The facts about chlamydia and sexual health are concerning. Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and can affect both men and women of all ages. It is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis, which can infect the genitals, rectum, or eyes if it comes in contact with them through unprotected sexual activity.
Chlamydia – transmission
Chlamydia can be spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex without a condom or other barrier protection. In addition, it can also be passed from mother to baby during childbirth. The infection usually has no symptoms so many people may not know they are infected until serious health problems start to develop.
Chlamydia infection – consequences
If left untreated, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. It can also cause epididymitis in men, which is a painful condition that affects the testicles.
Testing for chlamydia
Testing for chlamydia is simple and non-invasive. Health care providers will typically take a urine sample or a swab from the cervix, urethra, or rectum to test for it. The earlier chlamydia is diagnosed and treated, the better chance of curing it and avoiding more serious health problems down the line.
Chlamydia – prevention
Using condoms every time you have sex is one way to help protect yourself from getting infected with chlamydia as well as other STIs such as HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts, and syphilis. Regular testing for chlamydia is also recommended for anyone who is sexually active, especially those with multiple partners and people in their late teens and twenties.
These tips can help you reduce your risk of getting infected with chlamydia:
• Use a latex condom every time you have sex.
• Limit the number of sexual partners that you have and avoid having unprotected sex, especially if one or more of your partners has multiple partners.
• Get tested for STIs regularly and make sure that any new partner gets tested too.
• Talk to your healthcare provider at trumedical.co.uk about vaccinations against certain STIs such as HPV or hepatitis B
• Drink plenty of water, which will help keep your urinary tract healthy and make it easier to detect an infection early on.
• If you are pregnant, get tested for chlamydia so that you can get treated quickly and prevent passing the infection on to your baby.
• If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, make sure that all of your sexual partners get tested and treated too.
• Avoid douching, which can increase your risk for infection by disrupting the balance of healthy bacteria in your vagina.
• Practice good hygiene habits such as washing your hands after going to the bathroom or before and after sex.
• Use a lubricant when having sex to reduce friction, which can irritate the skin around the genitals and increase the risk of getting an STI.
By staying informed about sexual health and understanding the risks associated with unprotected sex, you can help protect yourself from chlamydia and other STIs. Taking the proper steps to prevent infection or diagnose it early on are important in order to keep your body healthy and safe.
With the right knowledge, prevention strategies, and medical care, you can reduce your risk of getting infected or passing on an infection to someone else. Speak to a healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns about chlamydia or other STIs.