What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia Trachomatis, more commonly known as Chlamydia, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects both men and women of all ages. Caused by a bacterium, Chlamydia can lead to serious health issues, including infertility. Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics, therefore early testing and diagnosis is crucial. Yourhealthfirst Clinic can offer discreet and reliable testing for chlamydia.

How common is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is the most common STI; there are an estimated 140 million cases worldwide. This includes 1.4 million reported cases in the U.S, over 210,000 reported cases in the U.K and over 6,000 reported cases in Ireland. Many cases of Chlamydia are not reported as it does not always show symptoms, therefore the individual may not suspect they have an infection. By testing for 10 STIs in one kit, our test will detect even those infections that do not show any symptoms.

Rates are particularly high in young people and men who have sex with men (MSM)- although anyone who is sexually active is at risk from Chlamydia

How is Chlamydia passed on?

Chlamydia is passed on through having unprotected sex with someone who already has the infection. This can be through: vaginal, anal or oral sex. It can also be passed on through the sharing of sex toys. Chlamydia may also be passed from an infected mother to her child during childbirth.

What are the complications of Chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be easily treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues. Chlamydia can lead to fertility issues in women, causing damage to the uterus and fallopian tubes. This can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which affects a woman’s ability to get pregnant and can lead to ectopic pregnancy. In men, complications are less common than in women. It can however, occasionally cause infertility by infecting the tubes that carry sperm from the testis. Regular Chlamydia screening can aid in detecting the infection in the early stages and help to reduce the risk of such complications.

Chlamydia Symptoms

Whilst most common in the under 25s, any sexually active person can catch chlamydia. Multiple sexual partners greatly increase the likelihood of getting an STI.

Symptoms of Chlamydia in men:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Pain when urinating
  • Discomfort and swelling of the testicles

Symptoms of Chlamydia in women:

  • Discharge from the vagina
  • Pain and/or bleeding during/after sex
  • Pain when urinating
  • Bleeding between periods

How long does it take for symptoms of Chlamydia to appear?

Chlamydia has been nicknamed ‘the silent disease,’ as most people with it do not experience any symptoms at all – therefore are unaware they even have this infection. For those that do show symptoms, they appear 1-3 weeks after being exposed to the infection.

What happens if Chlamydia is left untreated?

If untreated, chlamydia can lead to the following problems:

In men:

  • Epididymitis – painful inflammation of the testicles, which may result in reduced fertility or sterility
  • Urethritis – inflammation of the urethra
  • Reiter’s syndrome – inflammation of the joints, urethra and eyes

In women:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Salpingitis – blocked fallopian tubes, which reduces fertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Cervicitis – inflammation of the uterine cervix
  • Long-term pelvic pain
  • Early miscarriage or premature birth

Can I be cured of Chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics.

How often do you need to test for Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is the most common STI and often has no symptoms. It is equally common in men and women and all age groups are at risk. It is therefore recommended that all sexually active individuals are tested for Chlamydia on a regular basis.

Who is at risk of Chlamydia?

All sexually active individuals are at risk of Chlamydia. Higher rates of prevalence exist in young people and men who have sex with men (MSM). Chlamydia is spread through unprotected sex – vaginal, anal and oral. In order to reduce the risk of getting Chlamydia, practice safe sex by using a condom every time you have sex. The risk increases with the number of changes in sexual partner also.

Where can I get a test for Chlamydia?

At Yourhealthfirst Clinic our tests for 10 STIs at the same time, including Chlamydia.

How reliable is the Chlamydia test?

Chlamydia is one of the ten STIs that YHF simultaneously tests for. Our STIs is a cutting-edge testing procedure that uses molecular diagnostics that far exceed other STI tests currently available. The test screens for multiple STI pathogens to identify specific viral, protozoan or bacterial pathogens.

How is Chlamydia treated?

Chlamydia can be treated easily with antibiotics. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is important to tell your doctor as this will impact the type of antibiotic that is chosen. You should abstain from having sex until you have finished treatment.