Can You Get Chlamydia With a Condom?

If you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms such as burning or pain when urinating or pain during sex then you may be wondering if you have an STD such as Chlamydia. You might also be thinking back to your sexual activity and wondering if it’s even possible to have it if you used a condom.

Take the time to learn more about Chlamydia and if you can get Chlamydia with a condom or not so you can determine if you might have it and get the right treatment.

Table of Contents

Can You Get Chlamydia With a Condom?

The first matter to cover is what is Chlamydia. Chlamydia is a bacterium that causes an STD or pneumonia illness in someone. It’s one of the most common STDs and can be easily spread through sex or infected genital fluids such as semen or vaginal fluid. Often it can be asymptomatic or dormant which means you won’t have any noticeable symptoms.

The short answer is, yes, you can get Chlamydia with a condom. That being said, you are lowering your chances of giving or getting Chlamydia when you use a latex or polyurethane condom each time you have oral, anal, or vaginal sex. A condom will not completely stop your risk from getting it. If you are sexually active then it’s good practice to get tested for STDs regularly.

What Are the Chances of Getting Chlamydia With a Condom?

Since condoms are not 100 percent effective, you risk getting an STI such as Chlamydia if you engage in anal, oral, or vaginal sex. However, you should also keep in mind that condoms are 98 percent effective and therefore are good at protecting against most STIs such as Chlamydia.

So Should You Worry About STDs if You Use a Condom?

A condom can’t entirely protect against any STD with 100 percent certainty. However, practicing safe sex and using a condom will lower your risk significantly for the chance of getting Chlamydia. A latex condom, when used consistently and correctly will reduce the risk of STDs. As noted above, condoms are generally 98 percent effective.

Do Condoms Prevent All STDs?

While condoms can help prevent certain STDs such as Chlamydia and gonorrhea, they can’t prevent all STDs. There are some STDs in particular such as syphilis, herpes, and genital warts that can be spread from skin-to-skin contact. The only way to prevent getting an STD or Chlamydia completely is to abstain from oral, anal, and vaginal sex. Use a condom to greatly reduce the risk of giving or getting an STD but know that it can’t entirely eliminate the possibility of transmitting Chlamydia, for example.

How Do Condoms Protect You From Chlamydia and Other STDs?

Condoms can protect you from Chlamydia and other STDs since they block transmission and acquisition of them by preventing contact between the person wearing the condom’s penis and the sex partner’s genital secretions, mucosa, and skin. 

The key is consistent and correct condom use each and every time you engage in sexual activity. Rather than a failure of the product itself, STDs are usually transmitted to another person as the result of inconsistent and incorrect use of a condom.

How to Use a Condom Correctly?

There are some tips that you can apply so that you know you’re using a condom correctly and you can best prevent giving or receiving an STD such as Chlamydia to your partner.

Always use a new condom throughout any sex act from start to finish. Before you engage in any sexual activity, with the rolled side out, place the condom on the tip of the erect penis. Next, unroll the condom, while holding the tip, all the way to the base of the erect penis. Carefully withdraw the condom after ejaculation but before the penis gets soft. Make sure no semen spills out as you remove it. After you have removed the condom then roll it in a tissue and place it in a trash can.

If at any point you notice the condom breaks or tears then immediately stop what you’re doing and replace it with a new one. When using a lubricant during vaginal or anal sex you should always use a water-based lubricant instead of an oil-based lubricant as this can weaken the latex and cause breakage.

When to See a Doctor?

You may be wondering how long Chlamydia can last and if it will go away on its own. The duration of it depends on if you have symptoms or not. It’s very possible you don’t show any symptoms and may not even realize you have it. However, the upside is that once you are treated for it then due to the antibiotics, the duration of Chlamydia is much shorter and it should clear up in about one to two weeks.

Since treating Chlamydia requires antibiotics, it’s essential to see a doctor or healthcare provider who can prescribe these medicines to you as soon as possible. It’s important to note that you can’t purchase antibiotics over the counter so you’ll need to see a licensed healthcare professional.

Always treat Chlamydia in a timely manner since it can lead to additional and other serious health conditions when left untreated. You can use the DrHouse telehealth app to quickly connect with a board-certified doctor in less than 15 minutes to have all your questions answered and be on your way with your prescription in no time.

Key Takeaways

So, when wondering about whether you get Chlamydia with a condom, you should now have all the answers and information you need. The short answer is, yes, you should use a condom and practice safe sex with the caveat of knowing that condoms aren’t 100 percent effective. There is always a slight risk of contracting Chlamydia and other STDs even when you use a condom.

What’s most important is that you use them consistently and correctly and always seek treatment from a doctor or healthcare provider in the case that you believe you have contracted Chlamydia or any other STD. You will need an antibiotic to clean up Chlamydia and feel better. 

Sources: 

  • Gallo, Maria F. PhD*; Steiner, Markus J. PhD†; Warner, Lee PhD‡; Hylton-Kong, Tina MD§; Figueroa, J Peter MD§; Hobbs, Marcia M. PhD∥; Behets, Frieda M. PhD∥¶. Self-Reported Condom Use Is Associated With Reduced Risk of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis. Sexually Transmitted Diseases: October 2007 – Volume 34 – Issue 10 – p 829-833 doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318073bd71 
  • Paz-Bailey G, Koumans EH, Sternberg M, et al. The Effect of Correct and Consistent Condom Use on Chlamydial and Gonococcal Infection Among Urban Adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(6):536–542. doi:https://www.doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.159.6.536 
  • Newby, K.V., French, D.P., Brown, K.E. et al. Increasing young adults’ condom use intentions and behaviour through changing chlamydia risk and coping appraisals: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of efficacy. BMC Public Health 13, 528 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-528
  • Donald P. Orr, Carl D. Langefeld, Barry P. Katz, Virginia A. Caine, Behavioral intervention to increase condom use among high-risk female adolescents, The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 128, Issue 2, 1996, Pages 288-295, ISSN 0022-3476, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3476(96)70413-4 
  • Lee Warner, Daniel R. Newman, Mary L. Kamb, Martin Fishbein, John M. Douglas, Jr, Jonathan Zenilman, Laura D’Anna, Gail Bolan, Judy Rogers, Thomas Peterman, for the Project RESPECT Study Group, Problems with Condom Use among Patients Attending Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinics: Prevalence, Predictors, and Relation to Incident Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 167, Issue 3, 1 February 2008, Pages 341–349, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwm300
  • Lee Warner, Daniel R. Newman, Harland D. Austin, Mary L. Kamb, John M. Douglas, Jr., C. Kevin Malotte, Jonathan M. Zenilman, Judy Rogers, Gail Bolan, Martin Fishbein, David G. Kleinbaum, Maurizio Macaluso, Thomas A. Peterman, for the Project RESPECT Study Group, Condom Effectiveness for Reducing Transmission of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia: The Importance of Assessing Partner Infection Status, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 159, Issue 3, 1 February 2004, Pages 242–251, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwh044
  • FRENCH, P. P., et al. “Use-Effectiveness of the Female Versus Male Condom in Preventing Sexually Transmitted Disease in Women.” Sexually Transmitted Diseases, vol. 30, no. 5, 2003, pp. 433–39. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/44966082.
  • Niccolai LM, Rowhani-Rahbar A, Jenkins H, et alCondom effectiveness for prevention of Chlamydia trachomatis infectionSexually Transmitted Infections 2005;81:323-325. 

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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