Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Chlamydia

Chlamydia is an STD caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis.

Chlamydia can infect your urethra (the tube that leads from your bladder to where your urine comes out), vagina/cervix area, anus, or eyes.

It’s easy to cure. However, if you don’t get treated, it can lead to infertility.

How do you get chlamydia?

You can get Chlamydia by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can also be passed on from mother to child during childbirth.

How can you protect yourself from getting chlamydia?

1. Always use condoms.

2. Get tested when you have a new sex partner.

It’s possible for your partner to be infected with Chlamydia and not know it. So when you have a new sex partner, it’s important for both of you to get tested.

What are the signs that you've got chlamydia?

Chlamydia is known as a ‘silent’ disease. This is because up to 80 per cent of women and 50 per cent of men who are infected have no symptoms.

If you do have signs of Chlamydia infection, they’ll usually appear within one to three weeks after having unprotected sex. Whether you’ve got symptoms or not, once you’re infected you can still pass Chlamydia on to someone else.

Chlamydia symptoms in women

You can get a Chlamydia infection from unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex.

So where the symptoms show up depends on how you’ve had sex. For example, if you’ve had oral sex, your throat could be infected, and if you’ve had anal sex, you may have anal discharge.

In women, Chlamydia symptoms include:

  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Yellow, mucous or pus-like vaginal discharge
  • Pain when you urinate
  • Increased urination
  • Pain when you have sex
  • Abnormal bleeding, for example between periods or after intercourse
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Yellow, mucous or pus-like anal discharge

If you’ve had unsafe sex or are experiencing one of these symptoms, see your doctor or go to an STD clinic.

If you do nothing about your Chlamydia infection, you can become infertile. Chlamydia can spread to your fallopian tubes and block them. If your fallopian tubes become blocked, your eggs can't travel to your womb, so it becomes difficult or impossible to become pregnant.

If you’re pregnant and infected with Chlamydia, you're more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy, when the baby develops outside of the womb. Also, you can pass on the infection to your baby during the birth.

Chlamydia symptoms in men

Roughly half of all men infected with Chlamydia don't have any symptoms.

Where the symptoms show up if you do get them depends on how you’ve had sex. Chlamydia can infect your throat, urethra (tube where urine comes from), and anus. It can spread to your testicles too.

Roughly half of all men infected with Chlamydia don't have any symptoms.

Where the symptoms show up if you do get them depends on how you’ve had sex. Chlamydia can infect your throat, urethra (tube where urine comes from), and anus. It can spread to your testicles too.

In men, Chlamydia symptoms include:

  • White/Cloudy or watery penis discharge
  • Burning and itching sensation around the opening of the penis
  • Pain when you urinate
  • Pain or swelling in the testicles
  • Yellowish or pus-like anal discharge

How to get tested for chlamydia?

In women, a swab is inserted into the vagina and a sample is taken from the cervix (the neck of the womb, at the end of the vagina). The sample is then tested for Chlamydia.

In men, Chlamydia can be tested for in two ways. You can give a urine sample to be tested for the STD. If you have discharge from your penis, a swab may be taken from your urethra (the hole where you urinate from) and tested for Chlamydia.

How can you get rid of chlamydia?

Chlamydia is easy to cure with a course of antibiotics – single dose of azithromycin or a week's course of doxycyline (twice daily).

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