In The Know Zone

Chlamydia Prevention

Preventing the Spread of Chlamydia

Keeping from getting chlamydia yourself or from passing the disease if you have it can be easy.

Of course, the only completely reliable way to avoid getting chlamydia or any sexually transmitted disease is to avoid having sex. Remember, with chlamydia and many other STDs, penetration and exchange of body fluids are not necessary to spread the disease. Oral/genital/anal contact is enough to spread it. Avoiding these activities keeps you safe from contracting chlamydia.

If you have sex with only one uninfected partner, and he or she has sex only with you, you will not get chlamydia from each other. The best way to know for sure that you and your partner are free from any STDs is to go together to get tested. Tests for HIV need to be repeated several months after the first test because it can take quite a while for a detectable amount of HIV to build up in the body. Tests for chlamydia and many other STDs give much quicker results.

If you are sexually active, a latex condom can reduce your risk of getting chlamydia. The condom needs to be put on before any skin-to-skin oral/genital/anal contact occurs. For oral sex on a woman or in the anal area, a dental dam, a condom cut in half lengthwise, or a piece of plastic wrap can be spread between the mouth and the partner’s genital/anal area.Even if you use condoms or other barriers during sex, you need to get tested for chlamydia or other STDs while you are sexually active. Bacteria, like those that cause STDs  like chlamydia, and viruses, like those that can cause other STDs, are tiny and mobile. Given the right conditions, these organisms can often work around the precautions people take, like condoms. The only way to know for sure that you do not have any STD is to get tested for them twice a year.

Urinating and bathing the external (outside) genitals with soap and water immediately after sex may reduce some chance of infection, especially in men. It’s also a good idea to wash the hands with soap and water after touching someone’s genital/anal area and before touching your own body or face.

Using a douche inside the vagina can be harmful. Women who use douches have more vaginal irritations and infections, like bacterial vaginosis, They also have an increased number of sexually transmitted diseases. Regular vaginal douching increases a woman’s risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can lead to infertility, or even death, if left untreated. Bacterial vaginosis and PID can cause infections in a newborn baby, labor problems in childbirth, and preterm (early) delivery.

A woman never needs to use a douche unless her doctor specifically tells her to do so. The worst time to douche is after having unprotected sex, because the douche can force bacteria higher up into the reproductive tract.

If you test positive for chlamydia, your sex partner(s) need to be tested and treated also. Otherwise, they can reinfect you and/or infect others. If it is difficult or impossible for you to tell your partner(s) about the infection, many clinics can contact individuals for you without using your name.

In The Know: STI Pamphlet/ DVD Package
In the Know: STI Pamphlet Package