Chlamydia is a common infection that is easily spread through sexual contact. Chlamydia infects both the cervix and the urethra (the tube that urine passes through from the bladder to the outside) in women and the urethra in men. If untreated chlamydia can spread though the cervix and cause infection of the uterus and the tissue around the tubes.
This is known as PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) and may cause damage to the tubes and subsequent infertility as well as chronic pelvic pain. Unfortunately most women and many men do not get any symptoms of chlamydia so it's important to have a test for it if you are at risk.
Those who develop symptoms may notice an unusual discharge, pain passing urine and unusual spotting. Women who have developed PID may have pelvic pain especially with sex and may become acutely unwell with a temperature. Women may also develop PID without any symptoms. In men the symptoms are discharge or pain passing urine.
Chlamydia is very easily tested for and is simple to treat. It is prevented by the use of condoms. Those who have had PID in the past need to be particularly careful about being re-infected as their chances of infertility increase with renewed infection.
For more information contact your doctor or local Family Planning Clinic.