"Can I catch Gonorrhea and Chlamydia if I have only had one sexual partner?"
Yes. It is possible to become infected with gonorrhea, chlamydia and any other STD, even if you have only had one sexual partner. Any sexually active individual is at risk of an STD infection if proper measures are not taken to ensure disease free, sexual interaction.
Aside from abstinence, the best defense against STDs is to be tested before engaging in sexual activity with a new partner. This allows both partners to verify their sexual health, address any concerns, and prevent the spread of disease.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common STDs in the world. Chlamydia infections are reported to be at a little over 2.8 million cases per year, and 468,514 cases of gonorrhea were reported in 2015 in the United States alone.
Both Chlamydia and gonorrhea are transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids and contact of infected fluids with a mucous membrane (vagina, rectum, urogenital, mouth, throat, eyes, and nose). They are also similar in their ability to be “silent.” Meaning that they can infect and exist in the human body without any visible signs or symptoms. The fact that both of these diseases are largely asymptomatic creates an increased ability for the infection to be transmitted without the knowledge of either sexual party.
Irreparable and severe medical complications can result if either STD is left untreated. However, the good news is that both chlamydia and gonorrhea are easily treated and cured with antibiotics.
It is, however, critical that treatment instructions and protocol is strictly followed. The instance of recurrence (meaning that the disease comes back even after being treated) is high for both of these STDs. In some cases, failure to properly take medication or follow instructions results in gonorrhea becoming resistant to treatment and hard, if not impossible to cure. Additionally, chronic or prolonged exposure to chlamydia can increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer in women and may result in infertility in both men and women. Both Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) a serious and, sometimes, life-threatening condition.
Be aware that although treatment can rid the body of chlamydia and gonorrhea it will not make an individual immune to either disease and it will not undo any damage that may have been caused by either infection. In short, early identification and proper treatment are vital to curing either of these STDs.
It is highly common that anyone infected with chlamydia is also infected with gonorrhea. Testing for both chlamydia and gonorrhea at the same time should be considered.
Our Medical and Advice Staff is available to speak with you about your testing and treatment options.
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