I don’t believe I’d been tested for any STIs before this pregnancy. My husband and I have been together for almost 6 years and we both trust each other and are faithful to one another. My doctor said that it has to be that my husband has cheated. My husband insists he would never do that.
I’m wondering if it’s at all possible that it could have been dormant up until recently in my body? I have read online it can be dormant for years. My past boyfriend had given me HPV and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d also given me Chlamydia 8 years ago. My husbands last relationship was 6 years ago. Please help!
You have come to a great place for information that might help you in your search for answers. It’s encouraging to hear that you’re routinely tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as a way to stay proactive in your sexual health.
A chlamydia test is done either through a urine sample or a swab of the cervix (or a swab of the urethra for people who have a penis.) You report being tested for STIs, but is there a possibility that a chlamydia test wasn’t done in October, and therefore not detected then? We also recommend that you let the testing clinician know if you engage in oral or anal sex, as a swab of those areas can sometimes detect infections that can be missed by a genital swab.
As for how long it can take to detect an infection: Depending on the test done, the “window period” can vary. The window period is time between potential exposure to infection and the point when the test will detect an infection and give an accurate, conclusive result. Here at Nine Circles Community Health Centre we use NAAT testing for chlamydia and advise a window period of up to 2 weeks. This means if someone gets tested 2 weeks or more after a potential exposure, a chlamydia infection will be detected.
I’ve seen a few online resources that refer to “dormancy” with chlamydia. What they are commonly talking about is the period of time that a chlamydia infection can be present without noticeable symptoms. People can have chlamydia and not know it, but if they were to be tested 2 weeks or later after exposure they would have a conclusive positive result. To your question if chlamydia can “hide dormant” in the body for years and evade testing, the answer is no. If you’ve been tested occasionally since your last relationship 8 years ago, it’s not realistic you were exposed to chlamydia then and only testing positive now.
It may be that you were either not tested for chlamydia in October, or the infection has happened between October and now. Chlamydia can be spread through unprotected oral, vaginal, and anal sex or sharing sex toys with an infected partner, also penetration and ejaculation are not required for transmission. Chlamydia is not transmitted through toilet seats or other public places. If you are engaging in sexual activity with only your husband, your doctor’s suggestion that this infection likely came from him is worth consideration.
This may require additional conversation(s) with your husband about your sexual health goals, any sexual or intimate activity outside your relationship and the importance of routine testing as long as you are sexually active together. This can be a challenging conversation to have, so feel free to find a supportive person or perhaps even a professional to help you work through your feelings or concerns. STIs can happen in married relationships. We do recommend routine STI testing for couples who report monogamy, as we only control our own actions and can’t control another person’s behaviour.
The good news is that chlamydia is treatable, and you and your partner can both be tested and treated in order to move forward.