What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most common type of sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK and is most common among young people (aged 16 - 25). The infection is spread through unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, oral and sharing sex toys) and its symptoms include vaginal/penile discharge, mild stomach pain (for women) and pain or irritation in the testicles and penis (for men).
However, the reason that Chlamydia can be troublesome is because it very regularly causes no symptoms, meaning that a lot of men and women have the infection without realising. Not only does this lead to the disease being passed on and spread to more people, but Chlamydia can also cause other health complications. In women, the infection can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, stop the fallopian tubes from working properly and eventually cause infertility. In men, it can cause similar fertility problems, affecting sperm production and making conception much harder.
What causes Chlamydia?
The infection may be passed from person to person through sexual intercourse, but the actual cause is a bacterium called “Chlamydia trachomatis”. This bacteria, when passed from one person to another, can live inside the vagina, penis and rectum, and can then be found in a man’s semen and a woman’s vaginal fluids (hence, how it is passed during sex).
Although it only takes coming into contact with the infection once in order to acquire it, you heighten your risks by having unprotected sex with multiple different partners. You should get yourself tested regularly; once a year or each time you have sex with a new partner.
How can I treat Chlamydia?
The first step in treating Chlamydia is identifying it. The test is a simple cotton swab, inserted into the vagina or urethra to see if your bodily fluids test positively for the bacteria. You can get these tests done at your local GP or sexual health clinic, or you can do it yourself in the comfort of your own home with our STI test kits.
Once you have tested positive for Chlamydia, the treatment is a simple dose of antibiotics; either a one-off dose of Azithromycin or 2 Doxycycline tablets taken every day for one week. These treatments are highly effective and are both available to purchase from Cloud Pharmacy, using our trustworthy and confidential service.
If you have been treated for Chlamydia, you should ensure that you follow preventative measures in order to avoid contracting it (or another STI) again. This includes practising safe sex (by using condoms), avoiding the sharing of sex toys, and getting tested regularly.