As one of the most curable causes of infertility, Chlamydia is easily treated with a course of prescribed antibiotics – this means there is no need to ignore a Chlamydia infection and hope it will clear on its own. Not receiving treatment for Chlamydia can result in hospitalisation in severe cases.
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection in the UK. Each year, there is a decline in Chlamydia testing yet a rise in positive diagnoses. Over 1.3 million Chlamydia tests were conducted last year, and 126,000 diagnoses were made amongst people aged between 15 and 24. The year before saw 1.4 million tests and 128,000 Chlamydia diagnoses in the same age group.
Before getting treatment for Chlamydia, you need to get tested. This will usually involve providing a urine or swab sample at a sexual health clinic, which will then be tested to detect the presence of Chlamydia. The sample you will be asked to provide will depend on the type of Chlamydia test.
It can be difficult to tell if you have been infected as symptoms are often overlooked or non-existent. If you are concerned about this bacterial STI, you should get tested as soon as possible. The earlier you get tested, the earlier you can receive treatment for your Chlamydia infection.
It is possible to be completely unaware of your Chlamydia infection. You could be symptomless. However, if you do experience symptoms, they can often consist of pain when urinating or unusual discharge.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms above, or any other signs of an infection, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is usually passed on through unprotected sex. You can also catch Chlamydia from just coming into contact with infected genital fluids – including semen or vaginal fluids.
You are at risk of catching Chlamydia if you have unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. Sharing sex toys that have not been cleaned or covered with a condom with each use also increases the chances of Chlamydia transmission. Simply touching your partner’s genitals with your genitals is enough to result in infection. This means Chlamydia can be passed on even if there is no penetration, ejaculation or orgasm.
A pregnant woman may pass the infection to her baby, if her Chlamydia infection is left untreated.
You are not immune to Chlamydia once the infection has been cleared with antibiotics. If you have unprotected sexual contact with someone who is infected, this will result in another Chlamydia infection and you will need treatment again. If you test positive for Chlamydia, you should notify your sexual partners to prevent re-infection or the further spread of Chlamydia.
If you remain untreated, your Chlamydia infection may spread and trigger further complications that can affect your health.
Men could suffer from Epididymitis, which is an inflammation of the Epididymis – a small tube that carries semen from the testicles. This will cause the testicles to become swollen and painful. Men may also experience reactive arthritis. With this condition, the joints, eyes or urethra can become inflamed – which could happen within a few weeks of a Chlamydia infection.
Untreated Chlamydia in women can cause the infection to spread to the womb, fallopian tubes or ovaries. This results in a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease – a potentially life-threatening condition which may also cause infertility if left untreated. A pregnant woman is also at a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy if this occurs.
Many healthcare providers are offering accurate results for Chlamydia in just 30 minutes. If you decide to get Chlamydia test results at point-of-care locations, you can receive immediate treatment if you test positive. Faster treatment for Chlamydia will help prevent health problems from developing, as well as preventing the infection from affecting other parts of your system.
 Cosmopolitan: What Everybody Needs To Know About Chlamydia
 Healthline: New Chlamydia Test Provides Diagnosis Within 30 Minutes
 NHS: Chlamydia
 NHS: Chlamydia Diagnosis
 NHS: Complications – Chlamydia
 Public Health England: Sexually transmitted infections and screening for chlamydia in England, 2017
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