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Chlamydia – What do you know about it?

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK. Chlamydia can affect both men and women and is a highly contagious STI. Chlamydia does not necessarily show visible symptoms hence it can go undetected for long periods. Chlamydia is most commonly found in young adults under the age of 25 in the UK. It can spread much easier since majority of the people infected with the chlamydia bacteria are unaware of the infection showing no symptoms as is found in most people who test positive for chlamydia.

 

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

Most people with chlamydia will not have any symptoms. A small number of people with Chlamydia do get symptoms:

For men, these can be:

  • Discharge or fluid coming out of the end of the penis
  • Discomfort or swelling in the testicles
  • Discomfort when passing urine

For women, these can be:

  • Pain when passing urine
  • Pain during sex
  • Bleeding irregularly or after sex
  • Pain in lower abdomen or pelvic area
  • Occasionally conjunctivitis, sore swollen joints and skin rashes

How can I catch chlamydia?

Chlamydia is caught via unprotected sex or sharing sex toys. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth which can lead to the baby developing eye or chest infections. Any sexually active individual can catch Chlamydia, although it is more common in women in the teen years and men under the age of 25. It is mostly when people change sexual partners and don’t realise they have caught the infection from a previous partner. Thus, the more sexual partners you have, the higher the chance of catching chlamydia.

What tests are there for chlamydia?

If you are worried, your or your partner may have been infected, whether chlamydia or any other sexually transmitted infection, you should get tested straight away to prevent any complications. Tests can be done at your regular GP practice or a local sexual health service. In the UK this would be a GUM or a family clinic. You are able to order a home chlamydia test kit to test yourself by doing an online chlamydia consultation. All services in this matter are completely confidential.

The Chlamydia home test kit by Clamelle is one of UK’s leading home test kits. You also have the option to get a lab urine test which is more accurate, in this case you have to send a urine sample which is examined in one of our expert partner labs in the UK at a cost.

If I have chlamydia, how to treat chlamydia?

This is the simple part. Once you have confirmed the infection, it is easily treatable with antibiotics. Chlamydia can be cured with a course of Azithromycin or Doxycycline antibiotics. Both are very effective and only available on prescription in the UK from DrFelix.

  • Azithromycin (single dose treatment)
  • Doxycycline antibiotics (a longer course, usually two capsules a day for a week)

If your partner is known to have an infection then you should get treated straight away rather than wait for the result of an STI test.

Please avoid sex for one week after completing the treatment. You should take a test few weeks after to confirm you are free from infection.

Why is early treatment important?

Chlamydia can, if left untreated, lead to more serious problems.

For women:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Fertility problems (difficulty in becoming pregnant)
  • Ectopic pregnancy can result from having chlamydia

For men:

  • Infection may spread to the testicles
  • Discomfort from the testicles

How can I best prevent infection?

The best way to prevent all sexually transmitted infections is to practise safer sex. This means:

  • Using a condom for vaginal, oral and anal sex
  • Use quality condom displaying the CE Kitemark
  • Know if your partner has tested positive
  • Try to get test at least once a year

How do I tell my partner that I have chlamydia?

It is perfectly normal to feel frightened or embarrassed about discussing sexually transmitted infections with your partner(s). If you have tested positive for chlamydia or any STI, you should inform any partners you have had in the last 3-6 months so they can also get tested. Gum clinics offer services where they can contact your partner, this is completely confidential (no names or details) and your details are never disclosed to any third parties. No one can force you to tell your partners, but it is important you do so, to stop the rising Chlamydia infections in the UK.

How can I best prevent infection?

The best way to prevent all sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, as well as to protect against HIV, is to practice safer sex. This means using a condom for vaginal, oral and anal sex.

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