With fun times ahead as the festival and holiday season approaches, NHS Choices has compiled the following advice to help avoid catching Chlamydia this summer.
Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK, affecting both men and women. Most people who have it will have no symptoms and without a test you will probably not know anything is wrong. If you or your sexual partner are left untreated it can cause infertility (not being able to have children) and long term pelvic pain. If you are sexually active and under 25 you should be tested for chlamydia annually. Around 65% (80,258) of all new chlamydia diagnoses made in recent years were in people aged between 16 and 24 years old.
The chlamydia infection can be easily diagnosed through a simple swab or urine test. Once diagnosed, it can be treated with antibiotics. Undiagnosed chlamydia can lead to more serious long-term health problems and infertility.
Chlamydia Prevention Tips
- use condoms every time you have sex. This can reduce your risk of getting or passing on chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV.
- if you have oral sex, cover the penis with a condom or the female genitals with a latex or polyurethane (plastic) square (dam).
- if you are not sure how to use condoms correctly, there are normally instructions in the packet.
- each time you have a new sexual partner, both of you should get a chlamydia test.
- have a chlamydia test every year while you are under 25.
- avoid sharing sex toys. If you do share sex toys, wash them or cover them with a new condom before anyone else uses them.
- If you do have chlamydia remember to also:
- take all the tablets you are given.
- tell your partner(s) and advise them to be tested and treated. You can get a free, confidential chlamydia test at your local GP or contact a local GUM (genitourinary medicine) or sexual health clinic to arrange a test.
For more information on Chlamydia symptoms, please visit the Chlamydia section of the NHS Choices website.