Health Article Detail

CHLAMYDIA

Chlamydia is a curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a kind of germ called Chlamydia trachomatis and it can affect most parts of the body hence, prompt treatment is essential to prevent more serious problems. Chlamydia is found most frequently in people under the age of 25 years although it can infect people of all ages.

HOW DO I GET INFECTED?

  • Through unprotected sex (using no condom) whether vaginal, oral or anal sex (or sharing sex toys) with someone who has chlamydia
  • From an infected mother to her baby during childbirth (vaginal delivery)
  • Sometimes from genitals to fingers to eyes, causing painful, red eyes (conjunctivitis)

HOWEVER Chlamydia cannot be caught by kissing, hugging, sharing baths or towels, using swimming pools or from toilet seats.

HOW DO I KNOW I MAY BE INFECTED?

People infected usually do notice anything wrong.

Some women may notice one or more of the following:

  • bleeding between periods or after sex
  • pain in the lower abdomen, particularly during sex
  • burning pain when passing urinating
  • a change in the colour or amount of vaginal discharge

Some men may notice one or more of the following:

  • a discharge from the tip of the penis
  • a burning pain when passing urine

In women : the spread of infection to the womb and ovarian tubes may cause infertility In men : the spread of infection to the testicles causing pain and swelling.

HOPE

Chlamydia can be easily treated with antibiotics

CAUTION

  • Avoid having sex with your partner during treatment, and ensure that a test proves that both of you are completely free from the infection.
  • Protect yourself with new partners by using a condom for all vaginal, anal and oral sex.
    Or
  • Ensure that both you and a new partner have a sexual health screen before having sex without a condom.
  • Pregnant women should be tested and treated to avoid infecting their babies.