[Question #2438] Long-term Chlamydia Infection?

44 months ago
Hello,

I have been losing a lot of sleep with worry over my issue.  I'll give you the timeline:

Aug 2016 - Visited a massage parlor, where provider strips naked and rubs her vagina on my penis.  The opening of my penis touches the opening of her vagina, but no penetration.  Within a couple of days, there is a slight discharge only when I urinate.  Basically, a tiny amount slime at the end of urination.  That only lasts for 2-3 days.  Within the next couple of weeks, my testicles are a little sore.  I do not get tested because I was a reckless idiot, and both symptoms were super mild, and I thought a result of my bike riding.
Dec. 2016/Jan 2016 - I return to the same provider.  This time, unprotected oral sex.  This time, I do get tested (pee test, blood test).  Negative for everything.
April 2016 - my wife complains of some strange pain in her abdomen.  I research, and come across chlamydia.  I freak out, get tested again (pee test, blood test), negative again.  I confess to my wife, she gets tested - also negative.

I still can't help but think that I picked up something at that massage parlor.  At this point, is there anything that I can/should do in order to ease my mind?  I've read that chlamydia is very difficult to treat after it's been in the system for a long time.  Any tests I can take to figure out if anything is still lurking?
44 months ago
Sorry - I fixed the timeline below - this is how it should read.  Also, I should point out that I don't think the pee test done in January 2017 was done particularly well - it was a collection given at the urologist, and I don't think I had abstained from urinating for the previous 2 hours:

Hello,

I have been losing a lot of sleep with worry over my issue.  I'll give you the timeline:

Aug 2016 - Visited a massage parlor, where provider strips naked and rubs her vagina on my penis.  The opening of my penis touches the opening of her vagina, but no penetration.  Within a couple of days, there is a slight discharge only when I urinate.  Basically, a tiny amount slime at the end of urination.  That only lasts for 2-3 days.  Within the next couple of weeks, my testicles are a little sore.  I do not get tested because I was a reckless idiot, and both symptoms were super mild, and I thought a result of my bike riding.
Dec. 2016/Jan 2017 - I return to the same provider.  This time, unprotected oral sex.  This time, I do get tested (pee test, blood test).  Negative for everything.
April 2017 - my wife complains of some strange pain in her abdomen.  I research, and come across chlamydia.  I freak out, get tested again (pee test, blood test), negative again.  I confess to my wife, she gets tested - also negative.

I still can't help but think that I picked up something at that massage parlor.  At this point, is there anything that I can/should do in order to ease my mind?  I've read that chlamydia is very difficult to treat after it's been in the system for a long time.  Any tests I can take to figure out if anything is still lurking?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I will be glad to comment.  Most commercial sex workers do not have STIs and even when they do, most exposures do not lead to infection,  In your own case, having a CSW rub her vagina on your penis without penetration is not a risk factor for STI and your negative tests on two occasions prove that you did not get an STI from the exposure you have mentioned.  Your test results are likely reliable- the urine tests are difficult to mess up and highly accurate.  Perhaps one test could have been messed up but not two.  Further, mild intermittent symptoms of the sort you describe are more likely to reflect heightened awareness of normal sensations than an STI.  In you case, with negative tests in both you and your wife, my advice would be to believe the results and to not worry about the exposure you describe.  There is just no evidence that you acquired an STI during your misstep with the CSW. 

I hope this perspective is helpful.  EWH 
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44 months ago
Thanks, doctor.  The main reason I'm having trouble letting it go is that I did have physical symptoms after the August 2017 encounter.  Is it possible that the genital infection cleared out on its own, which is why it wouldn't show up on the urine tests?  Or that it's a different bacteria - mycoplasma, etc?  It is very difficult for me to separate my psychosomatic feelings from actual physical problems.  And everything I've read about long-term chlamydia is pretty horrific.  Would a blood test be worth the effort?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
I am not sure what "horrific" long term problems you are concerned about.  for men there are few sequelae of chlamydia.  Obviously I cannot help sort out your early symptoms and, as I have said, your current tests prove that you are not currently infected. 

We recommend against blood tests for chlamydia.  They are unreliable with both false positive and false negative results and are not useful in guiding therapeutic decision making.  I think you need to put your fears aside and work to not focus so much on possible genital symptoms.  EWH
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44 months ago
The fear I have is that chlamydia has moved to other parts of the body.  From what I've read, the bacteria can maintain a low-grade infection throughout the body, then spark up when there is a weakness in the body.  Kind of a ticking time bomb.  Chlamydia pneumoniae has been linked with various diseases, including MS and CFS.  Also, if the chlamydia moved to the prostate, that would be trouble. I've been over analyzing this, but I'm not sure if there's anything I can do to feel reassured st this point.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
You are being mislead, perhaps by the internet where is occurs rather commonly.  Chlamydia pneumonia has been suggested a a cause of many problems but careful studies have dispproven these stories repeatedly.  C. trachomatis which is what you would have had if you acquired an STI, does not move to other parts of the body beyond the genital tract.  I really think you are over reacting.   I urge you to stay off the internet and believe your negative tests which serve to confirm the NO RISK nature of the exposure you have described.  EWH
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44 months ago
I appreciate your patience, Doctor.  But doesn't Chlamydia Trach also move to the joints sometimes (reactive arthritis), and eyes as well (trachoma)?  
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
Trachoma is a chlamydia infection which occurs in Africa and the middle east which is NOT an STI but occurs when flies carrying chlamydia land direct on on the eyes of persons (usuall children).  Reactive arthritis is a VERY RARE situation in which chlamydia infection sets off an immune response which can cause arthritis, usually of the ankles or knees.  It is also accompanied by distinctive skin rashes and clinically apparent urethritis, none of which you have (your transient urethritis a year ago is not suggestive of STI).  As a person who has conducted chlamydia research for nearly 40 years I can assure you that chlamydia does NOT "move to other parts of the body" as you suggest. 

As you may know, our Forum allows up to three responses.  I hope I have been helpful.  This will be my 4th response and thus, this thread will be closed later today.  Please try not to worry and I urge you to stay off the internet.  EWH
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