[Question #5420] Sex and STD

21 months ago
Gay couple here. Open relationship. 
My boyfriend recently got labs back for gonorrhea and chlamydia. We instantly went in to the clinic and got treated. I know typically you need to wait 7 days before having sex with someone again but since we both got treated - if we are exclusive with each other do we have to wait? 


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
21 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question and your confidence in our services.

Advice to avoid sex for a week really is intended primarily because so many people with gonorrhea or chlamydia have more than one partner, or are likely to have sex with a new partner -- i.e. other than the one they caught it from -- in the next few days. In addition, some regular partners might not yet have been treated, and we don't want newly treated persons to immediately risk a new infection. However, in situations like yours, continuing sex with one another probably is safe. Not absolutely so, however:  depending on the treatment prescribed, sometimes treatment doesn't work -- in which case, both members of the couple might need re-treatment instead of only one. And sometimes symptoms persist longer than average:  if sex has occurred, even with the same regular partner, distinguishing between persistent infection, a new (different) STD, etc can be difficult.

But these can be considered quibbles. If you both were treated appropriately for both infections -- usually an injection of ceftriaxone plus oral treatment with either azithromycin or doxycycline -- most likely it is entirely safe to resume sex with one another without waiting a week (but of course nobody else). However, if either of you has persisting sympotms or develops any new symptoms during the next week, then both of you should see your doctor(s) or clinic(s) for reevaluation.

I hope this helps. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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