Is it okay to have sex with my husband while simultaneously treated for chlamydia?
I tested positive for chlamydia (during a separation, we are now monogamous) and was given a double dose of Zithromax, for me and my husband. The nurse practitioner who prescribed them told me that we did not have to abstain from sex (we are trying to get pregnant and this is my fertile week) as long as we took the medication on the same day. However what I'm reading online says you need to abstain for 7 days. What is the likelihood that we could reinfect each other even though we took the pills on the same day?
Thank you for your interesting question and I recommend that you follow up with your primary care physician. I am glad that both you and your husband have received azithromycin to treat chlamydia. As you know, all sexual partners should received empiric antibiotic treatment when one person is diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea. Partners may often be asymptomatic, and unless they receive treatment, there is a 15 to 30 percent chance of reinfecting the other individual when sexual contact is resumed. The treatment course for chlamydia is seven days, as this is the time it generally takes to eradicate the infection. The most commonly used antibiotics are doxycycline for 7 days or a single dose of azithromycin (the half life of azithromycin is approximately 5 to 7 days). So, the answer to your question is that both you and your partner should wait until 7 days after taking the single dose of azithromycin. You can thereafter resume sexual activity provided you are both symptom free (no abnormal discharge, bleeding, or pain with urination). As an aside, because co-infection of chlamydia with gonorrhea is common, you should also be tested for this infection and empirically treated if there is high suspicion. Finally, anyone diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease should be offered testing for HIV. I would recommend that you follow up with your primary care physician to ensure that you are up-to-date on these tests.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.