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What Is Chlamydia?

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  • What Is Chlamydia?

    Chlamydia is an extremely common STI. In this short video we answer what is chlamydia and what are its causes, symptoms, tests and treatment.

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What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is an extremely common Sexually Transmitted Infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis that is found in bodily fluids. It often presents with no symptoms but can cause major short and long-term health problems if left untreated.

How do you catch Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a transmitted through sexual contact and the exchange of bodily fluids. It can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex, or even through sharing sex toys. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.

What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?

Chlamydia often does not present symptoms in women. In 50-75% of female cases of Chlamydia, there are no physical symptoms so often women do not know they are infected. In men, Chlamydia often presents as a white discharge from the penis with pain sometimes experienced in the testes and when urinating. In women, Chlamydia can cause irregular bleeding, lower abdominal pain or vaginal discharge.

What damage does Chlamydia do?

Chlamydia, if left untreated, can have serious effects on the health of both men and women. In women untreated Chlamydia can spread to the upper genital tract causing pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility and also increases the risk of life-threatening ectopic pregnancies. In men, untreated Chlamydia often leads to epididymitis and infertility.

What is the standard Chlamydia test?

There are two ways that doctors test for Chlamydia – neither is painful or uncomfortable.

A doctor can take a swab or, often for women, can allow them to do the swab themselves from the vagina.The second test simply requires a urine sample. This doesn’t require any physical examination at all.

What is the standard Chlamydia treatment?

Chlamydia is generally treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are an extremely effective chlamydia treatment. 95% of people with chlamydia will be cured if they take their antibiotics correctly. The two most commonly prescribed antibiotics used for chlamydia treatment are azithromycin and doxycycline. Your doctor may give you different antibiotics if you have an allergy, or are pregnant.

How do I protect myself from catching Chlamydia?

The best way to protect yourself against getting Chlamydia is to practice safe sex. This means that while having vaginal or anal or oral sex, whether that's homosexual, heterosexual, you should use condoms. It’s best not to share sex toys but, if you do, it's really important to wash them and use condoms on the sex toy as well.

Taking these precautions also lowers the risk of catching other STIs such as Herpes, Gonorrhea and HIV.



10592 March 2012

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