Reposted from Flo Health.
There are a lot of misconceptions about chlamydia that could harm your health. Read on to learn the truth about eight popular chlamydia myths.
You can’t catch chlamydia from a toilet seat
Many people believe they can get chlamydia from a toilet seat. This isn’t true. There’s no need to worry about catching chlamydia in a public bathroom. Even if you share a toilet seat with someone who has it, you can’t get the infection. You also can’t catch chlamydia from sharing items like towels.
Usually, chlamydia spreads through unprotected sex. It’s also possible to get the disease if you share sex toys with someone who has the infection. Sex toys should be washed or covered with a condom. If your partner has vaginal fluid or semen on their fingers, it may be possible to spread the infection that way.
Chlamydia can sometimes go away on its own
Some diseases and infections can go away on their own, so it’s not surprising that people wonder: does chlamydia go away on its own? The truth is, it sometimes does. In about 20% of people who have no symptoms, chlamydia may resolve spontaneously without treatment. It means that under certain circumstances host immune responses can control chlamydia naturally.
Untreated chlamydia can go on without any symptoms for a long period of time. That’s why it’s so important to get tested and catch it early. When chlamydia isn’t treated, it can cause a number of serious complications. In women, the infection can spread to the uterus and uterine tubes, while in men, it can spread to the prostate gland. Chlamydia can also cause reactive arthritis, which affects your joints and eyes.
When chlamydia isn’t treated, it can cause a number of serious complications.
Some people claim that chlamydia can be treated with home remedies like garlic and turmeric, but these methods are unproven and should be avoided. The only proven cure for chlamydia is treatment with antibiotics, which usually clear up the infection in a week or two.
It’s possible to get chlamydia through oral or anal sex
You may have heard that it’s not possible to get chlamydia through oral or anal sex, but this is just a myth. If you have unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex, you could get chlamydia.
While it’s possible to get chlamydia through any of these sex acts, the risk varies depending on the type of sex you’re having. Chlamydia isn’t commonly passed through cunnilingus, but it’s possible. The infection is commonly passed through fellatio and anal sex.
No matter what type of sex you’re having, it’s a good idea to use protection. This may include dental dams or condoms, depending on the sex act. Other types of contraception, like birth control pills and IUDs, don’t provide any protection against chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections.
You won’t immediately know if you or your partner have chlamydia
Chlamydia is a serious disease, but if you or your partner become infected, you might not know right away. Early-stage infections often don’t cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can be easily overlooked.
If you have unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex, you could get chlamydia. While it’s possible to get chlamydia through any of these sex acts, the risk varies depending on the type of sex you’re having.
For most women with chlamydia, the infection doesn’t cause any symptoms. About half of men don’t experience symptoms, either. This is why it’s so important to get tested regularly. For sexually active women under 25, yearly testing is recommended. Women who are over 25 should get tested when they have new partners or have other risk factors for chlamydia.
If symptoms occur, they usually start one to three weeks after infection. In women, these symptoms may include vaginal discharge, pain during sex, or painful urination. For men, signs of chlamydia may include discharge from the penis or pain in the testicles. Since these symptoms are relatively mild, it’s easy to overlook them.
You’re not immune to chlamydia once you’ve had it
Once you’ve had some diseases, you can’t catch them again. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for chlamydia. Repeat chlamydia infections are common.
If you’ve had chlamydia in the past, you have no immunity against the infection. If you’re sexually active with somebody who has the infection, you could catch it again. Since reinfection is common, you should get tested for chlamydia about three months after being treated for the infection.
Chlamydia is a serious infection
Chlamydia is America’s most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection. Every year, an estimated 2.86 million infections occur. Since it’s so common, you may assume that it’s no big deal. However, chlamydia can be a very serious infection.
Chlamydia is very common, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have a serious impact on your health. The infection can cause a number of long-term complications. In up to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia, the infection spreads to the uterus and uterine tubes, leading to symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease. In addition, some women experience subclinical inflammation of the upper genital tract. This can cause permanent damage to the affected tissues.
You can catch chlamydia if you’ve only had sex once
You may have heard that it’s not possible to get chlamydia from a single sex act. If you’ve had sex with someone who has the infection, you could get it, too. One encounter is all it takes to pass on the bacteria, so get tested.
In up to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia, the infection spreads to the uterus and uterine tubes, leading to symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease.
If you’ve had unprotected sex and are worried that you might have chlamydia, get tested. The test is easy and painless. Your doctor could take a sample of your cells with a cotton swab or ask you to pee in a cup. The sample is tested for chlamydia bacteria. If your doctor says you have chlamydia, don’t worry. It’s treatable.
Chlamydia can harm your pregnancy or reproductive health
Can chlamydia harm your unborn baby or your future reproductive health? Many people will say “no,” but that’s not true. The infection can cause complications for both pregnancy and fertility.
Chlamydia can cause many complications for pregnant women and their babies. When the infection is left untreated, it can cause preterm delivery. Babies who are born prematurely can have problems with their lungs, hearts, or brains. The infection can spread to the baby, resulting in pneumonia, eye infections, and other complications. Due to these risks, pregnant women are routinely screened for chlamydia.
Chlamydia can cause many complications for pregnant women and their babies. When the infection is left untreated, it can cause preterm delivery.
Chlamydia can also cause complications for women who want to get pregnant. If untreated chlamydia spreads to other parts of the reproductive system, like the uterus, those tissues can be damaged. This can cause infertility. Damage to the uterine tubes could also result in an ectopic pregnancy. This means a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, usually inside the uterine tube. These pregnancies aren’t sustainable and may put the mother’s life at risk.
There are many myths that are circulating about this common sexually transmitted infection. If you’re concerned about chlamydia, see your doctor to get tested.