Chlamydia

Chlamydia (or chlamydia trachomatis) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. 

The best way to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection is by using a condom when you have sex.  

Chlamydia (or chlamydia trachomatis) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is a bacterial infection, reported to occur in around five per cent of the population.

Young women under 25 years have the highest rates of infection. Seventy per cent of women with chlamydia infection have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include vaginal discharge, irregular vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, painful periods and pain during sex. The infection can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes, and infertility (difficulty getting pregnant). Women who do get pregnant may end up with an ectopic pregnancy, which is when a pregnancy grows in a fallopian tube. An ectopic pregnancy may need surgery and sometimes the fallopian tube has to be removed. 

Severe infection with chamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause fever and acute pain. Some women will need to be admitted to hospital, antibiotics are often prescribed and sometimes surgery is needed. The risk of getting other sexually transmitted infections is also increased. 

You are at a high risk of getting chlamydia if you do not use condoms when you have sex, you often change sexual partners or you have a large number of sexual partners. Chlamydia can also be transmitted through oral sex. Newborn babies can get it through contact with an infected birth canal, leading to eye complications and throat and chest infections. The infectious period can last months, and even years, if it is not diagnosed and properly treated.

There are a variety of ways to test for chlamydia, including a urine sample, or taking a swab test, which you can collect yourself, or it can be collected by your doctor.


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