Chlamiydia

The most frequently reported STI in Australia

Cause

Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis and can infect both males and females. It is transferred through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with another person who is infected. If a person has had chlamydia in the past and has been treated, they can get infected again. It can also be transferred during birth from a mother to her child. If you are female or under the age of 25, you have a higher risk of being infected.
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Symptoms

Most people won't display symptoms- 50% of men and 70-80% of women, and so it is important to be tested.


Males
  • a discharge from their penis
  • discomfort when urinating
  • sore or swollen testicles


Females

  • discomfort when urinating
  • abnormal bleeding
  • lower abdominal pain

Diagnosis

Diagnosis for chlamydia is easy and involves going to the doctor for a swab or urine test with the results then being sent to a laboratory for testing to determine if you have the infection. If a person is diagnosed with chlamydia then their partner needs to be tested as well.

Treatment

Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics, often just a single dose, and this can prevent complications in the future. For men, chlamydia rarely has serious implications however for women, it can mean that they cannot have a baby due to damage to their reproductive system.

Incidence in Australia

In 2011, it was the most frequently reported condition with 79, 833 cases of chlamydia in people aged over 15 years, that is 435 cases per 100 000 people. This can be compared to in 2001 when there were only 130 cases per 100 000 people.

People aged between 15-29 years accounted for 82% of reported cases in 2011 and more women were diagnosed.

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Support Services

  • GP can guide you through the process and offer treatment
  • a counsellor can help with the shock and in your relationship if it impacts your partner
  • a wide range of support groups you can attend