Please note that some of the language in this article is sexually explicit.
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;
- Vaginal discharge
- Burning when passing urine
- Lower abdominal pains
- Pain during sexual intercourse for ladies or
- A discharge from the penis or pain when urinating for men.
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.
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.
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.
- 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