What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs); particularly in sexually active teenagers and young adults.
It is passed on via unprotected sex (not using a condom) and if you’re under 25, live in England, and are sexually active, it is recommended that you get tested every year or when you change sexual partner – even if you do not have any symptoms.
What are the symptoms of Chalmydia?
Chlamydia can often not show any symptoms and you may not know that you have it.
Symptoms of chlamydia include:
- Pain when urinating
- Discharge from the vagina, penis or back passage
- In women: stomach pain, bleeding after sex or bleeding between periods
- In men: pain and swelling in the testicles
If you are experiencing any symptoms then it is always recommended to visit your GP, a community contraceptive service or nearest genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic and get tested.
What causes Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection spread through sexual intercourse or contact with infected genital fluids such as semen or vaginal fluid.
It can be spread a number of ways:
- Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex
- Sharing sex toys that aren’t washed or covered with a new condom before each use
- Infected genital fluid getting into your eye
- Genitals coming into contact with a partner’s genitals – this means it can spread even without penetration, orgasm or ejaculation
It can also be passed on by a pregnant woman to her baby – please see NHS website for more information
How does it work?
Azithromycin is an antibiotic used in the treatment of Chlamydia. It works by stopping the bacteria from producing proteins essential for growth and reproduction; thus killing the cells and preventing the infection from spreading.
How is it taken?
The treatment for chlamydia is two tablets of azithromycin 500mg taken together as a single dose. They are taken whole (do not chew or crunch) and with plenty of water. It is essential to take the complete 1g dose for effective treatment of the disease, so the tablets can be taken one after the other.
It can take up to 7 days for the azithromycin to work fully. For this reason you should abstain from any sexual activity for 7 days after taking the treatment. All symptoms should have cleared by this point and this will prevent any reinfection or spread of the disease.
Side effects of azithromycin
Like all medicines, azithromycin can cause side effects. Not everybody will experience these side effects and if they do occur, they are usually mild to moderate in nature.
Common side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
Do not take azithromycin if you are taking the following medication:
For further information about azithromycin please visit: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.3034.pdf
Disclaimer: Responses and results from treatment may vary between individuals. Please consult a doctor if you have any concerns