Chlamydia – testing, testing...
Chlamydia is the UK's most common sexually transmitted disease, with one out of every 14 young people directly affected by it every year. Unlike other STIs, Chlamydia is easy to pass on or pick up unwittingly because it's often impossible to tell if you or your sexual partner has been infected. The disease has no noticeable symptoms in the early stages.
However, just because the symptoms aren't there, don’t be fooled into thinking that this isn't a serious disease. If left untreated, Chlamydia can have serious long-term health implications for men and women. So let's take a closer look at this disease, and why it's important to take back control of your sexual health by getting tested regularly.
How is Chlamydia transmitted?
Like all other STIs, Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact with an infected partner. That includes both penetrative and oral sex. It can also be transmitted from a mother to her child during birth, and very rarely by touching the eyes after touching the genitals.
Whereas with other types of STIs there are clear indications that warn you of an infection, Chlamydia has very few noticeable symptoms early on. But you can look out for some warning signs:
- Pain during sex
- Bleeding after sex that isn't associated with your normal monthly cycle
- An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge
- Pain or a burning sensation when urinating
- Painful swelling of the testicles
- Discharge from the penis
Is it easy to treat?
Chlamydia is easily treated with a course of antibiotics, and the earlier the condition is detected, the easier it is to treat. Left untreated it can cause some very serious health complications including infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease in women and Epididymitis in men. While these are not life-threatening, they do cause considerable pain and discomfort.
But I'm embarrassed to go to the doctor to get tested...
'Embarrassment' is right up there with ignorance as one of the biggest causes of the spread of STIs! But fortunately, you don't have to go to the doctor to keep an eye on your sexual health - and it won’t cost you anything either.
The freetest.me chlamydia test is a special NHS-approved kit that's available free to under-25s who are sexually active. This test can be done at home, so there's no embarrassing visits to your local sexual health clinic or GP. It's quick and easy - all you have to do is supply a urine sample or a vaginal swab, which you then send back to the laboratory in the return box. Your results will be sent through to you either by text message, email or you can track your test online.
The testing kit comes in discrete packaging, and contains everything you need to do your own Chlamydia test in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
When should I get tested?
It's advisable to test yourself for Chlamydia every time you change sexual partners. Remember - you can't tell if someone has Chlamydia just by 'looking' at them - 75% of women and 50% of men don't show any symptoms even if they are infected.
STIs are one of the biggest problems amongst young people today, so take back control over your sexual health by finding out if you're eligible for a free freetest.me chlamydia testing test pack online now (or see if you can collect a free Chlamydia test locally).