Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. It is one of the most common STIs and may not have any symptoms.
What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia enters your body through tiny breaks in the delicate surfaces (mucous membranes) just inside your body, allowing it to set up inside you. Sometimes these tiny breaks are caused by the friction of sex. The bacterium that causes chlamydia doesn’t survive well outside the body, so it needs close contact between people to go from one person to another. But where you’re having close contact with another person, the chlamydia bacterium is really good at getting into your body.
In fact, anything from kissing and fingering to oral, anal, and vaginal sex can let the chlamydia bacterium in.
What are the symptoms of chlamydia?
The symptoms of chlamydia can show up differently, depending on what genitals you have. It can show up in other parts of your body, too. And sometimes, chlamydia can have no symptoms at all.
For those with a penis, you may notice the following:
- Discharge from the penis or rectum
- Redness around the opening of the penis
- Discomfort when passing urine
- Swollen and sore testicles.
For those with a vagina, you may notice the following:
- Unfamiliar vaginal discharge and/or bleeding
- Discharge from the rectum
- Lower abdominal pain.
How soon after sex should I test for chlamydia?
The window period for chlamydia is 7 to 14 days. This is the time between coming into contact with chlamydia and when the test is able to detect it.
If a sexual partner has let you know that you may have come into contact with chlamydia, or if you have symptoms that sound similar to chlamydia, don’t freak out. But it is a good idea to see a doctor, as they might decide to give you medicine straight away. If you live in Brisbane, our RAPID clinic can test for chlamydia. A great list of doctors to go to can be found here, or you can visit your local sexual health clinic.
How often should I test for chlamydia?
Usually, testing every 3 to 12 months is appropriate, depending on how much sex you’re having. A good general rule is to test closer to every 3 months the more active you are.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that can affect both men and women. Syphilis is transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact and is highly contagious when the syphilis sore (chancre) or rash is present.
Hepatitis C is a bloodborne virus that causes inflammation of the liver. This virus is present in the blood of a person living with hepatitis C and can be spread through blood-to-blood contact. The current treatment can cure hepatitis C in more than 90% of people.
Gonorrhoea is a common bacterial STI, and doesn’t always have symptoms. It can affect anyone, regardless of gender, who has any kind of unprotected sex (without condoms) with someone who has the infection. It can be treated with antibiotics.
HPV & Related Cancers
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, but research indicates that types 16 and 18 cause 70% of cervical cancers and over 80% of anal cancers worldwide.
Our trained team is here to help you should you have any questions or need support. You can contact QPP toll free from a Queensland land-line on 1800 636 241 or (07) 3013 5555 nationally, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact us form.