Do I Need a Chlamydia Test after One Sexual Encounter?

Q: If I have only had sex once and used protection, is it possible that I might have chlamydia? I’ve been having some abnormal discharge and a Google search led me to suspect this STD. Can you tell me more about chlamydia and if I need a chlamydia test?

S. Franklin

Cleveland, OH

A: Using protection definitely reduces the risk of contracting chlamydia or other STDs; however, protection can fail in some cases and you could still have an STD. So, yes, you should be screened for chlamydia, as well as other STDs, for your own protection as well as your partner’s. As far as the symptoms of chlamydia, it often exhibits few or no symptoms. There is always the chance that your abnormal discharge could be the result of something else. However, there are some other symptoms you can look for in addition to the discharge:

Burning during urination
Lower back and abdominal pain
Pain during intercourse
Rectal pain, bleeding and discharge

The best option for you is to seek testing to eliminate the possibility of an STD. Then, if your results are negative, you can seek treatment from your doctor for the symptoms you have.