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What is Chlamydia?
The most common of its kind, Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacteria. In fact, it’s one of the most common STIs worldwide, and is passed from one person to another through unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral).
Unprotected sex in this case, refers to sex without a condom, not sex without any form of contraception. There are a wide number of contraceptive methods (like the hormonal pill, for example), but only condoms can effectively protect against STI’s, as well as pregnancy.
Chlamydia is often asymptomatic, which means that many people can have the infection without realising. This is troublesome because not only can Chlamydia cause long-term issues when left untreated, but it also means that you could be spreading the infection to other people in the meantime.
If you do notice symptoms from the infection then this could include pain when peeing or an unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or anus.
Women with Chlamydia may also develop stomach pains, spotting (bleeding inbetween periods) or bleeding after sex. Men with Chlamydia might notice pain or swelling in the testicles. However, in both sexes, these symptoms can be an indication of a number of things so it’s important to get fully checked by your GP or another medical professional.
How is Chlamydia transmitted?
Chlamydia is an STI, which means that it’s passed from one person to another through unprotected sex. The thing being passed is actually a bacterium known as Chlamydia trachomatis, which lives inside the fluids of the vagina, penis and rectum.
The bacteria can be passed through a number of different kinds of unprotected sexual contact. This could include having sex without a condom, sharing sex toys without washing them between uses, or getting infected vaginal fluid or semen in your eye.
It’s also worth noting that you can contract Chlamydia just by your genitals coming into contact with someone else's. So even if you don’t penetrate or one (or both of you) don’t orgasm, the infection can still be passed on.
Is Chlamydia curable?
Even though Chlamydia is extremely common (particularly among young people aged 16-25), it is thankfully curable. Unlike viral infections (which can live in the body for life), bacterial infections are able to treated and cured using antibiotics.
So if you get Chlamydia once, you will not continue to get recurrent outbreaks. However, curing it once does not prevent you from getting the infection again so it’s important that you practise safe sex and get tested regularly (once a year or after every new sexual partner).
How do I treat Chlamydia?
Treatment for Chlamydia is fairly simple and involves a short course of antibiotics. First line treatment options include Azithromycin (a one-off dose) or Doxycycline (two tablets a day for 7 days). You will need a prescription for either of these treatments which UK Meds is able to provide, using our online consultation service.
Testing for Chlamydia is simple too. When you visit your GP or local sexual health clinic to get tested for the infection, you simply have to do a self-swab test to collect some fluid from the penis or vagina and then this is tested for the presence of the bacteria.
Because it’s a self swab test anyway, this means it’s perfectly suitable to test at home. You can buy a chlamydia testing kit without a prescription, and get instant and reliable results from the comfort of your own home.
Although Chlamydia is not a serious or lifelong infection, it’s important to get it treated. Left untreated, the bacteria can spread to other parts of the body and cause long-term issues. In women, untreated Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and in men, it can lead to epididymo-orchitis (which is inflammation of the testicles). It can also cause infertility or problems conceiving a child later down the line.
Scott is an experienced and professional content writer who works exclusively for UK Meds.