The STI Clinic News > Chlamydia
# Sunday, November 27, 2016
Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2016 | Categories: Chlamydia

According to a recent Public Health England report, chlamydia was the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection in 2015. Over the year, 200,288 diagnoses were made, accounting for almost half of all STI diagnoses in England. Despite being one of the most common STIs globally, chlamydia is also one of the easiest to treat – or at least, it is for now. In the past few years, we’ve heard about the emergence of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea. Now it looks as though chlamydia could be headed the same way.

Recent research has shown that chlamydia diagnoses are at an all-time high in the USA, having risen by 6% from 2014 to 2015. Professor David Gondek, an expert in sexually transmitted infections, has elaborated on this rise by explaining that many American STD clinics have faced under-funding and closure in recent years. He has also warned that "As antibiotic resistance continues to spread …our ability to control these diseases will falter".

The question is: just how susceptible is chlamydia to antibiotic resistance and how concerned should we be? To answer these queries, we need to first take a closer look at the specifics of this common sexually transmitted infection.

Facts & Misconceptions About Chlamydia

Chlamydia is spread through infected genital fluids (i.e. semen or vaginal fluid). You can catch it by having unprotected penetrative sex or by coming into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid. That means you can contract chlamydia through vaginal, anal or oral sex, as well as through sharing sex toys. It’s also possible to become infected through close (but not penetrative) sexual contact. You can even get chlamydia if infected fluids get into your eye. Therefore, the widespread belief that chlamydia can only be caught through penetrative sex is untrue.

Another common misconception surrounding chlamydia is that if it doesn’t cause symptoms, it doesn’t pose a risk to your health. It’s true that chlamydia can be symptomless – in fact, it tends to be symptomless in 70% of women and 50% of men. However, even when it is causing no symptoms, it can still lead to serious health complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease.

When chlamydia does cause symptoms, they include pain when urinating, unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or rectum, pain in the testicles, and – in women – pain in the abdomen and irregular bleeding. Unfortunately, many people who find themselves experiencing these symptoms will be reluctant to seek medical help. That’s not only because there’s still a stigma surrounding STIs, but because many people believe that testing and treatment is invasive and embarrassing.

The truth is that testing for chlamydia is quick and easy, and can even be done at home with a posted test kit. It normally only involves a swab or a urine sample. Once a chlamydia infection has been confirmed, treatment typically only involves one dose of azithromycin antibiotics.

Antibiotic Resistant Chlamydia

Currently, when it comes to global antibiotic resistance, gonorrhoea is what the STI doctors are focusing on. The problem is that the medical community is concerned about chlamydia’s potential to develop resistance to the two main antibiotics used to treat it: azithromycin and doxycycline.

In other words, caution surrounding chlamydia infection is tied up in trying to prevent antibiotic-resistant strains emerging. It’s not always easy to prevent this, but there are some things that can help:

  • Always practise safe sex by using condoms/dental dams when you aren’t 100% certain your partner is free from infection
  • Get regular STI tests if you might be at risk of infection
  • Get tested after unprotected sex even if you are experiencing no symptoms

  • Get tested as soon as you develop symptoms
  • Receive medical treatment as soon as you have been diagnosed
  • Ensure that you take all of your antibiotics

Many people believe that they can become resistant to antibiotics by taking too many. This is untrue; in fact, this practice actually contributes to antibiotic resistance. If you are prescribed treatment for chlamydia, you should make sure that you take all the recommended medication. This will ensure that the infection is eradicated and will prevent any "leftover" bacteria from developing a resistance to the antibiotic.

Learn more about chlamydia and send off for a home test kit from The STI Clinic here.

# Saturday, June 11, 2016
Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2016 | Categories: Chlamydia

Chlamydia: Facts for Men and Women

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections that can infect both sexes. The bad news is that chlamydia can cause serious problems for women, causing permanent damage to their reproductive system if left untreated, and can make it harder if not impossible for them to have children later.

Chlamydia can also be responsible for ectopic pregnancies – those which actually take place outside of the womb – with potentially fatal consequences. The good news however is that chlamydia is in fact actually very easy to cure, making it important to have regular checkups with a doctor if you are sexually active.


Chlamydia can be spread by having anal, oral or vaginal sex with somebody who already has the infection. Women can still be infected by a male partner during sexual activity even if ejaculation does not take place. People successfully treated for the infection can still catch the infection again, if they have unprotected sexual contact with someone currently infected. Pregnant women who become infected can pass the infection onto their child while they are giving birth, potentially resulting in pneumonia or eye infections. Premature births can also result from an infection. The best way to avoid health problems is to go for treatment and testing as soon as possible.

