What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a bacterial STI caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis. It is the most common bacterial STI in the UK (source: got-it.org.uk), and can be transferred by having unprotected sex. According to the NHS, more than 200,000 people tested positive for the infection in 2012, with 64% of people under the age of 25.
People can have chlamydia and not know about it, as symptoms do not occur in some instances. Thankfully, it can be very easily treated, but it is also very easy to avoid contracting it in the first place, provided you use a condom.
Causes of chlamydia
Chlamydia is caused by a certain type of bacteria that is very easy to pass on. The bacteria can live in the urethra in men, or in the vagina in women, as well as in the throat or rectum of either gender. Genital chlamydia is the most common form of chlamydia.
It is passed on from partner to partner through the transfer of sexual fluids and direct genital contact. While this is often via intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral), penetration, orgasm or ejaculation do not necessarily have to happen to pass the infection. However, causal contact (i.e. kissing or sharing towels) cannot transfer the infection.
Symptoms of chlamydia in women
Testing for chlamydia
Chlamydia can be tested for very easily. Because chlamydia is asymptomatic in so many people, it is essential to get screening if there's a chance that you may have contracted it. A swab will be taken from the vagina in women or a urine sample in men, and then sent for testing. In the UK, the NHS aims to test 25% of all sexually active people under 25 each year.
Using our online doctor service, you can purchase a urine-based chlamydia test or a vaginal swab kit. If you test positive and are medically suitable, our online doctors can treat you at no extra charge.
Treatment of chlamydia
Treating chlamydia can be quite easily done, and with the correct course of antibiotics the treatment can be highly effective in curing the infection. Antibiotics such as erythromycin, doxycycline, ofloxacin and azithromycin are all effective medicines.
It should be noted that if you do test positive for chlamydia, you should have your partner checked and treated as well.
Chlamydia is very easy to contract, but it is also an easily treatable condition. The practice of safe sex is very important if you want to avoid contracting an STI, and having regular testing will help in early detection. Tests for men, tests for women and treatments are all available from our online doctor service.