What Is It?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections and is easily treated, once diagnosed.
If left untreated, chlamydia can cause:
- Scarring of thevaginal tract, cervix and womb
- Scarring of theseminal vesicles and swelling of the testes
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
If left untreated, it may also result in an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy (A pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus) or premature birth.
Very often Chlamydia goes completely unnoticed (although it can still be transmitted). Around 70% of women and 50% of men who are infected with Chlamydia will have NO symptoms at all.
- A change in the natural discharge from the vagina
- Stinging or burning sensation when passing urine (peeing).
- Bleeding between periods, heavy periods or pain
- Bleeding during or after sex.
- A small amount of white or yellow discharge from the penis
- Swelling of the testes.
- Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex.
- Unprotected rimming (mouth to anus contact).
- Tribidism (vulva rubbing).
- From mother to baby during pregnancy.
- Infected fingers to eyes.
It is recommended that you avoid any sexual activity if you have been diagnosed with chlamydia until the infection has been treated and cleared.
In order to protect yourself and others from the general risk of infection, use barriers such as condoms, female condoms, gloves, and glyde dams.
Washing your hands between contact with your own and someone else’s genitals will reduce the risk.
If you think you have been at risk, you can have a sexual health screen in your local STI clinic to receive treatment and to be examined for other possible infections.
Your sexual partner(s) may also need treatment as they may be infected even if they do not have symptoms.
Good basic hygiene helps to clear the infection more quickly. Wash your hands before touching any other part of you if you have been in contact with body fluids, such as when masturbating. If Chlamydia gets into the eye, it may cause conjunctivitis.
It is possible to contract Chlamydia more than once, therefore, you should still go for regular sexual health screening.
Remember – Regular screening at your local STI clinic is recommended to maintain your sexual health.
Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics.