Questions About Chlamydia

Can I get chlamydia from kissing?

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected. They can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can infect the throat; however, they cannot be transmitted from one infected throat to another through kissing. To learn more about how chlamydia and gonorrhea are transmitted go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

How do I know if I have chlamydia or gonorrhea?

A person who has chlamydia and/or gonorrhea may not know that they are infected. Getting tested is the best way to know whether or not you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that will either give someone symptoms or not give them symptoms when they are infected; symptoms also vary depending on what part of the body is infected. So even if you can’t see or feel the symptoms of chlamydia and/or gonorrhea, the infection could still be there. Only 25% of women and 50% of men who become infected develop symptoms; that is only 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 2 boys actually experience symptoms.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can still be transmitted from an infected person to a partner(s) during oral, anal, or vaginal sex even when no symptoms are present. If you are among those few who develop symptoms (such as painful urination, odd or smelly discharge, or abdominal pain), you will start to notice them between 1 to 3 weeks after you were infected. Therefore, men and women can be infected for a very long period of time and not know it until the infection results in health problems. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are both easily tested for and treated. To learn more visit “the symptoms” link on the homepage. A list of public testing locations is also available on this website.  Simply go to the “Testing Location” link on the homepage under the “Resources” tab and select your county.

What are the signs/symptoms of chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that will either give someone symptoms or not give them symptoms when they are infected; symptoms also vary depending on what part of the body is infected. So even if you can’t see or feel the symptoms of chlamydia and/or gonorrhea, the infection could still be there. Only 25% of women and 50% of men who become infected develop symptoms; that is only 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 2 boys actually experience symptoms.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can still be transmitted from an infected person to a partner(s) during oral, anal, or vaginal sex even when no symptoms are present. If you are among those few who develop symptoms (such as painful urination, odd or smelly discharge, or abdominal pain), you will start to notice them between 1 to 3 weeks after you were infected.  With that being said, getting tested is the best way to know whether or not you have a sexually transmitted disease.

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea, go to the “Symptoms” link on the homepage. To learn about the symptoms of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), go to the “Resources” link also located on the homepage.

Can gonorrhea and chlamydia cause infertility?

Yes. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause a woman to be unable to have a baby. Untreated gonorrhea and chlamydial infections can cause serious, permanent health problems in both women and men. When these infections are left untreated they can cause women to become infertile (unable to get pregnant and/or give birth to a baby) and men to become sterile (incapable of reproduction). If a pregnant woman is infected, she may give the infection to her baby as the baby passes through the birth canal during delivery. This can cause blindness or a life-threatening respiratory infection in the baby. Getting tested is very important as these infections can be easily cured with antibiotics before serious health problems develop. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

How long can you have chlamydia and not know you are infected?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that will either give someone symptoms or not give them symptoms when they are infected; symptoms also vary depending on what part of the body is infected. Only 25% of women and 50% of men who become infected develop symptoms; that is only 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 2 boys actually experience symptoms. If you are among those few who develop symptoms (such as painful urination, odd or smelly discharge, or abdominal pain), you will start to notice them between 1 to 3 weeks after you were infected.  Serious health complications still occur in people who do not have symptoms. Therefore, men and women can be infected for a very long period of time and not know it until the infection results in health problems. Chlamydia is easily tested for and treatable. A list of public testing locations is available on this website.  Simply go to the “Testing Location” link on the homepage under the “Resources” tab and select your county.

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia (kluh-mid-ee-uh) is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. It can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. To learn more, visit the links on the homepage.

Can chlamydia be spread in a monogamous relationship?

If one partner is infected prior to their current relationship, just because they are currently monogamous doesn’t mean that their current partner won’t get the infection. If neither partner is infected, and they are mutually monogamous (only with each other), then neither partner will become infected.

If there is any question as to whether or not you or your partner has chlamydia or another STD, it is worth getting tested to prevent the contraction or spread of any such infections.

If your partner has gonorrhea or chlamydia, is it possible to have unprotected sex and not get these infections?

While it is possible to have vaginal, oral, or anal sex with an infected partner and not get infected, it’s unlikely. For more information, check out the “Prevention” link on the homepage.

What symptoms can develop if you get chlamydia or gonorrhea after giving oral sex?

Most people with a pharyngeal (throat) infection don’t experience any symptoms, although a sore throat can occur. When you go in for testing, be sure to ask for a throat swab in addition to other testing that is offered. To find a testing location near you, simply go to the “Testing Location” link on the homepage under the “Resources” tab and select your county.

Is sex the only way to get chlamydia?

Besides vaginal, oral, and anal sex, the only way chlamydia can be spread is through the birth process, from mother to baby during a vaginal birth.

Can I get chlamydia if I have sex with a partner who does not have the disease?

In order to get chlamydia or gonorrhea, you have to have vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person. For more info on preventing these infections, check out the “Prevention” link on the homepage.

Can I have sex with a person who has chlamydia as long as I use a condom?

Condoms work as a barrier to help prevent the exchange of potentially infected bodily fluids.  Although, any sexual contact with an infected person could spread chlamydia or gonorrhea regardless of condom usage.  For more information visit the “Prevention” link on the homepage.

Does chlamydia make you tired?

Tiredness is not a common symptom. The most common symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea can be found under the “Symptoms” link on the homepage. Although your question may not be related to chlamydia or gonorrhea infection, it’s best to visit a doctor for an exam. Any time a person notices symptoms that are abnormal, it’s best to be examined right away.

What if I have sex with a person(s) of my same sex, do I have to worry about chlamydia and gonorrhea?

Yes. Contact with infected fluids and transmission can still occur when a person has sex with someone of their same sex. The bacteria can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Both men and women can become infected and transmit chlamydia and gonorrhea. Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia and/or gonorrhea. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on this website.

I was tested one week ago for HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, and my results came back negative. The time between my last unprotected encounter and the testing was two weeks. Since testing, I have noticed that the opening of my penis is red and itches. Could an STD have developed since my testing, even though I have not had unprotected sex since then?

Chlamydia and gonorrhea often occur without symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure, at the site(s) of infection. Because you are experiencing discomfort, it’s best to head back to the doctor for a follow-up visit. Anytime a person notices symptoms that are abnormal, it’s best to be examined right away. To learn more about chlamydia and gonorrhea, please visit the links on the homepage.

Can I get chlamydia or gonorrhea from a toilet, or from sharing something like a bar of soap?

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected. Bodily fluids containing chlamydia and/or gonorrhea must be transmitted from person to person in order for an infection to occur. Therefore, infected fluids on a toilet seat or a bar of soap cannot transmit chlamydia and/or gonorrhea to other toilet or soap users. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

Can I get chlamydia or gonorrhea from a swimming pool or hot tub?

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected. Bodily fluids containing chlamydia and/or gonorrhea must be transmitted from person to person in order for an infection to occur. Therefore, infected fluids floating in a pool or hot tub cannot transmit chlamydia and/or gonorrhea to other swimmers. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

How are chlamydia and gonorrhea linked to HIV?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is transmitted through the following four fluids: 1) blood, 2) semen, 3) vaginal fluids, and 4) breast milk. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Women infected with chlamydia are up to five times more likely to become infected with HIV, if exposed. In addition, people with gonorrhea can more easily contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV-infected people with gonorrhea can transmit HIV more easily to someone else than if they did not have gonorrhea. For more information on HIV, take a peek at the “Resources” tab on the homepage.

What does chlamydia look like?

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis.  It is important to know that chlamydia can be asymptomatic, meaning an infected individual may not develop any signs/symptoms and therefore not know that they are infected.  Some infected individuals may notice a yellow or milky white discharge, or a burning sensation while urinating. To see what chlamydia and gonorrhea look like up close, go to STD or Not? in the bottom left corner of the home page. To learn more about the symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea go to the “Symptoms” link on the homepage.

Can I get chlamydia or gonorrhea from sharing food and/or drinks with an infected individual?

No. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia and/or gonorrhea. It can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can infect the throat; however, they cannot be transmitted from one infected throat to another through sharing food and beverages. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

If I have chlamydia, how can I prevent spreading it?

Chlamydia can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. A single pill, several pills, or a liquid medication are the most commonly used treatments. Abstinence should be continued until seven days after a single-dose regimen or after completion of a 7-day regimen. Persons with chlamydia and/or gonorrhea should abstain from sexual intercourse until they and their sex partner(s) have completed treatment, otherwise re-infection is possible.

 

What are the long-term health effects of chlamydia and gonorrhea?

Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea infections can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men. In women, the damage caused by the STDs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancies (a pregnancy outside the uterus). In men, infection sometimes spreads to the epididymis (ducts attached to the testicles where sperm mature and are stored) causing pain, fever, and rarely, sterility. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

How can I prevent getting chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. The best way to prevent the transmission of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and other STDs is to abstain from sexual contact.  Once an individual has decided to become sexually active, it is best to practice mutual monogamy with a spouse or partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected. Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly during oral, anal, and vaginal sex, can greatly reduce the risk of chlamydia and gonorrhea transmission. To learn more go to the “Prevention” link on the homepage.

Can I catch chlamydia from my dog?

Chlamydia is not contagious from dogs to people or vice versa.  Although dogs can contract chlamydia, it is caused by a different type of bacteria found in birds (Chlamydia psittaci), compared with the bacteria that infects humans (Chlamydia tachomatis).  The chlamydia that infects dogs is not contracted from the transmission of bodily fluids with other dogs.  Dogs actually catch the infection when they come into contact with feces of infected birds.   For humans, chlamydia can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. It can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can infect the throat; however, they cannot be transmitted from one infected throat to another through kissing. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.