

    Also, it gets a little worse because although I haven’t had sex (anal or vaginal) since I was diagnosed, yesterday I gave oral (I’m a female) to a guy not knowing that I could pass it that way. Also, we were dry humping and only my underwear was between us. Should I tell him to get tested? I don’t think I have it in my mouth because there are no symptoms, and the guy I got it from I gave him oral once, and I feel like all the antibiotics would have cured it if I had it orally.

    Thank you!

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi Jay7634 –

      The antibiotics that are prescribed for chlamydia would cure a PID infection that was caused by chlamydia, but it wouldn’t necessarily cure any long term damage caused by PID (if, in fact, you also have PID). So, it’s important to let your physician know you are still experiencing symptoms, as there could be some additional issues to consider (PID and its complications, for example).

      Unless you have chlamydia orally (usually there are NO symptoms) as well as genitally, you cannot transmit it by performing oral sex on someone. If you know you have it genitally, and there’s a chance you also have it orally (you engaged in genital and oral sex with the person who you contracted it from), you should tell the guy.

      However, if you’re worried about telling him, you could get swabbed right away, and before you begin antibiotics, to check. If you’ve already begun antibiotics, however, your results may be inconclusive, so you might have to tell him without clear results and if you think it’s possible you also had it orally. The dry-humping is not a risk for chlamydia infection, because chlamydia is transmitted via bodily-fluids.

      The good news is we help you with how to tell him, and we also talk about whether or not to tell past partners, as well as ways to tell partners anonymously.

      Thanks for your questions!

  23. Nicole says

    My boyfriend and I have been together almost a year now. I am 26 weeks pregnant. Since my pregnancy I’ve had one uti and two yeast infections. Being pregnant they test you automatically for std’s and none ever came up. My boyfriend has been complaining for quite a while about groin pains and what not. Recently, about a week ago, he said his penis itched and it was sore and red. And he started peeing a lot. He went and got tested and was treated for urethritis.. Doctor said he has an std and is waiting to find out if it’s chlymidia etc. so my question is… Could he have had the std from before we met and just never had signs… And if so how would I not have gotten it? Bc nothing ever showed up in my blood or urine tests. Please help! He says he’s been 100% faithful

    • Jenelle Marie says

      Hi Nicole –

      Everyone doesn’t automatically test pregnant women for STDs, but it sounds like you were tested, and that’s great. Since you’ve been together less than a year, it is possible he’s had the infection for quite some time and since before you were together. Sometimes, it take months or years to show signs or symptoms of infection, if ever.

      The only thing a bit surprising is that you have not contracted the infection yourself, but a lot of that depends upon what type of bacterial infection initially caused the urethritis and if you usually use barriers – if he tests negative for chlamydia and/or gonorrhea, it could be caused by E. coli (a bacteria present in stool) or something else, and then your worries are unfounded.

      Either way, though, it is possible he’s had the infection for a while and didn’t cheat on you; the trouble is, there’s really no way to know for sure here outside of the results of the test and even then, all of it comes down to whether or not you are able to trust what he’s telling you, because even if it is an STD, it could be from before you were together.

      Thanks for your question!