- If your partner has chlamydia, it may affect your sex life and fertility.
- Sexual satisfaction is an important part of being together for most people.
- Chlamydia diagnosis does not mean the end of intimacy.
- Chlamydia is treatable, and you can return to sexual activity once healed.
- Talking about sexual health and practicing safer sex are key for couples with an STI diagnosis.
My partner has chlamydia! You probably never thought you’d say that, but here you are. And you have a million questions running through your head: Does this mean the end of your sex life? Is she cheating on me? Will we ever be able to have a baby?
Chlamydia, or any other sexually transmitted infection, does not have to mean the end of intimacy. Like any other problem in life, there are right ways and wrong ways to deal with the situation. In this article, we’ll discuss chlamydia and what to do when it happens to you.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. It affects both women and men, but it’s more dangerous for the ladies. Chlamydia may affect your plans of starting a family in the future.
Some people never have any symptoms. For others, the infection will look like a urinary tract infection. Sometimes there’s some genital discharge or pain when peeing.
How Common Is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a common STI. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2018 alone, approximately four million people in the United States got infected with the disease.
Chlamydia is known as a silent infection. This means that many people who have it don’t see any symptoms. Some find out during routine sexual health screening. Many women realize they have chlamydia when fertility problems arise.
How Can You Get Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection. It can affect you regardless of your sexual orientation. People usually get infected with chlamydia by having:
- Unprotected vaginal intercourse
- Unprotected anal sex
- Oral sex or rimming (oral-anal stimulation)
Is Chlamydia Treatable?
The good news is that chlamydia is treatable with antibiotics. But if you or your partner have had the infection for some time, treatment will not remove the potential negative effects of the disease.
For example, if a woman had chlamydia for a few months without getting diagnosed, the infection might have caused serious damage to her reproductive organs. Even if she got treatment later, she may still have problems getting pregnant.
Another not-so-nice thing about chlamydia is that it’s not a one-and-done kind of disease. You can get infected and treated, only to be infected again later in your life. That’s why it’s important that both partners receive medication, as it reduces the risk of passing chlamydia back and forth between you.
How STIs Affect Your Relationship
Learning that one partner has an STI can be very stressful for a couple. It can raise concerns about fidelity. You may worry if you’ll ever be able to enjoy intimacy again.
If My Partner Has Chlamydia, Does It Mean They Cheated?
For many guys, the first reaction after their partner tells them they have chlamydia is “They must have cheated.”
Before you jump to conclusions, know that chlamydia can go undetected for a long time. It’s possible that your partner got it from someone a while ago, before you two even met. Another option is that you had chlamydia and didn’t know about it and infected your partner with it.
STIs and Fertility
Untreated chlamydia can wreak havoc on a woman’s reproductive system. An infection she had as a young adult may smash her hopes of starting a family later in life.
That’s why it’s important that you and your partner get tested for chlamydia at least once. If you both stay monogamous afterward, there’s no risk of getting infected. But first, you need to make sure you don’t carry a hidden infection from previous sexual contacts.
Sex When Your Partner Has Chlamydia
The golden rule of sex if your partner has chlamydia: You should both get treated. Until you’ve cleared the infection, avoid intercourse (vaginal or anal) and oral sex.
Communication Is Key
It’s never too late to start talking about sexual health with your partner. Some STIs (such as herpes) never fully go away and you have to learn to minimize the risk of infection. With chlamydia, you only need to abstain from sex until the end of treatment.
If you are not in an exclusive relationship, discuss safety rules. For example, some couples have sex without condoms and barriers but agree to practice safer sex with all other sexual partners.
Sexual Health Testing
You should both get a clean bill of health in the beginning of your relationship. If you haven’t done that and you would like to skip condoms, it’s time to get a full STI checkup. The same applies if you want to try to have a baby. Some clinics may not include a chlamydia test for guys in their routine panel, so make sure to ask for it specifically.
If you’re not monogamous, agree on how often you both will get screened for STIs. If you notice suspicious symptoms, go to the doctor to make sure it’s safe to have sex. In many cases, the itching or weird genital discharge will be a sign of a mild urinary tract infection, not an STI, but these, too, require medical attention.
If your partner has chlamydia, follow the doctor’s recommendations about treatment and abstain from sexual contacts until you’re both healed.
In the meantime, you can do sensual things without genital contact. For example, give each other a massage or have a nice cuddling session.
Don’t forget to thoroughly clean or sterilize any sex toys you’ve been using. Some sex toys can be boiled, and others can be washed with soap and water. There are also special toy cleaning sprays available.
Protect Your Sexual Health
Chlamydia may seem like a mild nuisance, but it’s a serious disease. It can lead to infertility in women (and in rare cases, men too). Moreover, untreated chlamydia can increase your risk of getting HIV.
To protect your health and fertility, always check suspicious symptoms with a doctor and get treatment if necessary. Don’t forget to manage ongoing STIs, as they will make you more vulnerable to other infections. For fast and easy ordering of your sexual health medication, visit our online store. With eDrugstore, shipping and virtual health visits are always free.
Anka Grzywacz is a sexologist, reproductive health expert and Certified Sex Coach™. In her online practice she helps busy women and couples solve their intimate problems.