It is the most widely reported STI and is frighteningly on the increase. Awareness of the problem causes a predicament as it is a silent infection and spread willingly. It can cause serious long term effects of pelvic inflammatory disease in women; which in turn can lead to infertility problems along with the higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. In men it can lead to a condition known as Epididymitis an infection in the tubes where the sperm is stored. The bacteria can also be found in the throat and also the rectum as a result of oral or anal intercourse.
This is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, and it is an infection which seems to the majority of people who contract it; to have no symptoms.
Of those who do have symptoms they may experience;
1. Vaginal discharge
2. Burning when passing urine
3. Lower abdominal pains
4. Pain during sexual intercourse for ladies or
5. A discharge from the penis or pain when urinating for men.
Chlamydia is now more easily diagnosed without the need for intimate examinations. A simple urine test can be done or a high vaginal swab which can be used in the privacy of your own home and then sent off to the laboratory.
* Always use condoms – they will offer a good degree of protection.
* Use Oral Dams- These prevent the bacteria entering other orifices
* Regularly examine yourself to be aware of what is “normal” for you.
* Discuss your partners sexual history prior to engaging in sexual intercourse
* If in doubt both partners should be tested for STI’s prior to sexual intercourse
* Multiple partners means multiple chances for you to contract an STI
The infection can be easily treated with either a single dose antibiotic or a longer course. Sexual intercourse should be avoided until treatment has been completed. The clinic health advisors will be keen for your sexual partner to be contacted and treatment commenced.