Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the world. It can affect both men and women, and can lead to serious health complications including infertility.
The bacteria that cause chlamydia can be spread through vaginal fluid or semen. Condoms can dramatically reduce the chance of catching the infection, but are not 100% foolproof.
What happens if you have protected sex while being treated for chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause serious health problems. It spreads through unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex, or by passing from an infected woman to her baby during childbirth. It can affect people of all ages and sexually active partners of any gender, but is more likely in young people with multiple sexual partners. Chlamydia is a very common infection, but it can be treated with antibiotics. Many people with chlamydia don’t have symptoms and may not know they are infected. It is important that everyone, including young people, get tested for chlamydia and treated promptly.
Taking antibiotics as directed and abstaining from all forms of sex (including anal, vaginal and oral) for 7 days after treatment should clear the infection. However, it is advisable to get retested for chlamydia in about three months time even if you think the infection has cleared up. This is because repeated chlamydia infections can increase a person’s risk of pelvic inflammatory disease and other reproductive health complications.
It’s also important to let all anal, vaginal and oral sex partners know that you have been diagnosed with chlamydia so that they can be tested and treated. Condoms can help reduce, but not eliminate, the chance of passing on chlamydia and it is important to use them during every sexual encounter. It is also important to get regular STI screenings, especially for those under 25 and those who have a high number of sexual partners.
How long do I have to wait before I can have sex again?
Chlamydia can cause serious damage to the reproductive organs if not treated. Women can suffer from infertility, and the infection can cause ectopic pregnancies, tubal blockages and inflammation of the fallopian tubes. In men, chlamydia can also infect the urethra, anus and testicles. The STI can be spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex, so it is important to use condoms in all sexual encounters until you are clear of the disease.
Once treatment is complete, you can have sex again as long as you use condoms. However, it is important to understand that you can still get chlamydia again even after treatment. Re-infection is common. That’s why it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about regular sex screening, including for STIs like chlamydia, and getting regularly tested and treated.
It is a notifiable disease, which means your doctor must let government health authorities know that you have been diagnosed with chlamydia. Your doctor will also contact any sexual partners you have had in the last six months so they can be informed, tested and treated if necessary. This process is called contact tracing and it’s an important part of preventing the spread of chlamydia in the community. You may be asked to do this by phone or by letter. Most sexual partners are happy to be informed, tested and treated.
Can I have sex with my partner while being treated for chlamydia?
Chlamydia can be spread through unprotected sex, but it is easily treated with medicine. Most people who get chlamydia have no symptoms and don’t know they have it, so regular STI testing is essential.
Once you’re diagnosed, your doctor will give you a course of antibiotics to treat your infection. When you’re on antibiotics it’s important to use barrier protection, like a condom, during vaginal, anal or oral sex. Using a condom can help prevent chlamydia infections, and it’s recommended for everyone regardless of their sexual history or gender.
It takes up to seven days for the chlamydia bacteria to leave your body after taking antibiotics, so you’ll want to wait until that time before having sex again. It’s also a good idea to let your recent sexual partners know you’re getting treatment for chlamydia, so they can get tested and treated too.
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia or any other STI, your doctor will advise you to abstain from sexual activity until your antibiotics have cleared your infection. If you do have sex, it’s important that you and your partner use barrier protection, like a condom, for all types of sex, including vaginal, anal or oral – and that both of you wear latex condoms. Proper usage of latex condoms can significantly reduce, but not eliminate, your risk of catching or spreading chlamydia.
Can my partner have sex with me while being treated for chlamydia?
It is possible to have sex while being treated for chlamydia, but you must follow the guidelines of your doctor to reduce the risk of passing it on to your partner. This means using condoms correctly and waiting for a full course of antibiotics to be completed. It is also important to use water based lubricant when having anal, vaginal or oral sex to help prevent chlamydia spread.
The most common way that people get chlamydia is by having unprotected sex. This can include sex where bacteria is passed from one person to another (such as oral or anal sex) or sex where a bacterial discharge may be produced (like vaginal bleeding or anus bleeding). Chlamydia can also be spread by manually stimulating the genital area (including the anus and the cervix) and through sharing contaminated towels, toothbrushes and saliva.
You should tell your partner(s) you are being treated for chlamydia, and they need to get tested and treat themselves if they have not been diagnosed already. It can be difficult to discuss sex and reproductive health with your partner, but it is important that they know you have an infection and how to get treatment. Your healthcare provider can provide information and tips to make it easier for you to have this conversation. They can even rehearse the conversation with you, so you can feel more prepared and confident about having it.