Can Chlamydia stay dormant and go undetected even with regular pap smears?


Q: I just found out after a recent routine doctor's visit that I tested positive for Chlamydia. I have been with the same partner for over 2 years now and have been completely faithful. There is no doubt in my mind that he has been faithful as well. As such, I am having a difficult time understanding how this could have happened. I did have Chlamydia when I was 19 but I took the antibiotics and have been clean in every check up I've had since then and I'm now 27. Is it possible that it was dormant and undetected for 8 years even with regular pap smears? And if that is the case, is it dangerous that I've had it this whole time?


A:   Thank you for your question. Chlamydia can indeed remain dormant in the body for many years. It can cause a sub-clinical infections in which you you do not experiencing symptoms.

There is a potential for it to flare up to cause a symptomatic infection, especially if there is an alteration in the persons immune system, such as a severe cold or flu.

As fare as the potential for flaring up, the only dangers that exist with this type of chlamydia infection could be the potential of spreading it to your partner via unprotected sexual contact. You will need to be treated with antibiotics to treat this infection an be retested to make sure it has been completely cleared.

Thank you for choosing

Related Q&A

Q: I'm 26 165 lbs fit, uncircumcised and I have some redness that's tingly on the head of my penis. Could it be STD rela...

Q: Hello. I am recently divorced and looking to date again. I also get cold sores (HSV1). My husband was also my first ...

Q: I had unprotected oral and protected vaginal sex with a sex worker. I had unprotected vaginal sex with my wife ( who...

Q: Hi, I have a friend who is claiming that she received a series of infections after we (accidentally) had unprotected ...

Q: I have blisters on the shaft of my penis? I have had a sti check after the last time I had sex and I had chalmidea bu...


Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon