CHLAMYDIA

Chlamydia, screening, STIs, STDs, sexually transmitted infections, unsafe sex

Often without symptoms, GET DETECTED!

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium chlamydia trachomatis.

Chlamydia remains the most common STI in Belgium with a steady increase in the number of diagnosed cases since 2013.

At present, the people most affected are those aged 15-34.

Contraception, prevention, protect, STI, screening, STD, sexually transmitted infection, unsafe sex

Transmission modes

Chlamydia is transmitted:

  • by exchange of biological fluids (semen, pre-ejaculatory fluid, vaginal secretions) in contact with genital, oral or anal genital, oral or anal mucosa* (inner vulva, vagina, glans (inner part of the vulva, vagina, glans, anus, throat). Transmission of chlamydia is even more frequent during contact (direct AND indirect) contact between mucous membranes (sexual caresses, exchange of sex toys, etc.)
  • during delivery (from mother to child).

Want to know if you're at risk of chlamydia? Check out the risk chart !

Mucous membranes: very thin and highly vascularised walls present in the orifices (vagina, anus, nose, throat, ear, eye) and around the glans.

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Symptoms

Chlamydia infection is usually asymptomatic. If it is not, symptoms usually appear 1 to 3 weeks after infection :

  • Unusual vaginal discharge, pain in the lower abdomen and irritation of the vulva
  • Unusual discharge from the penis and irritation of the penis
  • Pain with the sensation of urinating razor blades and possible bleeding
  • Throat and anal pain (often with discharge)
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Consequences if undetected and untreated

If chlamydia is not detected and treated in time, complications can arise:

  • An infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes
  • Genital or anal infection and urinary disorders that can cause infertility

The lymphogranulomatosis venereum (LGV) is an infection caused by a bacterium of the chlamydia family. It most often appears as rectitis (inflammation of the rectum) in men who have sex with men.

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Screening

The chlamydia screening is carried out:

  • Via a vaginal, anal and throat smear
  • Via a 'first pass' urine test

Visit a general practitioner, gynaecologist, urologist, proctologist or ENT specialist.

Your partners should also be screened and treated!

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Treatment

Chlamydia is treated with appropriate antibiotics.

There is nothing to stop chlamydia coming back once it has been treated and cured! So remember to get your partner treated and protect yourself when you have sex.

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Protection

To protect yourself from chlamydia, you should use a condom (internal or external) or a latex condom.

Condoms reduce the risk of exposure but do not offer complete protection as chlamydia can be transmitted through sexual touching and oral sex.

Chlamydia often has no symptoms, so protect yourself and your partner after taking a risk!

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Toothless, condom, latex, contraception, prevention, protect, STI, screening, STD, sexually transmitted infection, unsafe sex
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Recommendation

Note that only 2 gonorrhea/chlamydia screenings are reimbursed per year." where most relevant.

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