Chlamydia is the most common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). It affects both men and women. Most people who have it do not have any signs or symptoms and will not know that they've got it. That's why it's really important to get tested if you have ever had sex and every time you have a new partner.
Chlamydia can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. However, the quicker you are treated, the less likely you are to have serious complications so it’s never worth putting it off.
Straight, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender, you are at the same risk of getting Chlamydia. Using a condom reduces the risk but EVERYONE who is sexually active is at risk. Yes, you can get Chlamydia even if you have only had oral sex.
How do I get Chlamydia?
You can only get Chlamydia from someone who already has it by any of the following:
- Having vaginal, anal or oral sex
- By sharing sex toys
- From a mother to her baby during birth
- In genital fluids on your fingers.
- What can happen if you don’t know you have Chlamydia?
If Chlamydia isn't treated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body causing damage and serious long-term complications including infertility in both men and women.
Chlamydia can cause serious health complications in men – it’s not just women that are affected by it! It can lead to a painful infection in the testicles and lead to reduced fertility or even infertility. Chlamydia can also spread to joints throughout your body (called Reiter’s Syndrome). It can cause your joints to swell and if you play sports and experience pain in your knee you MUST speak to your doctor and also get tested as Chlamydia could be the cause. If this doesn’t get treated it could lead to arthritis which affects your joints and could seriously damage your general physical performance.
Chlamydia can spread through the body and cause infection and inflammation inside the reproductive system. It can cause pain, especially in the abdomen, and this may then cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). It can also lead to damage in the fallopian tubes (the tubes that take the eggs to your womb each month) and cause them to become narrowed or blocked. This could result in infertility, or may cause an ectopic pregnancy (where the baby develops in the tube because the fertilised egg didn’t reach the womb). Ectopic pregnancy can be very serious and even life threatening.
For more info please go to: http://www.fpa.org.uk/Helpandadvice/SexuallytransmittedinfectionsSTIs/chlamydia