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    Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK. Find out who is most at risk, where to get tested, and how it's treated.

    Overview

    - Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is 1 of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK.

    It's passed on through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) and is particularly common in sexually active teenagers and young adults.

    If you're a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, it's recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.

    If you're a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, it's recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.

    Symptoms of chlamydia

    Most people with chlamydia do not notice any symptoms and do not know they have it.

    If you do develop symptoms, you may experience:

    pain when peeing

    unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or bottom

    in women, pain in the tummy, bleeding after sex and bleeding between periods

    in men, pain and swelling in the testicles

    If you think you're at risk of having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit a GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic to get tested.

    Important:

    Using sexual health clinics during coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Call a sexual health clinic if you need help or advice. Only go to a clinic if you've been told to.

    Find sexual health clinic contact details

    How do you get chlamydia?

    Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. The bacteria are usually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids (semen or vaginal fluid).

    You can get chlamydia through:

    unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex

    sharing sex toys that are not washed or covered with a new condom each time they're used

    your genitals coming into contact with your partner's genitals – this means you can get chlamydia from someone even if there's no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation

    infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye

    It can also be passed by a pregnant woman to her baby.

    Chlamydia cannot be passed on through casual contact, such as kissing and hugging, or from sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or cutlery.

    Is chlamydia serious?

    Although chlamydia does not usually cause any symptoms and can normally be treated with a short course of antibiotics, it can be serious if it's not treated early on.

    If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your body and lead to long-term health problems, especially in women.

    In women, untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

    In men, in rare cases, chlamydia can spread to the testicles and epididymis (tubes that carry sperm from the testicles), causing them to become painful and swollen. This is known as epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the testicles).

    It can also sometimes cause reactive arthritis in men and women.

    This is why it's important to get tested and treated as soon as possible if you think you might have chlamydia.

    Find out more about the complications of chlamydia

    Getting tested for chlamydia

    Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test.

    You do not always need a physical examination by a nurse or doctor.

    Anyone can get a free and confidential chlamydia test at a sexual health clinic, a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or a GP surgery.

    In England, if you're a woman under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test when you visit some health services, for example a pharmacy or GP. This offer is part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP).

    If you're offered a chlamydia test you should consider taking it.

    If you're a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, it's recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.

    If you're a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, it's recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.

    You can also buy chlamydia testing kits to do at home.

    Find out more about chlamydia diagnosis

    How chlamydia is treated

    Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.

    You may be given a course of doxycycline to take for a week or azithromycin to take once a day for 3 days.

    If you have doxycycline, you should not have sex (including oral sex) until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.

    If you have azithromycin, you should wait 7 days after treatment before having sex (including oral sex).

    It's important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.

    Under-25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated.

    This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.

    Sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics can help you contact your sexual partners.

    Either you or the clinic can speak to them, or they can be sent a note advising them to get tested.

    The note will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.

    Source : www.nhs.uk

    STD Facts

    Chlamydia Fact Sheet from CDC. What is chlamydia? How common is chlamydia? How do people get chlamydia? And more...

    Chlamydia – CDC Fact Sheet

    Español (Spanish)

    People who are sexually active can get chlamydia, a common, treatable, sexually transmitted disease (STD).

    Basic Fact Sheet | Detailed Version

    Basic fact sheets answer general questions about STDs.

    You can add this content to your website by syndicating.

    Chlamydia is a common STD that can cause infection among both men and women. It can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system. This can make it difficult or impossible to get pregnant later. Chlamydia can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb).

    How is chlamydia spread?

    You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. Also, you can still get chlamydia even if your sex partner does not ejaculate (cum). A pregnant person with chlamydia can give the infection to their baby during childbirth.

    How can I reduce my risk of getting chlamydia?

    The only way to completely avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

    If you are sexually active, the following things can lower your chances of getting chlamydia:

    Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and does not have chlamydia; and

    Using condoms the right way every time you have sex.

    Am I at risk for chlamydia?

    Sexually active people can get chlamydia through vaginal, anal, or oral sex without a condom with a partner who has chlamydia.

    Sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay and bisexual men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.

    If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider. Ask them if you should get tested for chlamydia or other STDs. Gay or bisexual men and pregnant people should also get tested for chlamydia. If you are a sexually active woman, you should get tested for chlamydia every year if you are:

    Younger than 25 years old.

    25 years and older with risk factors, such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.

    I’m pregnant. How does chlamydia affect my baby?

    If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can give the infection to your baby during delivery. This can cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your baby. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby early.

    If you are pregnant, you should receive testing for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting the correct examination, testing, and treatment. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.

    How do I know if I have chlamydia?

    Chlamydia often has no symptoms, but it can cause serious health problems, even without symptoms. If symptoms occur, they may not appear until several weeks after having sex with a partner who has chlamydia.

    Even when chlamydia has no symptoms, it can damage a woman’s reproductive system. Women with symptoms may notice

    An abnormal vaginal discharge; and

    A burning sensation when peeing.

    Symptoms in men can include

    A discharge from their penis;

    A burning sensation when peeing; and

    Pain and swelling in one or both testicles (although this is less common).

    Men and women can also get chlamydia in their rectum. This happens either by having receptive anal sex, or by spread from another infected site (such as the vagina). While these infections often cause no symptoms, they can cause

    Rectal pain; Discharge; and Bleeding.

