A very common misconception about STDs is that if you’ve gotten it once, then you cannot contract it again. Unfortunately, that simply is not true. Some STDs, such as herpes or HIV, are viral. While manageable with long term treatment, the virus will remain in your body for the rest of your life. Other STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis or trichomoniasis, are infections that can be cured usually with antibiotics. Once these infections have been cured, you are susceptible to the infection a second time.
The most common STD reported in the United States is chlamydia. Chlamydia can infect both men and women although it does appear more commonly in women. It can cause serious, potentially permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant. Symptoms of chlamydia can include a pus or discharge, as well as a burning or discomfort with urination. However, the most common symptom of chlamydia is often no symptoms at all.
Once you have been treated for chlamydia, it is possible to become infected again. It is recommended that your partner also be tested and treated for the infection to reduce the risk of a second infection. You should not have sex again until you and your partner have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex. It is also recommended to practice safe sex by using latex condoms when engaging in sexual activity.
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to chlamydia or another STD, you should have STD testing performed. The best way to know the current status of your sexual health is to take a test.