Despite the population having more sex, there has been no relevant increase in the quality of sex education. This increases existing concerns over the sexual health of the UK population; the threat of STIs becoming even more widespread looms over the country like the grey clouds that often occupy our skies.

Since the 1990s, the rates of Chlamydia infections have risen ten-fold. With an estimated 131 million people affected by this sexually transmitted infection worldwide, it is now more important than ever to make sure you use a condom during sexual intercourse with any partner and to get tested regularly. Especially when 70% of women and at least half of all men do not experience any signs of a Chlamydia infection; the risk of transmission and further health problems increases.

According to the FPA, Chlamydia is so common that it accounted for just under half of all STIs diagnosed in England. Also, of the 200,000 or so infections in men and women that were diagnosed, around 70% of the women and 50% of the men had no noticeable symptoms. This shows why getting tested is so important as it’s the only reliable way to know if you are infected. Mike Asher, Co-Founder of Better2Know

Chlamydia Symptoms

Signs of Chlamydia may not appear until one to three weeks, or even months, after being infected. In some cases, the symptoms can clear up after a few days. Despite this, you are still infected and can still pass on Chlamydia during unprotected sex with your partner.

Chlamydia symptoms in men

If there are signs of Chlamydia in men, symptoms can include:

  • Pain or burning sensations when urinating
  • Watery, cloudy or white discharge from penis
  • Pain in the testicles
  • Itching in the urethra

Chlamydia symptoms in women

Signs of Chlamydia in women can consist of:

  • Unusual discharge from the vagina
  • Pain when urinating
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Nausea
  • Fever

Chlamydia can also affect your rectum or throat as a result of unprotected anal or oral sex. You may experience discomfort or discharge from your rectum, or a sore throat. If you come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid in your eyes, this can also result in a Chlamydia infection. If this happens, you might experience from eye redness or conjunctivitis.

Untreated Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a curable sexually transmitted infection. All you need to do is get tested and, should you test positive, your doctor will prescribe the medication you require. The earlier you start treatment the less damage the infection will do to your system. If your Chlamydia infection is left untreated, a variety of health complications may arise.

In women, untreated Chlamydia could result in pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility or pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies. Men may suffer from prostatitis, epididymitis, and scarring of the urethra which can result in infertility.

Chlamydia Testing

Getting tested for Chlamydia is really easy. All it takes is a small sample of your urine or a simple vaginal swab and the lab does the rest. Using sophisticated analytical techniques, the lab will look for the tell-tail genetic fingerprint of the Chlamydia bacteria. If the bacteria is detected, then a single tablet of antibiotics is usually all it takes to get rid of the infection. Mike Asher, Co-Founder of Better2Know

Your local GUM clinic or private sexual health clinics provide STI testing for your sexual health concerns. Rapid results for Chlamydia are available at selected clinics, with results reported within 10 minutes after giving your sample.

You can also choose to test at home with a Chlamydia home test. This enables you to collect your own sample and send it off to the laboratory for accurate testing. If you think you may have Chlamydia, or any other STI, you should get tested as soon as possible.

For More Information

Better2Know’s Chlamydia Factsheet

Sources

[1] Health24: New Chlamydia Test Offers Rapid Results

[2] Everyday Health: Nonantibiotic Treatment for Chlamydia Shows Promise

[3] Independent: ‘After my ‘chlamydia surprise’ I am now not ashamed to say I get tested regularly for STIs’

[4] Medical News Today: Chlamydia in men: Everything you need to know

[5] NHS: Chlamydia

[6] Zava: Chlamydia in Women

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