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Chlamydia symptoms, test, and treatment options available online

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Dr Hilary Jones discusses chlamydia and the treatments available at HealthExpress

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK. It's most common amongst both men and women under the age of 25, although roughly 50% of men and 75% of women show no symptoms of the disease after they are infected. Many people who are at risk of this infection are unaware of how dangerous it can be, and how easily it is passed on. If left untreated, it can potentially cause serious health and fertility problems.

Here at HealthExpress you can read more about this STI, the causes, treatment options and ways of prevention. We understand that this can be a sensitive issue, which is why our service is completely discreet and all shared information is kept confidential.

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What is Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is currently the most common type of STI in the UK. It is most common amongst young men and women aged from 16 to 25. Chlamydia is spread via unprotected sex, including oral, vaginal and anal sex, and can also be spread by sharing sex toys.

Chlamydia can be considered to be dangerous, due to the fact that there aren't many noticeable symptoms for the condition, in fact, according to recent reports, 75% of women dealing with Chlamydia don't experience any symptoms. This means that those who are infected may unwittingly spread the infection further through unprotected sex. However, this can be avoided by taking the necessary precautions through the use of barrier contraceptives such as condoms or femidoms. Effective antibiotic treatments are also available to help cure the condition if contracted.

Causes of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis.

  • Chlamydia can live inside the vagina, penis and rectum, and the bacterium can be found in traces of male semen and in the vaginal fluids of women who have contracted the infection.
  • Chlamydia can be passed on from one sexual partner to another during vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • Sharing sex toys with someone who is infected with Chlamydia can also pass it on.

If you are sexually active, you can catch Chlamydia through unprotected sex, or if you have frequent sex with different partners.

Symptoms of Chlamydia

The symptoms of Chlamydia include a change in penile and vaginal discharge, but the signs of this STI are often not visible because Chlamydia is usually asymptomatic. This is why it's essential to take regular STI tests if you are sexually active, as Chlamydia isn't the only asymptomatic STI. Symptoms may differ slightly between men and women.

Chlamydia in women

Women may experience:

  • Cystitis
  • A change in vaginal discharge
  • A mild lower abdominal pain

However, other unrelated infections and diseases can also cause these non-specific symptoms, which is why it's important to get yourself tested, in order to specify that these symptoms are caused by Chlamydia.

Chlamydia in men

Men may experience:

  • A slight discharge from their penis
  • Mild irritation at the tip of the penis (urethra), that disappears after two or three days Many men will wait to see if the discomfort goes away. However, while the discomfort may disappear, the man can still harbour the infection. If you need more information on Chlamydia symptoms, then please visit our symptom page.
  • symptoms Cystitis
  • symptoms Lower abdominal pain
  • symptoms Slight penile discharge
  • symptoms Pain during urination
  • symptoms Pain during urination

Effects of Chlamydia

Although Chlamydia can easily be aided by treatment, it can stay unrecognised for months, if not years. Untreated Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. Fallopian tubes may stop working properly and can eventually become blocked. When your fallopian tubes are blocked, you then become unable to conceive naturally.

Chlamydia can affect sperm production and decrease male fertility. It is the most common cause of inflammation in the testicles and sperm tubes for men under the age of 35. This can then cause pain, swelling and redness on your scrotum. These side effects of Chlamydia are completely avoidable if Chlamydia is effectively cured.

Benefits of treating Chlamydia

Both you and your partner can experience a number of benefits by successfully treating Chlamydia. These benefits include:

  • Avoiding other potential STIs/STDs
  • Keeping your partner safe from any potential infections
  • Enhancing your sex life and future sexual experiences
  • Potential pregnancy issues can be avoided
  • Improved sexual confidence
  • Avoiding potential long-term health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the testicles)
  • Possible psychological issues, such as depression and stress, can be effectively treated

How do I get tested for Chlamydia?

You can get a free Chlamydia test at a sexual health clinic, your local GP surgery, or a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic. The test kit will typically involve a swab, taken from the vagina or urethra. Doctor's can also check for Chlamydia by testing a urine sample.

If you or your partner thinks that you have any symptoms of Chlamydia, then visit a doctor, or get a free, instant Chlamydia test as soon as possible. If it is detected and diagnosed early, you can treat the infection straight away, reducing the risk of any further complications. Often, these complications are associated with long-term Chlamydia and are much more difficult to treat.

You can also buy a Chlamydia home test kit here at HealthExpress, if you have no free time to see your GP and are comfortable to take the test from home. Results are usually delivered within 2-3 days.

Can Chlamidya be cured?

Absolutely. With the right antibiotic treatment, and if you ensure you take the prescribed amount for the duration specified, it is unlikely you'll need to return to the clinic for further treatment. Antibiotic treatments for Chlamydia have a 95% success rate.

Benefits of treating Chlamydia

  • Avoid other potential sexually transmitted infections

  • Keeping your partner safe from any potential infections

  • Avoid potential complications of pregnancy due to the infection

  • Improved sexual confidence

  • Avoiding potential long-term health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the testicles)

  • weakened immune system Passed on during vaginal, anal or oral sex
  • Feeling stressed Sharing sex toys with an infected person

How to treat Chlamydia?

Natural treatments for Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a condition that can be easily treated. There are a number of touted natural herbal remedies for Chlamydia; however, there is no definitive evidence to prove that they can effectively treat Chlamydia. The only proven natural treatment options involve the preventative measures, such as those listed in the prevention section below. Therefore, prescription medication are the only tested options available as proven in clinical studies to be extremely successful in treating Chlamydia.

Prescription medication

To treat penile/vaginal Chlamydia, Azithromycin is prescribed as a one off treatment - 500 mg x 2 pills taken together. For ano-rectal Chlamydia, two 100mg Doxycycline tablets can be taken every day for one week. Both of these treatments will be required if you are experiencing both types of Chlamydia. Always take the full course of antibiotic treatment, even if your symptoms of Chlamydia disappear before you finish the course to avoid any symptoms from returning.

How to prevent Chlamydia

Any individual who is sexually active can potentially catch Chlamydia. However, it is completely preventable, and can be successfully prevented using a number of the methods listed below:

  • Using a latex condom during all sexual encounters
  • Avoiding sharing sex toys
  • Washing before and after sex
  • Limiting your number of sex partners
  • Getting regular screenings with your doctor
  • Getting help for any drug or alcohol-abuse issues, which can increase the likelihood of unprotected sex occurring

What are the options we have to offer for Chlamydia

If you wish to buy a test kit or if you have tested positive for Chlamydia and wish to buy medication, click below and take an online consultation to determine which prescription treatment is right for you to purchase. After you have completed an online consultation, one of our UK registered doctors will assess your condition and recommend which treatments are best suited for you. Once you've selected your medication, a prescription will be forwarded to our pharmacy, and dispatched for free next day delivery. If you have any questions regarding this treatment, or would like to know more about how we work, you can contact our Patient Support Team anytime.

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Dr Hilary Jones, HealthExpress Medical Advisor

What should I do if I experience Chlamydia?

One of the most common STIs in the UK, largely because many people don't know they have it, is chlamydia. It can lead to complications, which is why timely treatment is recommended.

Click here to find the right treatment for you