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 Chlamydia is a common bacterial infection spread through sexual contact

What symptoms should I look out for?

Most people don't experience any symptoms and feel absolutely fine, thats why regular testing is important. Symptoms can appear weeks, months or even years after infection and can include:

• Abnormal vaginal discharge (yellowish or strange smelling)
• Pain or burning when urinating
• Bleeding between periods
• Pelvic/lower tummy pain
• Pain during or after sexual intercourse

How is it spread?

• It is spread through sexual contact with an infected person including vaginal, anal and oral sex.
• The infection is carried in vaginal fluid and semen or pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) and can be spread even if ejaculation does not occur.
• It can also be spread to a newborn during child birth if the mother is infected.
• Chlamydia can infect the vagina, penis, anus and less commonly the eyes and throat. It cannot be spread through casual contact such as kissing. hugging, sharing food and drinks, coughing or sneezing.

How do I prevent it?

• The only full proof way of preventing chlamydia is abstaining from sex. Realistically, many aren’t doing that and so..
• A close second - condoms condoms condoms! They provide a very effective way of preventing STDs. Remember girls, protect yourself even if he says he doesn't like condoms tell him 'no glove, no love!' Learn more about condoms here.
• Dental dams are also a very effective way of preventing STDs when engaging in oral sex.
• Finally, regular testing is extremely important in maintaining sexual health. You should aim to get tested at least once a year or every time you change sexual partner.

How is it treated?

• Chlamydia is usually quite easy to treat and can be cleared up with a course of antibiotics
• Sometimes a single tablet (antibiotic) is used or another antibiotic which is taken for 7 days.
• It is important for your partner to get treated as well!
• If left untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes which can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, pain and infertility.

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