Yesterday was my first proper day off in the week and whilst in the shower two tunes popped into my head both of which are what I reckon can be classed as 90’s classics. First up we have Summer of Love by Lonyo, followed by Make It Clap by Busta Rhymes. I know, I know I am such a 90’s child – but hey what’s not to love about the age before digital items took over life and we all spend more time staring into our phones instead of our significant others lives. These days we probably know more about our friends and lovers Sim City’s than we do about their actual selves. Anyway, I digress. The point of this post was actually to highlight an important health issue. As I have been beating around the proverbial bush i’m not sure if you have guessed what I am babbling about yet so I’ll just tell you.
With summer coming up it is just the right time of year for a well known STD to sink it’s claws into as many people as possible. So with that in mind let’s make it a Summer of Love and try not to Make It Clap – got it yet?! No?! OKAYYYYY!!!
CHLAMYDIA guys – that is my burning topic for this post – pardon the pun! If you are lucky enough to escape the dreaded clap throughout your sexually active life then all credit to you and high fives all round. If you are like a pussy on a scratching post then I genuinely do feel for you but this is one place that you can be brutally honest, laugh, cry and even bitch about it.
CHLAMYDIA IN ALL IT’S GLORY
Chlamydia can be contracted through contact of mucous membranes found in the eyes, mouth, vagina, rectum or urethra. That is quite a lot of places that you can contract this pesky infection. It is also possible to contract Chlamydia without penetration, orgasm or ejaculation – just think all the pain and irritation with none of the fun. If you use sex toys regularly then you are also at risk if you do not clean them thoroughly and use a fresh condom each time you partake in their pleasurable sensations!
Chlamydia is well known for NOT showing symptoms it can go under the radar and be left untreated for some time. This increases the risk of spreading the infection and possible further medical issues. Before we get into the nitty gritty of treatment let’s start with some of the signs and symptoms that may occur if you have Chlamydia.
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Frequent and painful urination
- Painful and swollen testicles
- If anal then rectal pain, discharge and/or bleeding
- High Temperature
- Burning and/or painful urination
- Abdominal or lower back pain
- Pain whilst having sex
- Bleeding between periods
- Vaginal Discharge
Chlamydia (otherwise know as C.Trachomatis) really can be a bitch of an infection to get rid of as some people don’t even realise they have it until it has developed into something even worse such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). I have put together a few helpful tips for you firstly about finding out if you bits are clapping instead of flapping and sorting out that pesky itch that you can’t quite scratch.
- Head to your nearest GUM/Sexual Health clinic and they will ask you to pee in a pot and wait for the results. There is a chance that they will ask to swab your intimate areas instead of asking you to provide a urine sample so please do be prepared for that. If you engage in oral or anal intercourse then the health professional will most likely swab the back of your throat and your anus too.
- Take the prescribed medicine for the actual amount of time you are told and not a dose or two shorter. You can usually get a single tablet called Azithromycin or you may be prescribed Doxycycline for a 7 to 14 days (one tablet twice a day). These two treatments are the most common out there – for those with HIV these treatments usually remain the same but please do check with your doctor or sexual health professional. Studies have shown that both methods of treatment mentioned above have 97-98% cure rate. For rectal Chlamydia treatment studies are ongoing.
- Tell your partner, regardless of whether it was a one night stand or it is something serious the other person should be tested to reduce the risk of reinfection and spreading the infection elsewhere. If you are in a relationship and unsure who gave what to who then I suggest that you both make a list of past partners and let them all know. This may sound laborious but it really does need to be done – you may also be lucky enough to find out who gave it to you.
- Avoid sex for at least a week post treatment and make sure you wrap it up next time – it is just as much the females responsibility to make sure the male is wearing protection when entering into a sexual relationship.
Retest three months after you complete your course of treatment – it is best to be sure that you are completely infection free.
No Jokes guys and girls – sexual health is an important part of daily life especially as there are a growing number of younger individuals becoming sexually active at an earlier age these days. If left untreated Chlamydia can lead to some very unfortunate complications for both sexes. So once again guys and girls I have a couple of lists for you. Check it out . . .
For the Ladies
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – PID is an infection of the uterus, ovaries and Fallopian tubes. It can be incredibly painful causing persistent pelvic pain and the individual has an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. This may also lead to difficulty or complete infertility.
- Complications with Pregnancy – If contracted whilst pregnant and left untreated there is an increased of premature birth and a low birth weight. This is also a risk for the mother who may have a miscarriage or still birth. If you carry through to term the infection may be passed onto the baby and they may be born with conjunctivitis or pneumonia.
For the Gents
- Epididymitis or Epididymo-orchitis – At the back of your testicles there is a coiled tube that goes by the name of the Epididymis, this tube stores and carries sperm. When inflamed it can be incredibly painful, you may also feel like there is a lump around the testicle area that can be a build up of fluid (regardless of Chlamydia if you feel a lump ANYWHERE go to the doctors straight away and get it checked out). This is something that can be treated by antibiotics and pain relief a recommended treatment is bed rest with your scrotum raised (sorry boys but I couldn’t help but laugh OUT LOUD when I read this! Everyone looked at me in the coffee shop!!!). If left untreated this can lead to infertility and sterility for men and the pain can be unbearable.
- Sexually Acquired Reactive Arthritis (SARA) – It can be found in women but is more common in men. Your eyes, joints and or urethra become inflamed and at this current moment in time there is no cure. Anti-Inflammatory medications are recommended at this stage as well as getting the source infection (CHLAMYDIA) treated.
If you remember anything from this post I hope it is that if ANYTHING feels abnormal going and get checked and treated ASAP.
There will be more HEALTH related posts – if you have any requests just give me a shout either in the comments, by email or on twitter and I’ll work something out for you.