What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacteria found in semen and vaginal fluids in people who have the infection. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
Signs may appear 1-3 weeks or even months of coming into contact with the infection.
You may not have any obvious signs/symptoms. Women might notice bleeding between periods, heavier periods, pain/bleeding during and after sex, lower abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge or pain when passing urine.
Men might experience: a white/cloudy or watery discharge from the tip of the penis, pain when passing urine or pain in the testicles.
Testing for chlamydia
All tests are free through NHS services though if you visit your GP you may have to pay a prescription charge for treatment. If you're aged under 25 you can get a free and confidential test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) from the following services:
- Sexual Health Clinics
- Some schools and colleges
- Abortion Providers
- Postal kits
Or call the SURE Chlamydia Screening Office on 0800 015 9845 for any queries.
It is very easy to treat by a course of antibiotics. If taken correctly it is at least 95% effective.
What happens if chlamydia is not treated?
If left untreated you may experience complications. For women: long-term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility or ectopic pregnancy. For men: infection in the testicles or reduced fertility.
Protection against chlamydia
Use condoms every time you have sex or a latex or polyurethane (soft plastic square) for oral sex.
For more information see:
NHS Choices http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Chlamydia/Pages/Introduction.aspx
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