Chlamydia is a common and treatable sexually transmitted disease that can create long-term complications without treatment. Engaging in sexual activity with multiple people will put you at risk for infection.
People in relationships often wonder if they can catch chlamydia without cheating on a partner. Below, we’ll discuss ways to contract the chlamydia bacteria, infection prevention, and how Rapid STD Testing and treatment will help you.
If you get chlamydia while in a monogamous relationship, you may ask yourself, “How did I get chlamydia if I didn’t cheat?” You may assume your partner had sexual relations with another person, which is possible. However, it’s also possible your partner is faithful but unaware they have chlamydia because the infection doesn’t always include symptoms.
Chlamydia spreads through direct sexual contact, including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. You can also contract chlamydia by sharing unwashed sex toys with someone who has it.
An assumption about chlamydia is that you must have unprotected penetrative sex to catch it, but that’s false. You can contract the bacteria by touching the genitals of an infected person because the bacteria live in vaginal and seminal fluids and pre-ejaculate.
Allowing infected fluids to touch your skin isn’t enough to get an infection. Chlamydia thrives in specific body tissues like the cervix or urethra, so you will only catch it if the fluids make contact with them.
You will not get chlamydia by:
Getting chlamydia in a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean someone cheated. However, it suggests that you or your partner had exposure to an infected person’s genitals in some way, either or before or during the relationship.
Chlamydia symptoms can occur as soon as one to three weeks after sexual activity with an infected partner or sex toy. However, symptoms may not show up for weeks, so if you have sexual relations during that time, you could unknowingly pass chlamydia to your partner(s).
Chlamydia symptoms present themselves differently in men and women. As a woman, you may experience vaginal bleeding between periods or notice a heavier flow, regardless if you’re on a hormonal contraceptive like birth control pills. You could also bleed after sex or experience pain during intercourse.
Other symptoms women with chlamydia sometimes experience are:
Men with chlamydia won’t have pain or bleeding from intercourse, but they could feel aches in their testicles. They may also feel a burning sensation when they urinate or see unusual water, cloudy, or milky discharge from their penises.
It’s not uncommon for the chlamydia bacteria to lie dormant for years and produce a low-grade infection. During that time, you may not have any symptoms for months, or they can be absent forever.
Around 75% of women and 50% of men with chlamydia report having no symptoms. For that reason, it’s best not to assume that if you or your partner has chlamydia that it means one of you was unfaithful. You could be in a loving, mutually monogamous relationship and be unaware that you have chlamydia.
Because you can have and transmit the infection without symptoms, a test is necessary to detect the presence of the bacteria and begin treatment. Even if you had sex once, you could still contract chlamydia.
Men should have a chlamydia screening if they experience any symptoms that could be an infection. They should also see a doctor if their partner tests positive for chlamydia regardless of their sexual orientation.
For women, testing should occur at least once a year if you’re under 25 and sexually active. Younger people are more likely to contract an STD because they tend to have more unprotected sex or multiple partners. Women should also undergo an annual screening if they’re over 25 and have a new partner.
Another reason for women to have a chlamydia test is pregnancy. A mother can pass chlamydia to their baby during birth, resulting in medical issues for the newborn.
Chlamydia is easily treatable with antibiotics. Unlike some STDs, it is curable and won’t remain in the body once the course of medication is complete, which can be a single dose or treatment that lasts for two weeks. Even if you don’t have noticeable symptoms, you must finish everything to ensure that all traces of the bacteria are gone.
Three months after your initial treatment, you will need another test, especially if your partner doesn’t receive treatment. Until you are free of infection, sexual relations can unintentionally infect your partner and vice versa.
Chlamydia requires antibiotic medications; it will not go away on its own. Instead, the infection will lead to long-lasting complications, such as:
Like some other sexually transmitted diseases, it is possible to pass chlamydia to a newborn during birth, even if the mother is unaware of her condition. In most cases, the disease will present itself as conjunctivitis (pinkeye) or pneumonia.
To treat the infection, doctors may prescribe antibiotics and eye drops for conjunctivitis to ease discomfort. Symptoms usually diminish a few days after treatment begins.
Because chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease, you cannot get an infection without participating in a sexual act. The only exception is if your mother passes the infection to you during birth.
Though you cannot catch chlamydia without sexual activity, you don’t have to have penetrative sex to get an infection. Chlamydia can pass from person to person from sharing unclean sex toys with an infected person or allowing your genitals to come into contact with their sexual fluids.
If your partner has chlamydia, you are at risk of contracting the bacteria by having unprotected sex with them. The best way to reduce the risk is to use condoms for oral, anal, and vaginal sex.
If you and your partner are in a monogamous relationship, consider getting STD testing for couples and seek treatment, if necessary. If both partners are clean, the risk of contracting chlamydia is nonexistent so long as the relationship is mutually exclusive.
There is no risk of catching chlamydia from using a toilet, regardless if someone with the infection uses it first. The bacteria require a specific living environment, which it finds inside the cervix, fallopian tube, and urethra. It cannot live on toilet seats.
It’s possible to have chlamydia multiple times. The bacteria will not create antibodies to protect your body from further infection. You can get re-infected by continuing sexual relations with a partner who is untested and untreated.
It’s best to always use condoms with partners who may have chlamydia.
At Rapid STD Testing, you will receive the answers you need concerning your body. Whether you have concerns about chlamydia, trichomoniasis, or how to test for herpes, we offer quick, confidential screenings.
If you think a recent exposure to an STD is likely, don’t delay. Contact Rapid STD Testing at 866-872-1888 and explore your testing and treatment options today.