    See a healthcare provider if you notice any of these symptoms. You should also see a provider if your partner has an STD or symptoms of one. Symptoms can include

    An unusual sore; A smelly discharge;

    Burning when peeing; or

    Bleeding between periods.

    How will my healthcare provider know if I have chlamydia?

    Laboratory tests can diagnose chlamydia. Your healthcare provider may ask you to provide a urine sample for testing, or they might use (or ask you to use) a cotton swab to get a vaginal sample.

    Is there a cure for chlamydia?

    Yes, the right treatment can cure chlamydia. It is important that you take all of the medicine your healthcare provider gives you to cure your infection. Do not share medicine for chlamydia with anyone. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having problems later. Although medicine will stop the infection, it will not undo any permanent damage caused by the disease.

    Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. You should receive testing again about three months after your treatment, even if your sex partner(s) receives treatment.

    When can I have sex again after my chlamydia treatment?

    You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner(s) complete treatment. If given a single dose of medicine, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If given medicine to take for seven days, wait until you finish all the doses before having sex.

    If you’ve had chlamydia and took medicine in the past, you can still get it again. This can happen if you have sex without a condom with a person who has chlamydia.

    Source : www.cdc.gov

    You Can Contract an STD Even If Each Partner Tested Negative

    Yes, you can contract an STI or STD even if both partners are "clean." To prevent this, you need to know exactly what to test for, as well as the latency period.

    You Can Contract an STD Even If Each Partner Tested Negative

    Medically reviewed by Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH — Written by Gabrielle Kassel on August 30, 2021

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    Willie B. Thomas/Getty Images

    Don’t let the title of this piece scare you!

    By the time you get to the end, you’ll know exactly what you need to do in order to protect yourself against the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as how to know what your actual STI status is.

    The short answer

    Yes, it is possible to contract a STI from someone who tested negative (for the STIs that they were tested for)… if (and only if!) they were positive for an STI that they weren’t tested for.

    Or if they were positive for an STI in a location that didn’t get tested, such as in the mouth and throat.

    For example, someone might have tested negative for genital gonorrhea but not been tested for oral or anal gonorrhea, and potentially transmit the STI through anal or oral intercourse.

    STDS VS. STIS

    STI stands for sexually transmitted infection and STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. Scientifically speaking, the difference between diseases and infections is that diseases present with symptoms and infections typically do not.

    The majority Trusted Source Trusted Source

    of sexually transmitted conditions are asymptomatic. Because of this, many experts have pushed to refer to these as STIs (and not as STDs) to simultaneously improve accuracy while reducing stigma.

    It’s more likely than you might think

    There are a number of sexually transmitted infections, including:

    Gonorrhea Chlamydia Trichomoniasis

    Molluscum contagiosum

    Syphilis Scabies Pubic lice HPV

    Herpes simplex virus (HSV)

    Hepatitis A Hepatitis B HIV

    But when people get tested for STIs they typically aren’t tested for all of the above. No, not even if they say “test me for everything.”

    “DIRTY” VS. “CLEAN”

    Quick terminology check: When we’re talking about whether someone has an STI, we use the language “STI positive” and “STI negative” — we don’t use the phrases “dirty” or “clean.” Why? Because the latter set of words perpetuates STI stigma.

    It depends on what STIs you were screened for

    “Typically, when you ask a doctor to test for everything, they’ll only test for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV,” explains Dr. Felice Gersh, author of “PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline To Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones and Happiness.”

    Further, when they test for gonorrhea and chlamydia, they typically only test for genital gonorrhea and chlamydia — not anal or oral gonorrhea or chlamydia.

    (Yes, anal STIs and oral STIs are a thing).

    If you actually want to get tested for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that you might be at risk for, it’s important to talk with a healthcare professional about all the sex acts that have ever made an appearance on your sex “I Tried It” list.

    It depends on how you define “sex”

    There’s a massive misconception that STIs can only be transmitted through one type of sex: penis-in-vagina sex.

    But an STI can actually be transmitted during any kind of sexual play that involves skin-to-skin contact or body fluid exchange with a person who has an STI.

    This includes any kind of play that involves:

    the mouth, such as kissing, nipple stimulation, cunnilingus, analingus, and oral sex

    internal or external genitals

    internal or external anus

    As well as any kind of play that involves bodily fluids:

    saliva vaginal lubrication pre-cum semen anal secretions breast milk

    It depends on whether you’ve abstained since

    An STI test is only able to test for the STIs that are currently beyond their latency period. Meaning, they’ve been in the body long enough for the body to create antibodies.

    LATENCY PERIOD

    Sometimes known as the incubation period, the latency period is the amount of time between when a person has been exposed to an infection and when they can test positive for it.

    Antibodies are what STI tests are looking for to determine if an STI is present. If antibodies are present, you test positive for the STI. If antibodies aren’t present, you test negative for the STI.

    An STI test can’t detect an infection that has not yet surpassed its latency period, nor any STI you were exposed to after the test.

    And remember: It’s possible to be exposed to an STI during any sexual activity.

    It depends on what safer sex practices you’ve used if not abstaining

    So… you made the decision to engage in sex in some way, shape, or form… fun!

    How high the risk of STI transmission was during those sextivities varies based on what safer sex practices you used, if any. As well as if you used them correctly when you used them.

    “Finger cots and sex gloves can help reduce transmission of STIs during any kind of hand sex,” says Andy Duran, the education director for Good Vibrations, a pleasure product company. “Condoms on a penis or sex toy can reduce the risk during penetrative or pleasure product play.”

    Source : www.healthline.com

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