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What is Chlamydia?

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What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and is caused by bacteria. Symptoms of it can be very similar to other STDs and it is reported that around 50% of people will not display symptoms at all. Hence, the importance of being safe where possible and getting tested periodically.

What is Chlamydia? - MedConsult Clinic 2022

How is it spread?

Chlamydia is most commonly spread through sex without protection, such as a condom. It can be passed through oral, vaginal or anal sex and even touching of the genitals without penetration. You can become infected with chlamydia on your genitals, throat (oral), the rectum or the eyes.

If you have recovered from chlamydia infection after undergoing treatment, you can still just as easily contract it again from a partner who is still carrying the infection. It is much less common, but chlamydia infection can also occur in the eyes if you manage to have oral or genital contact with the eyes from someone carrying the bacteria. Lastly, a mother who is injected with chlamydia can pass the infection to their newborn which is why most prenatal testing includes testing for chlamydia.  

How do I know if I have it?

More than 50% of people do not show any symptoms when they have chlamydia and it is also less common for men to display any symptoms. It is also widely accepted that women are twice as likely as men to catch chlamydia and it can take up to a 2 weeks to show any symptoms, if at all.

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The most common symptoms for men:

  • Pain in lower stomach or aching of the testicles
  • Yellow or green discharge
  • Burning when urinating
  • Sore throat, cough and fever can be indications of oral chlamydia

The most common symptoms for women:

  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning when urinating
  • Pain in the lower stomach
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods, nausea, fever and pelvic pain can indicate the infection has spread to the fallopian tubes which may cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  • Sore throat, cough and fever can be indications of oral chlamydia

What is the test and treatment like?

The test for chlamydia consists of a vaginal swab for women and a urine test for men. If testing for chlamydia in the rectum or throat, these places may be swabbed as well. These are tested by a lab and the results are available in a few days to let you know if you are positive or negative.

After testing positive for chlamydia, you will be glad to know the treatment is just as simple as the test. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to cure the bacterial infection. This is usually in the form of azithromycin, taken once, and will take up to 2 weeks to clear up during which time you should avoid sex. If you have sex during this period, despite symptoms clearing, you can still transmit the STD and pass it to your partner and back to yourself.

What if I leave it untreated?

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Even if chlamydia is asymptomatic, if left untreated it can cause complications for both men and women. For women, PID is a major complication if chlamydia is left untreated and permanent scarring of the fallopian tubes can possibly lead to infertility. Passing chlamydia to a newborn can also cause eye infections and pneumonia.

Come get tested

If you are reading this and you feel you have some of the symptons, or you just feel you need to make sure after an unprotected encounter. Come to MedConsult Clinic and get a test. It’s quick, easy, painless, Confidential and will give you the peace of mind you need. We can provide a whole host of Sexual Health test screenings and you can see the full list here.

MedConsult Clinic

Dr Donna Robinson founded MedConsult Clinic in 2003 to offer high-quality, affordable medical care in Bangkok. With over 35 years of experience, she oversees a team of medical practitioners and nurses who provide healthcare services in English, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Burmese, and other languages. Dr Donna herself is fully bilingual in English and Thai and holds UK and Thai medical licenses.

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