Chlamydia

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  • What is it? Genital Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United Kingdom and one of the most serious (it is the leading preventable cause of female infertility in the UK). It can cause serious problems in men and women alike. As there often aren't any symptoms ,yet it is curable, regular check ups are essential.

  • Symptoms. 7 out of 10 women and 5 out of 10 men won’t show any symptoms at all so without a test you might not know whether you have it. However if they do occur then symptoms in women can include; yellow vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding between periods, burning sensation when urinating, pain during sex and if and when the infection spreads to the fallopian tube and ovaries, Chlamydia might also cause a fever and discomfort in the lower abdomen which is often symptomatic of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Men are more likely to notice symptoms than women, however, they too may have no symptoms. In men symptoms can include a white/clear penile discharge and/or a burning sensation when urinating. If the infection spreads, Chlamydia can cause painful swelling in the testicles or scrotum. In men the bacteria can cause epidydimitis, which is an inflammation of the reproductive area near the testicles. Both PID and epidydimitis are two very serious illnesses.

  • Transmission. You can get Genital Chlamydia during oral (mouth to the genitals), or penetrative sex (where the penis enters the vagina or anus) with an infected partner. By using condoms correctly every time you have sexual intercourse you can reduce your chances of getting Chlamydia or giving it to your partner. As there are often no symptoms health care experts recommend screening tests for those people who may have many sexual partners

  • Treatment. Chlamydia can be confused with Gonorrhoea because the symptoms of both  are similar and the diseases can occur together, though rarely. The most reliable way to find out if you have Chlamydia is through laboratory tests. Chlamydia can be diagnosed from a urine sample or from a physical swab (using a cotton-wool or spongy swab) from the part of your body that might be infected such as the vagina and cervix in women, or the urethra in men. Women are usually given an internal pelvic examination. Men are given an external examination of their testicles (balls) to check that these are healthy. None of these tests should be painful, Samples taken during the examination are then sent to a lab for testing, and the result is available usually within one week. If the test is positive, the treatment for Chlamydia is simple and effective. You will be given a course of antibiotic tablets and be asked to refrain from sexual intercourse until your treatment is completed and successful. Tell your sex partners that you have Chlamydia so they can be tested and treated, if necessary.

  • Post Treatment. It is important to return for a check-up once you have completed the treatment to make sure you are well and have no other infection. Prior to this, you should avoid penetrative sex (when the penis enters the vagina, anus or mouth)

REMEMBER Chlamydia is easily treatable by a simple course of antibiotics if left untreated it can lead to  Pelvic inflammatory disease.

This condition can make hundreds of thousands of women infertile each year (10-40% of untreated infected women develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or Ectopic or tubal pregnancy, this is a very serious condition, which results in a miscarriage and can cause death of the mother ). Chlamydia can also lead to chronic (long-term) pelvic pain Inflammation of the testicles, which can also cause infertility. Click here for a list of agencies you can contact should you require further information or help. 

 If there are any health workers that could help us keep our pages updated please mail us as we are very aware that new research and information is constantly being published on Chlamydia. Your help would be much appreciated.

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