Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). In Western Australia women and men under 25 have the highest rates of chlamydia. Because people often don't have symptoms, it can be very hard to know if you've got it or not.

Signs and symptoms

Most girls and guys don't notice any signs at all.

Some girls may notice
A burning sensation when passing urine, an unusual vaginal discharge and pain in the lower belly.

Some guys may notice
Whitish or yellow discharge from the penis, burning or pain when passing urine and irritation or soreness around the urethra (opening of the penis).

Risk factors

Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. That is, sex without a condom.

What can happen?

If chlamydia is left untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in females and infertility in males. PID is when the infection spreads into a woman's reproductive organs and may cause infertility (which means you can't have a baby).

Treatment

Treatment is a simple course of antibiotics. Your doctor will ask about your sex partners because they could also have chlamydia. This is called contact tracing.

Prevention

  • Always use condoms or dams with water-based lubricant.
  • Before you have sex, talk with your partner about the importance of safe sex.
  • Be open with your partner and make sure you or they don't have any other sex partners.
  • Limit your sex partners.
  • Get regular STI tests.

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