Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK and is caused by a bacterium. Sexually active men and women under 25 are most at risk of becoming infected. However, as there are often no symptoms, many people who catch it remain totally unaware of the fact they are infected. If left untreated, chlamydia can spread to other parts of the body and cause fertility problems for both sexes. Symptoms in women may include burning when having a wee, a change in vaginal discharge, bleeding in between periods or during/after sex, and lower abdominal pain. Men may experience discharge from the penis, burning when weeing and tender or swollen testicles.
How to Avoid
Simple: use a condom! You can also help yourself by getting tested for chlamydia regularly. This is done easily and painlessly with a simple swab or urine test. The UK has a National Chlamydia Screening Programme, which is free and confidential, so there's no excuse. A free online chlamydia postal test, supported by the NHS, is available for under-25s in most areas. You'll find details www.freetest.me
Chlamydia is usually easily treated with antibiotics. If you test positive for chlamydia, you will be asked to contact all of your sexual partners from the past six months.