Chlamydia trachomatis

This is a bacterial infection that is passed from one person to another during oral, anal or vaginal sex. It cannot be transmitted through using the same toilet as someone who is infected.  It is one of the most common SAIs. A large percentage of people do not have symptoms.

 

In men it may affect the urethra, causing discharge from the penis, burning and itching around the genital area, and pain when passing urine (dysuria). If the rectum is infected, there might be no symptoms but there you can experience rectal pain, bleeding, or constipation.

 

In females, Chlamydia is typically asymptomatic. However lack of symptoms does not necessarily mean that you are not infected. If symptoms are present, there may be abnormal vaginal discharge, bleeding in between periods, painful urination, as well as pain in the lower abdomen. If the disease is left untreated, it will spread cause pelvic inflammatory disease; increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies and infertility. If the rectum is infected, there might be no symptoms but there can also be rectal pain, bleeding, or constipation.

 

To confirm the presence of Chlamydia, the doctor takes a swab from the cervix for females or else takes a sample of first void urine for both males and females. The appropriate antibiotics are given as treatment. Although Chlamydia can be treated by your GP, anyone with Chlamydia should be referred on to the GU clinic for a full screen in case there are other SAIs.

 

Symptomatic men who have been infected with Chlamydia should inform sexual partners in the last month, whereas asymptomatic males and all females should inform partners of 6 months or there last partner if longer.

 

Pregnant women should be screened for Chlamydia and treated with antibiotics if they are infected. This is because Chlamydia can be transmitted to the baby during the delivery. If this happens, there is a high risk that the baby will develop conjunctivitis, which will need to be treated with antibiotics.