Chlamydia is a rising star, especially among young women. Important to know: It is also the secret killer of your future children.
The most common symptom?
A text message from your ex.
50% of men and even 70% of women who have Chlamydia don't show symptoms. That is why many people unknowingly infect their partners. The most common symptom you experience? A text message from an ex, who claims he or she got it from you or gave it to you.
If you do develop symptoms, these usually show 1-3 weeks after you contracted Chlamydia. Typical symptoms include:
In case you experience symptoms, we do recommend seeing a doctor.
Untreated Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are the most common causes of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It may ultimately lead to chronic pain or infertility. In fact, Chlamydia is the leading cause for infertility in women in many European countries. As the symptoms of PID can be mild, you may not be aware of having it until the damage is done and unfortunately, infertility caused by Chlamydia turned PID is generally not reversible. The easiest solution to avoid such severe health consequences is to make it a habit to get tested regularly. As long as Chlamydia infections are caught in time, they can be treated easily and long-term damage through PID can be avoided.
If you have a PID and it is not treated in time, it may cause the fertilized egg to nest outside of the womb. This is also called an (ectopic pregnancy). Such a pregnancy is not viable and needs to be terminated through medication or surgery.
When you have a regular pregnancy, the gynaecologist usually tests you for Chlamydia, as Chlamydia can cause a premature birth. Chlamydia may also be passed on to the baby, leading to e.g. pneumonia or an eye infection.
Men do not always suffer long term effects, but you remain contagious to your sex partners. The most common longer term effect is inflammation of the testicles. This can lead to Reactive Arthritis and even infertility.
Sources: NHS, Mayo Clinic
Who gets it?
Trends & Risikogruppen
For Germany, there are no country-wide statistics about the prevalence of Chlamydia, sind the registration of infections is not mandatory in all states. Generally speaking, the number of infections have more than doubled in the past 5 years 📈.
Chlamydia is most often diagnosed in young, sexually active people. Sexual preference (homo- or heterosexual etc.) does not seem to make a big difference. In countries with better statistics about STDs, about 60% of "victims" are female and about 40% male. Also, Chlamydia occurs more frequently in cities than in the countryside. Generally, especially young men and women between age 16 and age 24 get infected particularly frequently. Studies have shown, that up to 20% of women between 20 and 24 have a Chlamydia infection. That means, for this age group, it is particularly important to get tested.
Using a condom reduces your risk of contracting Chlamydia by about 80%. However, it is not a gurantee not to get infected.
As we already mentioned, in Germany, there is no good statistical data available about STDs. That is why we have used the data of a comparable neighbouring country, Switzerland. Based on this data and a few questions about your age, gender and sexual preference, we can tell you which STDs you are at risk for and which test you should take.
Are you at increased risk for Chlamydia? Find out with our free Test Advisor.
Sources: Federal Office of Public Health (BAG), publicly available research
Oral and anal sex
Can you get Chlamydia from oral or anal sex? Yes. Chlamydia can be transferred with oral or anal contact. So unless missionary is your one and only position, you may have run more risks than you were aware of.
The mouth, throat and anus can't just transfer Chlamydia: you can also be infected there. And even in your eyes (!). In your mouth and throat you do not usually experience symptoms. Chlamydia in your anus can cause discomfort and irregular discharge. In your eyes you can experience redness, pain and discharge.
Diagnosis and treatment
The only way to diagnose Chlamydia is by getting tested. A doctor may decide to prescribe you a treatment without even testing, if:
- You have been warned by an (ex-)partner, who was diagnosed with Chlamydia
- You show symptoms
This is a very pragmatic approach and it is at the discretion of a doctor to decide so. If you want to avoid the unnecessary intake of antibiotics, it is worth asking the doctor to test you as well.
If you do show symptoms, but you haven't yet been to a doctor, take action immediately and order a lab test. Usually our lab reports are available 3 working days after you have returned your sample to us. In case of a positive test (this means: Chlamydia was found), discuss your lab report with a doctor. Our lab reports are written in 4 languages, so you can bring them to any German doctor and many international doctors.
Choosing a doctor
If you tested positive for Chlamydia, it takes a doctor to confirm the diagnosis and to prescribe a treatment. Do you prefer to not involve your family doctor? If you are even registered with one in the first place? There are several alternatives:
- Chat doctor, e.g. MiSANTO
- Video doctor, e.g. EE Doctors
- The TelMed services offered by your healthcare insurer
Chlamydia is typically treated with antibiotics. Which exact antibiotics you are given depends on factors like:
- Do you have allergies?
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Do your symptoms indicate there might be complications?
Don't have sex from the moment you were tested until the end of your treatment, as you are putting your partner in danger. If your partner was infected as well, wait with sex till you are both clean. Some antibiotics require you to abstain until a week after taking them.
Inform sex partners
Chlamydia is transmitted primarily through sex. You got it from someone else, who may not be aware of having it. If you had sex with more than one person since your last test, you may have infected them as well. Inform everyone whom you had sex with since the last time you have tested.
If symptoms persist, a retest is recommended. People under 25 are strongly advised to retest after 3 months, even without symptoms. If your initial test was with us, you qualify for a discount on your retest. Please contact our Support.
Experience the ease of home sampling. Get your test kits delivered 2-3 working days.