What is your risk of getting Chlamydia?
We all know that Chlamydia is an extremely commonly diagnosed STD.
It is the number 1 commonest STD in Singapore, Japan and many other parts of the world.
But how likely are you to catch it if you had sex with someone who has Chlamydia?
A recent study done by the Melbourne Sexual Heath Centre helped shed some light on this.
This study was published in the Journal Of Sexually Transmitted Infections (Sex Transm Infect. 2015;91(6):434-439)
The Centre did a cross-sectional study of patients over a 3 year period from 2010 to 2013. They selected patients who knew that they had sex with at least 1 partner who told them he/she was diagnosed with Chlamydia.
These were the findings:
Of the 491 women who reported that they had sex with someone who had Chlamydia, 39.9% of them were also diagnosed with Chlamydia.
Not surprisingly, the women who did not use condoms consistently had a higher risk. This was so even if they had a regular male partner.
Also, women who were younger than 25 years also had a higher risk of being infected with Chlamydia.
Of the 808 heterosexual men who reported that they had sex with a woman who was diagnosed with Chlamydia, 36.1% were themselves diagnosed with Chlamydia.
Similar to women, men younger than 25 years were also at higher risk of catching Chlamydia.
Surprisingly, men who has regular women partners were at higher risk of catching Chlamydia.
MSM (Men who have sex with Men)
Of the 206 MSM (Men who have sex with Men) who reported that they had sex with another man who was diagnosed with Chlamydia, 8.8% had Chlamydia infection of the urethra (penis), 20.2% had Chlamydia infection of the rectum (anus) and 3.9% had Chlamydia infection in both the urethra and rectum. In total, there are 32.9% cases.
Similar to heterosexual men, MSM who had a regular partner were at higher risk of catching Chlamydia.
What can we learn from this?
If you had sex with someone and he/she tells you that he/she has been diagnosed with Chlamydia, it is likely that you also have it but it is not 100%.
So the right thing to do is to see your doctor and get tested.
You should do this even if you do not have any symptoms because the majority of people infected with Chlamydia actually do not develop symptoms.
Tell your doctor what kind of sexual contact you had (vaginal sex, oral sex, anal sex) because this affects what kind of test needs to be done for you.
You should not just take antibiotics because there is a significant chance that you did not catch it.
If you do not use condoms consistently, you are at greater risk of contracting Chlamydia.
If you are younger than 25, you also have a greater risk of contracting Chlamydia.