Loads of you are leaving comments on the Embarrassing Bodies site about chlamydia. The first question: ‘what symptoms does chlamydia cause?’ And the answer’s easy—none. A lot of the time, you won’t know you have it. You can carry it, you can walk around with chlamydia and it won’t cause any problems at all, until later on. When it does cause symptoms, in men, it can give you some discomfort, some burning, some stinging when you pee. It can make you feel like you need to pee more often, and it can give you a discharge from the end of your penis, either clear or a sort of pussy yellow colour. If you’ve got that, you need to go see a doctor, quickly.
If you’re a woman, again, very very commonly no symptoms at all, and that’s the main problem with chlamydia. But when you do get them, and it causes them in about 40, 50% of women, it can again give you discomfort when you pee, it can give you some discharge and bad smells. It can also give you cysts, it can give you some pain during sex, and it can give you some irregular periods or bleeding in between your periods. Any of those symptoms, you should be checked out.
Another question we’re getting asked is ‘what happens if I don’t treat chlamydia, is that bad?’ Well, that is the million dollar question, and it’s the reason we doctors get so worried about chlamydia in the first place. If you’re a woman, and you have untreated chlamydia for a while—for a year or more—it can lead toward a problem called pelvic inflammatory disease, and this is where the reproductive organs, the tubes, get scarred up and blocked. And that can lead to infertility, it can lead to chronic pelvic pain, particularly pain during sex, it can lead to irregular periods and bleeding in between your periods, it can lead to ectopic pregnancy, which is when the pregnancy occurs outside of the womb…and that can be life-threatening. So, if in doubt, even if you have no symptoms at all, you should get checked for chlamydia.
Another really common question that a lot of you have asked me is ‘can you get chlamydia in your mouth, can you get it from oral sex?’ That one’s easy. Yes, absolutely you can. If you have unprotected oral sex, you can carry chlamydia in your throat and give it to someone else, if you’re receiving oral sex from somebody with chlamydia in their throat, they can also give you chlamydia.
Another question here is ‘if you get treated for chlamydia, will it definitely go away? Can you relax or can it come back?’ Well…if you take the tablets exactly as instructed by your doctor, without indigestion remedies, without too much food and you don’t vomit quickly afterwards, then yes, most cases it will absolutely treat your chlamydia successfully. If there’s any sort of doubt, then go back and talk to the doctor that gave them to you.
We keep advising you to go and see a sexual health clinic if you’re worried about any of these infections. But, it seems a lot of you are stressing about whether they’re actually confidential or not. Well, absolutely, yes they are. When you go along, you don’t have to give your real name if you don’t want to, or you don’t even have to give a name at all. Very often, clinics will just give you a code number that will represent you and tie up your results with who you are. So it’s as simple as that, they can be completely anonymous, so you don’t need to worry.
Doctor Responses: Chlamydia
Dr Christian answers your most frequently asked questions about Chlamydia such as: What are the symptoms? Can you get Chlamydia in the mouth? Are STI clinics confidential?
A free online Chlamydia postal test for people aged under-25 is available in most areas. Go to www.freetest.me. for more details.
With thanks to the Baker Street Medical Centre
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