Chlamydia is increasingly prevalent amongst young people in the UK; it is potentially very dangerous because it has no obvious symptoms so people often don’t know they have it.
How is Chlamydia spread?
Chlamydia can be spread via unprotected oral, anal and vaginal sex as well as sexual contact; it is spread between people and then passed on if a person with the infection sleeps with other people without using contraception. Chlamydia can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn child; this can cause a number of serious problems including pneumonia and conjunctivitis (this usually causes itchy and swollen eyes).
What are the symptoms?
In many cases there are no symptoms; however, some changes may indicate a person is infected with Chlamydia. Possible symptoms include cystitis (this usually causes discomfort when urinating and can cause women to feel like they need to urinate, when they don’t), vaginal discharge, abnormal bleeding and pain during sexual intercourse. Symptoms for men may include pain in the testicles and pain during intercourse.
What are the effects of Chlamydia?
The effects of Chlamydia can be very serious. In women, this infection may cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and problems during pregnancy including miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies. In men, Chlamydia can also contribute to infertility and may cause swelling in the testicles.
How is Chlamydia treated?
Chlamydia is usually treated quickly and effectively with a course of antibiotics.