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What to do if you have chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK. Even if you’ve never had it yourself, you’ll probably know someone who has. Catching an STD of any kind can bring all kinds of emotions, from embarrassment to annoyance to worry. With this in mind, it’s important that you know what to do if you catch chlamydia, this blog will help.

Get tested to be sure

The first and most important thing to do is to get tested if you think you have chlamydia. Even if you have symptoms or one of your previous sexual partners has told you that they’ve caught chlamydia it’s still better to know what STD you may have by getting tested. This is important for a number of reasons: –

  • You’ll want to know for definite which STD you have and the only way to know that is by getting tested.
  • Symptoms of STDs can be similar and without getting tested you don’t know for certain which ones you have. You might even have multiple STDs.
  • If you don’t have an STD then taking antibiotics can have an adverse effect on your long term ability to fight off infection.
  • One antibiotic doesn’t treat all STD’s, treatment is tailored to the infection that you have
  • You may have no symptoms at all but still have a STD

I definitely have chlamydia, now what do I do…

Get treatment

If you’ve been tested and it’s confirmed that you have chlamydia, the first thing you’ll want to do is visit a GP to get medication. Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics, the two most common being Azithromycin and Doxycycline. Azithromycin will usually consist of 2 or 4 tablets taken in one dose, whilst Doxycycline is a week long course of two tablets taken daily. Azithromycin is usually  the first line of treatment.

Abstain from sex until two weeks after treatment

This is really important and as difficult as it might be, you’ll want to abstain from sex until at least two weeks after your medication has finished and you have been retested, with confirmation all is clear. Even if you don’t have symptoms the bacteria doesn’t completely leave your system until two weeks has passed. You’ll likely be cured following your medication, but you can still pass it on during sex and if you have sex with that person again in the future you’ll likely end up with chlamydia again.

Remember to retest

We recommend taking another chlamydia test once you or both you and your partner have been treated. This is the only certain way to know that the STD has left your system and won’t be rearing its ugly head again soon.

Tell your sexual partners (if you can)

That leads nicely to our last point… If you find out you have chlamydia, then it’s important that you tell any past or current sexual partners that you’re likely to have passed the STD on to. This will minimise the spread where possible. This is important as it not only protects their health, but it will protect the health of others too.

Chlamydia can cause a number of long term health complications for both men and women and telling them in a timely fashion will help them avoid health issues in the future. Although it can be awkward to discuss it, we often find it’s more awkward if the person finds out they’ve caught chlamydia from you of their own accord. It is your responsibility to inform partners.