Risk of Carrying Chlamydia

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If you have any type of unprotected sex, you are at risk of catching this infection. This means unless you have used a condom correctly every time you have had intercourse or any kind of sexual contact such as oral sex you may have Chlamydia.

The NHS recommends if you are fewer than 25 years old and/or getting together with a new sexually active partner you should take a test for Chlamydia. Your new regular partner or even a regular partner you may have been having a relationship with over many months, may unknowingly have caught Chlamydia years earlier and unwittingly passed the infection to you. Chlamydia is transferred like any other infection, by close contact between infected areas. Chlamydia is called a sexually transmitted infection because sexual intercourse transfers the infection from infected sexual areas between partners i.e. from penis to vagina. However, Chlamydia can even be caught from fingers or objects that have been in contact with infected sexual areas. Babies can also catch the infection from the mother’s vagina during birth if she has Chlamydia.

Diagnosing Chlamydia

You don’t! The reason that you may not know that you have Chlamydia is that in most cases there are no symptoms, it is a silent infection or asymptomatic infection. This may make having an infection like Chlamydia sound unimportant because if you have no symptoms why do you need to be treated? Simply, you need to be treated because Chlamydia can cause other diseases or complications that are difficult to diagnose and cause infertility. It may also allow other infections entry to your sexual reproductive system.

Chlamydia is motile bacteria this means it does not just cause infection at the site of infection it can spread by moving to other areas of the body causing symptoms in these areas.  These infections at other areas may go undetected and treated, causing complications many weeks, months or even years after the initial Chlamydia infection.  

Symptoms only appear in around 20-30% of women and 50% of men regardless of the severity or duration of the infection. So do not think that you will develop symptoms if the infection becomes severe or if you may have had it a while. Symptoms do not increase if the infection becomes severe or increase if the infection is long term.

You may be lucky and experience symptoms that are very mild and are apparent from the initial onset of infection. That is from 1 to 3 weeks after infection, the symptoms that you may experience may cause you some discomfort, however you will have the advantage of knowing that you have an infection and the option of curing the infection before passing it on or developing complications. 

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