Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in modern society affecting both men and women. Fortunately the infection is easily treatable, however the lack of symptoms in most people make it challenging to detect initially.
Chlamydia is caused by small bacteria and is usually contracted through unprotected sex with someone who already has the infection. However there are other ways to catch Chlamydia: partaking in oral or anal sex with an infected partner, sharing unwashed sex toys, non-penetrative genital contact and ingesting semen or vaginal fluid all carry the risk of catching Chlamydia. Chlamydia is particularly prevalent with sexually active young adults in their late teens and early twenties.
Common Symptoms of Chlamydia in Men
One of the major problems with Chlamydia is that it can be very difficult to spot and there are often few, if any, symptoms. If they do occur however, symptoms of Chlamydia in men may include:
- Pain when passing urine
- Burning sensation in the urethra
- Cloudy discharge from the penis or anus
- Painful and swollen testes
- Irritation at the tip of the penis
These symptoms will usually appear between one and three weeks of contracting the infection, but for some people this can stretch to months. Some men’s symptoms will disappear after a few days but it is important to remember that this doesn’t mean the Chlamydia has gone and you still need to be tested and treated accordingly.
It is possible to catch Chlamydia in the rectum, via anal sex or the eyes if semen or vaginal fluid comes into contact with an eye. Soreness and rectal discharge can be symptoms of the infection in the rectum, whilst conjunctivitis can occur if caught within the eye. Chlamydia can also infect the throat via oral sex, although this is rare and other than a possible sore throat, is usually symptom-less.
What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated?
Although it is often symptom-free, Chlamydia can become serious if it is not treated. The infection can spread to other parts of your body which in turn may lead to more serious problems such as reactive arthritis and inflamed testicles. In some cases, Chlamydia can lead to decreased sperm function and subsequently cause fertility problems in men.
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed In Men?
Luckily, Chlamydia can be very easy to diagnose and a simple urine test can determine whether or not you have the infection. If you might have been infected in your rectum, a swab test can be done using a small cotton bud. These methods are quick, painless and reliable. Once taken, the collected sample needs to be sent to a lab for analysis before the results can be determined.
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above or if you have had unprotected sex with someone who may have the infection, we have an at-home Chlamydia test kit available and you’ll get the results back in 3 days from the point the sample is received and analysed at our UK based NHS accredited lab.
How Is Chlamydia Treated In Men?
As well as being simple to diagnose, Chlamydia is also easily treatable in men and can normally be dealt with using a short course of antibiotics. This course of action is effective in 95% of cases. The tablets may be a one-day or week long course but in both cases, you shouldn’t have sex, even with a condom, for the seven days you are being treated (if you took the pills in one day, don’t have sex for a week afterwards). Chlamydia contracted in the eye is treated with eye drops; however oral antibiotic tablets may also be necessary.
If you are tested positive for Chlamydia, you should immediately inform your current sexual partner and any other sex partners you’ve had within the last six months so they can also be tested and treated. If you’re given a positive diagnosis, you can use our convenient and discreet online doctor service to get treated quickly. To order chlamydia treatment online, simply fill in a brief consultation and one of our doctors will review your answers, resulting in a prescription and medication posted to you in plain packaging if appropriate.
How to Prevent the Spread of Chlamydia
The easiest and most effective way to prevent the spread of Chlamydia is to always use a condom during oral, vaginal and anal sex. When performing oral sex on a female, a dam may be used as a protective cover. Sex toys should ideally not be shared and should be washed regularly.
Avoiding casual sex with partners you are unfamiliar with is another way of decreasing the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections in general. If you are in a relationship, discussing your recent sexual histories with each other may also be useful in determining whether one of you may be infected. If you are sexually active and under twenty-five, regular urine tests will also help to ensure you remain infection-free.