Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs in the UK, particularly amongst people under the age of 25. One of the reasons for its rapid spread is the fact that it often presents no symptoms, especially in women. The only way to confirm whether or not you are infected is to have a urine or swab test analysed by a health professional.
If it is left untreated it can lead to serious health problems and cause permanent damage such as infertility. However, a simple course of antibiotics is usually enough to cure most people of the infection.
The infection itself is caused by a bacterium called chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria can be found in both semen and vaginal fluid, meaning that it can be spread through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. It can also spread through sharing sex toys as it is present in even trace amounts of fluids.
Of the people who contract the infection, 50% of men and 75% of women will not present any symptoms at all, so it's important not to rely on this to ensure you are not infected. However, some symptoms include pain during urination and unusual discharge or bleeding from the vagina, penis or anus. The symptoms can often be confused with other less serious conditions as the symptoms may disappear, but that does not mean the infection is cured.
If it is identified in its early stages, most cases of chlamydia can be easily treated with no further complications. However, if left untreated it can cause serious health problems. For women, if untreated it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which causes inflammation of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes and can cause scarring, infertility and a propensity to other infections.
In men, untreated chlamydia can lead to inflammation of the testicles and a decrease in male fertility, as they may no longer be able to produce sperm.
There are two types of antibiotic that are used to cure Chlamydia, prescribed at different stages. Doxycycline is the first line treatment with a 100 mg tablet taken twice daily for seven days.
Azithromycin is a second line treatment with a single 1 g dose followed by a 500 mg tablet taken once daily for two days.
Both treatments are available to buy online at 121doc. In order to ensure the medication is safe and effective for you to use, you will be required to complete a free and confidential online consultation. You will then be issued a prescription so that the pharmacy can dispense your order for free next day delivery and your medication could be with you within 24 hours.
Our sexual health blog posts will give you lots more information on STI's and other general health issues in an easy to understand format.