Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is spread through bacteria. It can be passed on through unprotected sex, but because it’s bacterial, you can also catch it from sex toys, genital contact of any kind, or getting infected semen or fluid in your eye.
Unfortunately, as the NHS tells us, it’s one of the commonest sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK. Younger people have the highest number of infections, and it can cause major complications.
In women, these can include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can, in turn, cause problems getting pregnant when you decide to have children or place you at an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy (when the baby grows in the tubes, not the womb).
It’s not just women who suffer symptoms; men can suffer inflammation of the testicles and the tubes that supply them. As with women, when left untreated, this can affect men’s fertility. In addition, chlamydia can cause arthritis in both sexes.
It’s treatable – if you know you’ve got it
The good news is that this infection is treatable. You’ll need to take antibiotics and make sure you and your partner follow the instructions to avoid getting a repeat infection. If you do this, you should be among the 95 per cent of people who are completely cured the first time; others may need to take a different antibiotic.
Chlamydia doesn’t always cause symptoms, so you may have it without knowing you’ve got it. Some people don’t realise they have it until they have fertility problems later on, when they decide to have children. That’s why it’s essential for both men and women to have regular tests.
Self-testing is quick, easy and private
The NHS recommends that you get tested whenever you change partner, or at least once a year. You can go to an STI clinic, where the test is confidential, and they will contact partners for you if you wish. You can also test yourself at home. When it comes to chlamydia testing kits Bexley https://www.bexleysexualhealth.org/home_sti_kits has a free, quick service, so get in touch to order one.
Nobody wants the complications that chlamydia can bring, so avoid it by practising safe sex, including sex toy hygiene. Disinfect the toy and use a condom on it every time you use it.