What is chlamydia and what are the risks?
Chlamydia is one of the most common infections affecting sexually active teenagers and young adults in the UK. It is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is caught when engaging in unprotected sexual acts with an infected partner.
Chlamydia can often go undetected when first infected as symptoms are challenging to spot. Both men and women will experience both similar and different symptoms. The most common symptom of chlamydia is a burning sensation when urinating. Chlamydia also produces strong smells and unnatural discharges. Women may experience vaginal pain and bleeding between periods; men may experience inflammation and tenderness around the testicles.
In its early stages, infection is easy to treat with a brief course of antibiotics. However, if chlamydia is left untreated for some time, complications may occur which may cause serious damage to the body. A female may develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which damages the fallopian tubes and lead to infertility.
Chlamydia screening and treatment service
The tests for chlamydia are easy, painless and usually very reliable. You can choose to be tested even if you have no visible symptoms. The only way to find out if you have chlamydia is to take part in a screening which is conducted through basic urine or saliva swab test. Those under 25 who are currently sexually active with a past of multiple partners should seek out a chlamydia test once every year to spot infection at an early stage.
The results of the test will normally be available after 7 to 10 days. If there is a high probability you have contracted chlamydia i.e. if you are experiencing some of the symptoms of the infection or your partner has been diagnosed recently and you’ve had unprotected sex with, you might start treatment before your results have been processed.