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hi there I was recently informed that my boyfriend has gonorrhea/chlamydia - i have been tested before we met and i was negative for everything I was wondering if he had something prior with no symptoms..... why would he now just be showing symptoms and have irritation ect ... could something trigger it to act up? is it random? thanks so much

Hi,

Thanks for writing.

All STIs have different “window periods” which means from the time someone has sex to the time they get an accurate test result varies between STIs. For example: Gonorrhea shows up within 2-7 days after sex (pretty quickly) but Chlamydia doesn’t show-up until 2-6 weeks after sex (takes a bit more time). That means from the time someone has sex to the time they show symptoms can vary depending on the STI they contracted.

So, STIs aren’t “triggered” they just have delayed timelines that mean things show-up later on.

Window periods also mean that depending on when you get tested your results may or may not be accurate. For example: Since Chlamydia doesn’t show-up until 2-6 weeks after sex that means if you have sex in the 6 weeks prior to getting tested, then your Chlamydia results will not be 100% accurate. Likewise if you have sex in the 7 days prior to getting testing your Gonorrhea results will not be 100% accurate.

It sounds like you were tested (and all results were negative) before meeting your boyfriend… Do you remember if you had sex recently before getting tested? If so, you could have had false negative for Chalmydia and/or Gonorrhea.

Also, are you and your partner monogamous? If you’re only having sex with each other, then it’s very likely one of you was exposed prior to your last tests. If you’re not monogamous, it’s more likely that your boyfriend was exposed more recently. Both Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are very common, and completely curable.

Lastly, when someone has a partner with a positive Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia result we recommned that all their sexual partners get tested and treated. Even if you're not having symptoms you could still have the infection.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to submit another question as needed.

Health Nurse

This answer was posted on November 22, 2017

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