Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in people under the age of 25. The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis causes this infection. Although infected people often don’t experience any symptoms, their fertility (ability to have children) can be affected if they don’t seek treatment.
There is good news, though. A chlamydia infection is very easy to test for and simple to treat!
There are often no obvious signs of being infected with the Chlamydia bacteria. This is why you should get tested if you have engaged in any sexual activity with a potentially-infected person. See below for more facts on the bacteria, how being infected can affect your health and what to do next if you have caught chlamydia.
- 50% of males and 70% of females have no signs or symptoms of chlamydia.
- Recommended screening every 12 months or at every change of partner.
- Can affect people of any sexuality.
- If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to infertility.
- Easily passed on through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex.
- Pregnant women can pass it on to their unborn baby.
- Can also affect the eyes.
- Females can experience a variety of symptoms. These include; bleeding between periods, bleeding during or after sex, lower abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge and pain on passing urine.
- For males, chlamydia symptoms can include; a white, cloudy or watery discharge from the tip of the penis, pain when passing urine and pain or tenderness in the testicles.
- Both sexes can experience a burning sensation when they pass urine.
- Infected women are five times more likely to become infected with HIV upon exposure.
- Abstinence (not having sex) is the most effective way to avoid STIs like chlamydia.
- Condoms are the best form of contraception to prevent infection, whether from chlamydia or any other sexually transmitted infection.
Chlamydia Testing and Treatments:
- To test for chlamydia, men simply supply a urine sample whereas females perform a self-taken vaginal swab.
- The results of your chlamydia test can take up to two weeks.
- You will be contacted via your chosen method (usually text) if you are found to be positive.
- If your test result is positive, the team will then arrange an appointment for you to be treated for chlamydia.
- You should also tell your sexual partner(s) to get tested if you are found to be infected.
- The treatment is four antibiotic tablets which you have to take in clinic; there can be no sexual activity for seven days afterwards.
- The antibiotic used can vary, but azithromycin, doxycycline or ofloxacin are suggested in guidelines.
- It is vital that you complete your course of antibiotics, even if you feel well.
- You will be invited back after 12 weeks after treatment to re-test.
- You can request a postal chlamydia testing kit by clicking here.
Our chlamydia test kits are discreet and easy to use. Protect yourself today by getting tested for chlamydia, even if you haven’t noticed any symptoms. This service is completely free for under 25s in Lancashire! Although confronting chlamydia may be unpleasant, it is important to safeguard your health and the health of your sexual partner(s).
Remember: condoms are the best way to protect yourself from chlamydia infections and many other STIs. Make sure you use a condom when having any kind of sex. Guidelines suggest getting tested once every 6 months or every time you change sexual partners.
Best2Know provides free condoms. To find out more and to get yours today, please visit our Free Condoms page.