Exactly What Happened When I Didn’t Realize I’d Caught

For many men, Rapid chlamydia Testing is asymptomatic—but that wasn’t true for me.

There’s no good time to experience chlamydia STD Tests. Getting it while spending a week at home with your family is particularly unfortunate. This is due to the circumstances. I had to tell my mother what exactly was going on with me and my genitals. Allow me to explain.

In the weeks leading up to my visit, I’d been seeing a woman I’d met via a dating site. This was well before Tinder made spontaneously rubbing bits with a nearby stranger “normal.” At the time, it felt like Allison and I were doing something wild. It seemed to become more comfortable with risk as a result. Throughout just a few dates, our condom use went from exemplary to sloppy to non-existent. I recently got an STD profile test.

I discovered I’d reached the ripe old age of 25 without ever having one.

This wasn’t surprising. I had a string of serious relationships until I discovered that there was a different way to meet women. One that didn’t involve trying to start a face-to-face conversation with one. Before eschewing condoms completely, I told Allison that I got a test and didn’t have anything. She told me she hadn’t had a Rapid Chlamydia test in several months but didn’t notice anything was up. She was on the pill, and, on the face of it, everything was hunky dory.

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It turns out Allison was in the 70-95% of women who have rapid chlamydia tests with no symptoms. Just hours after I arrived in the little English town in which I grew up, it transpired that I was in the estimated 10 per cent of men who do develop rapid chlamydia symptoms. I’d convinced myself, however, that there was no way I could have picked up a sexually transmitted disease from Allison. Instead, I thought that I had a urinary tract infection.

A previous girlfriend experienced UTIs pretty regularly, especially after longer or more boisterous sex sessions. When this happened, she decamped to the bathroom with a magazine for hours, emerging only to swig cranberry juice.

She felt as though she was pissing shards of glass.

Pissing shards of glass is exactly what it felt like when I went to excrete all the gallons of tea I was being served by my British parents my every waking hour and so. I hunted for cranberry juice and a copy of US Weekly, confident that some combination would knock out my UTI.

I should mention at this point that the evidence that cranberry juice can clear up a UTI is limited.

But I was as convinced that this would cure what ailed me.

In the staid little English town where I was born and raised, there was no drop of the stuff to be found. That only mattered for the next hour or so because, after that, I started to notice that my penis was leaking something like snot.

Even my ability for wishful thinking couldn’t prevent me from acknowledging that this was an STD Test, not a UTI, and that white-knuckling it through the next week was not an option.

The good news was a sexual health clinic within a 15-minute drive of my parent’s house. The bad news was that I didn’t drive and needed a ride. Now, there comes the point where the ignominy of asking your mother to drive you to the sexual health clinic is better than the searing pain of going to the bathroom, the horror of a leaking penis, and the fear that other unknown symptoms weren’t far behind.

(I didn’t know it at the time, but had I let my condition go untreated, I could have developed epididymitis and wound up with pain, tenderness, and swelling of the testicles.)

Rapid Chlamydia STD PCR tests have evolved since the turn of the century, but in this instance, the nurse—who knew I was my mother’s son at a glance—took a swab of my urethra by scraping an implement inside of it. Looking at my symptoms, she was confident that chlamydia—the most frequent bacterial STD in the US—was the cause. She gave me antibiotics that seemed to clear up the infection within 36 hours of my taking them.

With the diagnosis confirmed, I knew I would need to tell Allison immediately.

Though my symptoms were no walk in the park, in women, they can be much more serious.

A pamphlet I was given at the clinic explained that, left untreated, chlamydia can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes. This can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and lead to infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and even a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.

I met with Allison within a few hours of arriving back Stateside. I advised her that she ought to get checked without delay. Somewhat shocked, she confirmed that she would. That was the last time we spoke for reasons lost in time.

In recent years, I’ve tightened up my safer sex game. Based on the results of twice-yearly testing, I haven’t contracted an STD since. That’s particularly good news because rapid tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

According to the World Health Organization, some recently detected STD strains don’t respond to available antibiotics. This rapid and alarming new intel means that the best course of action is to use condoms with a new partner until you get a test.