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STI series: Chlamydia


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04 Apr 2016

Chlamydia Trachomatis is a bacterial virus and found in semen and vaginal fluids of those carrying the infection, writes sex and relationships therapist Emma Ziff.

Join us each day this week as we examine the role of pharmacy in Chlamydia screening.

More and more pharmacists are being seen by their patients as their ‘local doctors’. It can be great for pharmacists to be held in such high esteem but it does mean that you need to be prepared for any conversation, and of course, have the knowledge of a wide array of subjects. As a sex therapist, I have an understanding of the mind and body and how sexual health can affect someone in many ways.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be a sensitive topic for many patients. An added anxiety could be if an infection is time sensitive coupled with the fear of someone close to them finding out.

Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK among those under 25. One in 12 sexually active people is thought to have chlamydia and it is important to know how to prevent it, how to identify it and how to treat it.

How can Chlamydia be contracted?

Chlamydia can be contracted through unprotected vaginal, anal or even oral sex, as well as through the shared use of sex toys, which have not been washed after use.

If someone is sexually active, they are advised to have regular checks. Patients are recommended to get tested if they have mentioned any of the following:

  • Said they may have an STI
  • Had unprotected sex with a new partner
  • A condom has split while having sex
  • Had unprotected sex with other people other than their partner
  • Have symptoms of Chlamydia with a new partner
  • They are pregnant or planning a pregnancy

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s instalment where we inspect how to identify chlamydia.


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