The Silent STI and I: Together for Nearly Three Years

A close friend of mine was worried that she had picked up an STI recently, but was too scared to get tested because she didn’t know what to expect. So I volunteered to be the guinea pig for her and get tested first, because why not? Solidarity for my sister! So, I walked into the clinic feeling confident that I was clean and could report back to my friend what to expect from the test and that chances are she was clean, too. It turns out that she was worried for no reason, because she came back STI free. I, however, did not. They told me I had chlamydia.

Given that chlamydia is one of the most commonly spread STIs, especially among people my age, this shouldn’t have been a shock statistically speaking. Especially since, most of the time, there are no shown symptoms. But, it was. Full disclosure: I haven’t had sex in almost three years. It’s been quite the dry spell, I know. So, you can imagine my surprise when sexually inactive, sexually frustrated, sexually deprived me got the news that I had an STI. Like a television show cliché, I told the nurse that she must be mistaken. She went on to explain to me that, as far as STIs go, chlamydia is easily treatable and will be gone in no time. One dosage of medication and I would be cleared up. I then explained to her my situation, and there was a terrible moment of silence and then “how soon can you come in for a follow up?”. You bet your ass I was sitting in the waiting room the very next morning.

You see, chlamydia really is easily treatable. It’s when it isn’t treated where things can get complicated. Chlamydia has the potential to spread and infect other parts of the female reproductive system, sometimes causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Which, by the way, is also potentially asymptomatic as well. As luck would have it, living with chlamydia for nearly three years is a sure way to get PID. The only symptoms I can recall experiencing were abdominal pains, and lets face it, it needs to take more than that to get any of us to believe that something more than normal lady cramps is happening in there. So here I am, writing to you facing the very real possibility that severe damage to my reproductive organs has already happened enough to prevent me from becoming pregnant or living without random spasms of pain. Here I am, telling you the very real possibility that many reading this article have Chlamydia and don’t even know it. Do yourself and your partner(s) a favour and get tested.

Shelby F.

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