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What Is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most prevalent type of sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the UK. It is even more prevalent among young people between 16 and 25 years old. The infection is passed through unprotected sex, including vaginal, anal, oral, and by sharing sex toys.
Symptoms of this infection include vaginal or penile discharge, mild stomach pain (for women) and pain or irritation in the testicles and penis (for men).
The problem with Chlamydia is that it frequently presents without symptoms, so many people wouldn’t even realise that they have it. Because of this, it can easily be spread to others and also cause other health complications.
For women, it can wreak havoc in the reproductive system by causing pelvic inflammatory disease, hindering the proper function of the fallopian tubes and eventually develop into infertility. For men, it can also cause fertility issues, affecting sperm production, resulting in a more difficult conception.
What Causes Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium known as “Chlamydia trachomatis’. It spreads from person to person through sexual intercourse which is why it is classified as an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). Once it infects you, this bacteria can survive inside the vagina, penis and rectum. It can also be found in semen and vaginal fluids that is why it is highly contagious during sex.
A single contact with an infected person can already lead to an infection. However, having unprotected sex with multiple partners will increase your risk of getting infected. It is best to undergo regular tests, at least once a year or every time you have sex with a new partner.
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The first step for Chlamydia treatment is proper diagnosis. The test requires the insertion of a simple cotton swab into the vagina or urethra to check if your body fluids are positive with the bacteria. These tests can be done at your local GP or any sexual health clinic. You can also do it yourself at home using our STI test kits.
If the test shows a positive result for Chlamydia, you will need to get treated with antibiotics. You can either be prescribed a one-off dose of Azithromycin or 2 Doxycycline tablets daily for a week. These medications are highly effective, especially when sourced from a reliable pharmacy such as True Medical.
After undergoing treatment for Chlamydia, you should follow preventative measures to avoid getting it or another STI again. This includes using protection during sex, not sharing sex toys and getting regular tests or check-up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a form of a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. The disease is transmitted through unprotected sex with an infected partner. The condition doesn’t always exhibit symptoms but can cause a lot of issues in both men and women if left untreated. The condition is easy to detect and treat with antibiotics.
Is Chlamydia Common?
Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs in the United Kingdom. Over 200,000 people are diagnosed with chlamydia every year. The infection is most common in young adults aged 15 to 24. This is why yearly screening is recommended for young adults under 25 who’ve had intercourse.
However, the condition can affect people of any age. People diagnosed with chlamydia over 50 have doubled in number in the past few years, according to recent data.
If you’ve had sex with a partner who tests positive for chlamydia, you should get tested yourself.
Is There A Cure For Chlamydia?
Doctors prescribe Doxycycline, which is an antibiotic, to treat chlamydia. The treatment kills the bacteria causing the infection and is highly effective.
How Long Does It Take To Treat Chlamydia?
The treatment takes one full week to work. Make sure you avoid having sex with protection or not, as you still might be contagious during this time.
If you are a young adult under 25, take a chlamydia test 3 months after you’ve finished the treatment.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia In Women?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that usually doesn’t manifest any symptoms but can lead to conditions such as infertility in women if left untreated.
Symptoms are either nonexistent or so mild that they are hard to notice. Approximately 7 out of 10 women never experience any symptoms of Chlamydia.
If any symptoms manifest, they usually show up within three weeks of infection.
The symptoms of Chlamydia in women are:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge, white or yellow
- Burning sensation during urination
- Frequent need for urination
Long term Chlamydia symptoms include:
- Bleeding between periods
- Heavy periods
- Pain or bleeding during sex
- Vaginal discharge
- Fever and nausea
- Abdominal or back pain
- Heavy feeling in the area around the hips
What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia In Men?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that needs to be treated as soon as possible. It often infects people with no apparent symptoms, therefore regular screening is advised if you are sexually active.
Nearly a quarter of all Chlamydia cases are asymptomatic, which is why this particular STI has become prevalent in recent years.
There are some short-term Chlamydia symptoms that appear within a week to three weeks after infection.
The symptoms of Chlamydia in men include:
- Penal discharge, usually white or watery
- The painful sensation during urination
- Painful, tender or inflamed testicles or the area around them
Chlamydia may also manifest itself as a throat infection, rectal pain, conjunctivitis, bleeding or discharge.
Can Chlamydia Return?
The infection should clear out within a week of treatment. Once treated, Chlamydia is unlikely to come back. However, if you have sex with an unprotected partner at any time you can catch the infection again. If both you and your partner are infected, you need to get tested and treated at the same time, or you risk reinfection.