Risk factors

Chlamydia can be caught by anyone who has unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex. However, the group at most risk is sexually active younger people due to both biological factors and behaviours that are more common to the young. Bisexual and gay sex also pose a higher risk of infection due to the fact that the infection can be spread via both oral and anal sex. Sexually active women below the age of 25, older women with a new, or many different sex partners, or who have a sexual partner with a sexually transmitted disease, should have an annual test performed for chlamydia.

Have an open and honest discussion with your doctor as to whether you need to be tested for chlamydia or any other sexually transmitted infections, or visit an online medical service (such as this website) for advice. The only method to completely eliminate the risk of being infected with chlamydia is to avoid engaging in anal, oral or vaginal sex altogether, but those who are sexually active can still lower some of the risks by making use of latex condoms in the correct manner every time they engage in sex, and being in a long-term monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected.


The great majority of people who are infected with chlamydia do not suffer from any obvious symptoms. Any symptoms that do appear will not do so until several weeks after the infection took place. However, women who have no obvious symptoms can still have their reproductive system damaged by the infection.

Male symptoms include:

  • Penis discharge
  • Swelling and pain in testicles (rare)
  • Urination causing burning sensation

Female symptoms include:

  • Urination causing burning sensation
  • Abnormal discharge from vagina

A rectal infection can also take place in both men and women, either through anal sex or infection from another site on the body like the vagina. Symptoms that can result from this infection include:

  • Discharge
  • Pain in rectum
  • Bleeding

What to do

Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms needs to go undergo a medical examination by their GP or at an STI Clinic. An examination is also required if your partner is infected or has any symptoms of such an infection, such as a smelly discharge, bleeding unrelated to periods, an unusual sore or a burning sensation during urination.

Chlamydia can be diagnosed with laboratory tests, and a urine sample may be required. Alternatively a cotton swab may be provided in order to get a vaginal sample. With the right treatment chlamydia is entirely curable. It is vital that all of the prescribed medication given to you by your doctor is taken. Medication should never be shared, and when taken in the proper manner will not only stop the infection but also lower the chances of future complications. However, repeat infection is common so the test will need to be repeated after another three months. Sexual activity should not be undertaken again until after treatment has been completed.

# Sunday, April 21, 2013
Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2013 | Categories: Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection in the UK. Testing is free on the NHS for 16 – 24 year olds and some local health authorities provide a postal testing service. Going to your local GU or sexual health clinic is not the most ideal solution for most people so fortunately there are low cost private solutions available online.

While there are a large number of websites that now provide this sort of sexual health service, you need to make sure that you are dealing with a genuine healthcare company. Even if you do not wish to use The STI Clinic, make sure that you are selecting a service that has an accredited laboratory. Do not buy chlamydia testing kits that give you the result in your home after peeing on a stick as these are notoriously unreliable. A lab-based service is your best option as most labs will be using the latest detection technology. Using a service such as our gives you the additional comfort you are dealing with qualified healthcare professionals so you have access to treatment in the event of a positive result. We also provide a very fast results service with most results back in under 24 hours.

Chlamydia Test
Combination Test
Full STI Screen

If you wish to use your local GUM clinic then you will be able to find the service that you need here.

# Friday, July 27, 2012
Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 | Categories: Chlamydia

It is without a doubt that men and women do not understand the danger of leaving chlamydia untreated otherwise how can we explain the climbing rates of infection in the UK? Chlamydia can render women infertile so it is vital to get tested for this extremely common infection especially before trying to conceive. People are also not aware of the fact that 70% of women who are infected and 50% of men who are infected do not have symptoms, making Chlamydia a very dangerous infection. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause serious consequences.

Without treatment, Chlamydia remains in the body before infecting the fallopian tubes which can then cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). It is this disease that causes infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes. All fertility clinics will test a couple for chlamydia before they try to conceive however, it may be too late at this stage. Since the infection is symptomless in many cases, women and men are strongly advised to get tested each time they change partner.

Another infection which is often linked to reproductive problems is Ureaplasma. There is very little hard evidence proving how the infection affects our ability to conceive or how it affects the pregnancy itself however, in theory, if the infection is present in the male’s semen when the baby is conceived, it is thought that there is a greater risk of miscarriage later on in the pregnancy. Most private fertility clinics will test the male’s semen sample for this bacterium. If it is present, it can be cleared up with a short course of antibiotics.

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