Name of disease (also known as): Chlamydia trachomatis (The Clam, The Clap)
Common/Uncommon: Chlamydia is the most common STI, particularly in those under the age of 25.
Severity: It is highly infectious and if left untreated then it can lead to a range of more severe symptoms of infertility, pain in the pelvis in females and testicular pain for males.
How it is transferred: Vaginal, oral and anal sexual contact. It is also thought that it can be transmitted via sex toys that are shared and not cleaned or protected using a condom.
Symptoms: 50% of men and 80% of females do not have any symptoms so if you have unprotected sexual contact it is best to get tested and be sure.
- Pain when passing urine
- Painful testicles
- Milky white fluid coming out the penis without pain and spontaneously
- Bleeding in between periods
- Heavier periods than are normal for you
- Pain and/or bleeding during and/or after sex
- A discharge that is not normal/increased quantity for you
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain on passing urine
Testing method: Visit your local genito-urinary clinic, sexual health clinic or GP. Testing is confidential and results are often given in the way you prefer (text, email, phone call).
If no symptoms: Males urinate in tub and blood sample taken. Females do a self-taken swab and blood is taken.
Symptoms: Health professional takes a painless swab of penis/vagina and a blood sample is taken. Samples can also be taken of the anus and throat, depending on what type of sexual contact you were involved in.
Treatment: A single dose of an antibiotic tablet or a longer 7 day course of antibiotics if the doctor or nurse thinks you need it.
How it can be prevented: Barrier methods of contraception (Condoms, Femi-doms and Dental-dams). Hormonal methods of contraception (the pill) don’t offer any protection.
- Can affect fertility in both male and females if left untreated.
- It’s advised not to have sex until 7 days after treatment to allow the medication to work.
- Don’t have unprotected sex if you suspect you might have an STI and are waiting for results of the test.
- Follow-up test is done at 3 months to check the infection has all gone, swabs as said above are done.
- Get yourself checked as soon as you can if you suspect you might have an STI e.g. after having unprotected sex.
Find out more:
- Components of chlamydia screening & the impact of screening on behaviour. 2014 National Chlamydia Screening Programme web survey report