What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. You can catch it by having unprotected sex with someone who already has it. It is often asymptomatic, which means that you can be infected without having any visible symptoms, but it can cause complications in both men and women. Chlamydia is easy to test for and it is treated with antibiotics.
Chlamydia can infect a few different areas on your body, including your genitals, your anus, and your mouth and throat. You can also get conjunctivitis (pink-eye) if you rub fluids that contain the bacteria in your eye.
Chlamydia is a very common condition. In fact, it’s the most commonly diagnosed STI in the UK, with over 200,000 patients testing positive every year. Young people are particularly at risk, which is why annual screening is recommended for anyone who is sexually active and is under the age of 25.
However, chlamydia can affect people of all ages and a recent report by the Health Protection Agency showed that the number of people over 50 who are diagnosed with an STI like chlamydia has doubled in the past ten years.
If you have had unprotected sex with someone who may have chlamydia you need to get tested.
Chlamydia can cause long-term complications that, if left untreated, can lead to severe problems such as infertility in women. We’ll talk about the complications of chlamydia further down this page.
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