What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most common bacteria sexually transmitted infection in the UK. At least one in fourteen sexually active people under the age of 25 will have chlamydia – and you may not even know you have it because most people do not have any symptoms.
If left untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility (being unable to have children). The risk is increased if you get chlamydia again and again. If you do get symptoms these may show up one to three weeks after coming into contact with chlamydia, many months later or not until the infection spreads to other parts of your body.
How do I get it? – It’s a sexually transmitted infection, so through sexual contact, including:
- Vaginal sex
- Anal sex
- Oral sex (yes really)
- Sharing sex toys (you should use condoms on these to keep them clear of infection)
In fact any sexual contact where sexual fluids are passed from one person to another, including touching each-others genitals (penis or vagina).
Using a condom seriously reduces the risk of catching an STI – COVER UP!
How common is it? Very. In fact it is the most common STI in the country and in here in the North East too. You are much more likely to have Chlamydia if you are under 25.
What will it feel like if I have it? A lot of people have no symptoms at all. No symptoms means you don’t know you have it. This is why we ask all young people to test at least once a year or every time they have a new sexual partner.
I’m worried I might have it: DON’T PANIC…A simple test will tell us if you have either infection. We can refer you to a G.P. Pharmacy or Sexual Health Clinic where you can pick up a testing kit, or we can post one out to you in a plain brown envelope. If you are really worried you can call us during the week between 9.00am and 4.30pm on 0191 4146446 ext 3223 to talk through your worries or contact us via Facebook or Twitter
What if I have it? We’ll contact you to let you know, the way you asked us to get in touch, text, letter or call. Our health advisor will let you know how to pick up your treatment or get into a clinic for your medication. These infections can be cured.
Who will you tell? Nobody. It doesn’t even go on your G.P. notes. We take confidentiality VERY seriously. Your details will never be passed on unless we think somebody is at serious risk of harm or sexual abuse.
My test results came back – Am I clear of STI’s. Not necessarily. There are dozens of STI’s out there. We have tested you for 2 of the most common ones only. Also if you did not wait at least 10 days from your last unprotected sex before taking the test we may not pick up the infection in your sample.
If you are worried about please see out contact us tab for the numbers of our friendly, confidential and free sexual health services that can give you a full screen.