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Chlamydia

 
 

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What is it?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection which can be found in the semen and vaginal fluids in men and women who are already infected with the infection.

Transmission route:
Chlamydia is usually passed on from one person to another during unprotected vaginal, anal and or oral sex.

The bacteria can live inside the cell of the cervix, the urethra, the rectum and sometimes the eyes and throat.

Sign and symptoms:
About 50% of men and 70% of women with the infection did not have any previous signs or symptoms, or the symptoms may have been so mild that they went unnoticed.

Potential signs and symptoms can show after 1-3 weeks or even months after coming into contact with chlamydia.  However, you may not notice the symptoms.
There are rarely any symptoms if the infection is in the rectum but potentially it may cause discharge and discomfort.

If chlamydia infection is in the eyes, this can cause pain, swelling, irritation and conjunctivitis.

 

Potential signs and symptoms:

Women:

  • Bleeding after sex
  • Lower abdominal pain (pelvic pain)
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pain when passing urine

Men:

  • A cloudy / white watery discharge from the tip of the penis
  • Possible pain in the testicles
  • Pain when passing urine

Testing:
You can have a test for chlamydia even if there are no signs or symptoms.

There are various ways in which you can be tested for chlamydia; one is to provide a urine sample.  If you have had anal or oral sex the doctor or nurse may use a swab to collect cells from your rectum or throat.
Women may be offered to have a swab test to collect cells from their vagina.

Treatments:
The common treatment for chlamydia is a course of antibiotics, if taken correctly it is at least 95% effective.

Where to get tested:

You can get tested at any Lancashire Sexual health clinic

Alternatively if you’re under 25 years old, you can access the Lancashire Chlamydia Screening Programme, visit their website to order a free postal testing kit, or get more information about chlamydia. You can also text BEST to 82540 to request a kit.

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