In 2020, over 160K Brits were diagnosed with chlamydia. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Unlike other incurable diseases, chlamydia can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
How Is Chlamydia Transmitted?
Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual intercourse or contact with genital fluids. You can contract chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Sex toys can also transfer chlamydia if they are not washed or covered in between each use.
How Can I Protect Myself?
You can lessen the chances of contracting chlamydia by decreasing your number of sexual partners and using condoms. You and your partner should get tested before engaging in vaginal, anal, and oral sex. You will mitigate your risk of contracting chlamydia by remaining abstinent.
What Are the Symptoms of Chlamydia?
According to the NHS, at least 70% of women infected with chlamydia will be asymptomatic (unaware of any symptoms). Generally, symptoms will develop within 7 to 21 days (1 to 3 weeks) after having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person. In some cases, symptoms may not develop or take months to develop. It is best to see a licensed professional to get tested after unprotected sex.
Common symptoms of a chlamydia infection include:
- Pelvic or stomach pain
- Odd discharge
- Pain during and after sex
- Pain while urinating
- Bleeding after sex and/or in between periods
Chlamydia causes symptoms similar to that of other STDs and infections. The only way to ensure you receive proper treatment is to make an appointment with a licensed physician for a screening.
Is Chlamydia Curable?
In most cases, chlamydia is curable. When a patient takes their prescribed medication correctly, over 95% of cases are cured. Generally, a physician will prescribe an antibiotic such as doxycycline for chlamydia. You must take the medication as prescribed. You mustn’t miss doses, or the treatment may not work.
How Do Doctors Test for Chlamydia?
There are two common diagnostic screening procedures for chlamydia: a urine test and a swab. For a urine screening, you will urinate into a cup that will be sent to a laboratory to be analysed. The lab technicians will determine the presence of an infection. A swab screening for women involves swabbing the discharge from your cervix. The swab is used to create a culture and antigen testing. You can ask your doctor if you can swab your vagina yourself. A self-swab is just as effective as doctor-obtained swabs. In men, a swab is inserted at the end of your penis. A sample is taken from the urethra for culture or antigen testing. In some cases, your physician may ask to swab the anus as opposed to the urethra. The physician will let you know when you can expect your screening results. While you’re waiting for the results, you should not engage in sexual intercourse.