One of the most common STIs in the UK, chlamydia mostly infects without causing symptoms. Although it’s easily treated once diagnosed, it can cause fertility problems and PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) if left untreated.
Here are five things to know about chlamydia.
1. Many people do not realise they have chlaymdia
In 2017, there were over 126,000 diagnoses of chlamydia in the UK.
However, this number is likely higher as many people don’t realise they have the infection, with rates increasing each year.
The best way to find out is through chlamydia screening. Order chlamydia testing kits in London from organisations such as https://www.bexleysexualhealth.org/chlamydia_screening/.
2. Chlamydia comes from a sexually-transmitted bacteria
Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacteria that causes chlamydia infections.
It usually occurs in genital tracts, like a man’s penis or a woman’s cervix, and it can also infect the throat and rectum of men and women.
The infection is spread during all forms of sexual activity and intercourse, whether it’s oral, anal or vaginal. It can also spread between partners of the same sex.
3. Sexually active young women are most affected
Young women up to the age of 24 are most susceptible to become newly infected by the disease.
Men who have anal or oral sex are also particularly at risk.
However, anyone who is sexually active can be easily infected by chlamydia regardless of gender or age.
4. Chlamydia is spread from one person to another
Chlamydia can only be contracted by having unprotected sexual intercourse with someone who is infected.
The infection cannot be spread from clothing, food, water or casual contact. The chlamydia bacteria lives in human cells only, and it cannot be spread by external contact with items such as toilet seats or towels.
5. Symptoms can be different in men and women
In most cases, chlamydia infections carry no symptoms, which is why regular screening for sexually active individuals is essential.
Men and women who are suffering from a chlamydia infection may experience pain during urination.
Women may have other symptoms including:
– Bleeding between periods
– Abdominal pain
– Bleeding after sex
– A discharge that has an odor coming from the cervix
– Pain during sex
Men may have symptoms including:
– Painful testicles
– Discharge coming from the penis