Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK, with one-in-37 sexually active women under the age of 25 having been infected in the last year. Beauty, brains, great looks or great conversation do not make a person immune from the infection, which can effect young women’s chances of being able to have a baby. It can also be painful, embarrassing and, in extreme cases, have a negative impact on male fertility too.
In many cases you will not even see symptoms of chlamydia, but you can be sure it is there, working away and causing damage as well as spreading itself through your sexual contacts. Chlamydia doesn’t care if you are selective in your sexual partners or are just happy to sleep with anyone and everyone. ‘Slut’ or virgin, ‘stud’ or angel, you can contract chlamydia through unprotected sexual contact with someone else who is carrying the infection.
You may think you are clean, careful and have a good reputation. But that image can all change when you have to call sexual partners to warn them that you have contracted chlamydia. Weigh up the embarrassment of having to make that call against the potential embarrassment of buying some condoms from the local chemist or have your mates discover a packet in your bag. There simply is no contest.
The good news about chlamydia is that is easy to treat, but by that point the long-term fertility problems linked with the infection may have already begun. Getting diarrhoea or feeling sick are common side-effects of the antibiotics you have to take to cure your chlamydia, but that sick feeling may be nothing compared to the sick feeling you will get having to tell a future partner, husband or wife that you can’t have children with them because of a mistake you made when you were younger.
And remember, guys, no lad wants to be known as ‘Jaffa’ by his mates as he contracted epididymitis as a complication of chlamydia and he is now firing blanks.
Stay safe. Always use a condom.
Dominika Rejmer – Director and founder, The raTrust.