Chlamydia is the most common STI (sexually transmitted disease) in the UK. It is generally spread by having unprotected sex, and is particularly common in teenagers and young adults who are sexually active.
What are the symptoms of Chlamydia?
One of the dangers of chlamydia, is that it can sometimes display no symptoms at all. This may mean you have it, without realising, and can result in passing it on to others without realising. If you do develop symptoms, these may include
- Pain on urination
- An unusual discharge from the vagina/penis or rectum
- Women may experience pain in their stomach, bleeding during or after sex, and/or between periods
- Men may notice swelling and pain in their testicles
How do you get chlamydia?
The bacteria which causes Chlamydia is usually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids such as semen. Intercourse doesn’t need to take place for you to catch Chlamydia. Other ways of catching chlamydia are
- Sharing sex toys that may not be washed after use
- Your genitals coming into contact with your partner’s genitals even if there is no penetration, orgasm, or ejaculation
- Semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye
Chlamydia CAN NOT passed on through casual contact, such as kissing, sharing baths, or cutlery.
Getting tested for chlamydia
Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test. You can get a free and confidential chlamydia test at a sexual health clinic, or your GP surgery.
You can also buy a chlamydia test kit to do at home.
How chlamydia is treated
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria which causes Chlamydia. The most common chlamydia treatment is Azithromycin as a 1 gram dose. One week courses of the antibiotic Doxycycline are also effective in getting rid of the chlamydia infection. Until the treatment is finished, you and your partner should not engage in sex. If you have the one-day course of treatment, you should avoid having sex for a week afterwards. It’s also important that any other sexual partners you may have had in the last 6 months are also tested for chlamydia. This helps stop the spread in case they are no displaying symptoms.
You can avoid and help stop spreading chlamydia by
- Always using a condom during intercourse
- Using a condom to cover the penis during oral sex
- Using a dam to cover the female genitals during oral sex or when rubbing female genitals together
- Not sharing sex toys, or making sure they are covered with a condom
Getting Chlamydia Treatment Online
Some people may be embarrassed to seek out treatment from their own GP. If this is the case, you can seek treatment in a number of ways.
- A local STI clinic (so you wouldn’t see your own GP)
- Ask to see another GP
- Seek chlamydia treatment online
The first line antibiotic treatment for chlamydia is azithromycin. This is taken as a single dose of a gram. Doxycycline can also be taken to combat the infection, and this is taken over the course of one week, twice daily.
Being Safe Online
If you want to buy chlamydia treatment online, you need to be sure you are buying medicine from a safe and registered online pharmacy. There are two main ways you can tell if your pharmacy is registered and regulated by UK bodies. The website should display the following two logos
MHRA – This tells you the pharmacy is a licensed online medicines seller with this governmental organisation
GPhC – This tells you the pharmacy is registered as an online pharmacy with this professional body, and should adhere to strict ethical standards