Chlamydia is a rising star, especially under young women. It is 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. Many people unknowingly infect their partners. The most common symptom you experience? A text message from an ex, who claim they got it from you or gave it to you.
If you have 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.
Long term impact
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. As the symptoms of PID can be mild, you may not be aware of having it until the damage is done.
If you have a PID and it is not timely treated, it may cause the fertilized egg to nest outside of the womb (ectopic pregnancy). It can not survive there.
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?
In 2019, there were 12.410 cases of Chlamydia in Switzerland. In other words: 145 of every 100'000 persons were diagnosed with Chlamydia last year in Switzerland. The highest risk group are young women, aged 20-24. Almost 1'100 of every 100'000 are diagnosed with Chlamydia every year. Since the year 2000, the numbers continue to increase rapidly 📈.
"Thanks" to the Corona lockdown, there seems to be a temporary drop in the numbers of the past few months. Likely this has 2 reasons:
- We cut down on our social lives, so we probably ran less risks
- During Corona, many people avoided the doctor for non-urgent matters
Now that almost everybody is picking up their social lives again, the expectation is that more sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) will be reported.
Chlamydia is most often diagnosed with young sexually active people. Sexual preference (straight, gay, etc.) doesn't seem to make much of a difference. 59% of the "victims" are female, 40% are male. Chlamydia is more widely spread in cities and suburbs, than in the less populated countryside. Especially Kantons Geneva, Basel City and Zürich are risk areas.
Using a condom is reducing your risks of contracting Chlamydia by some 80%, so that is not a guarantee to stay clean.
We have analysed the numbers of the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG). We have combined these data with research on the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases within Switzerland. With a few clicks we are able to give you a personalised test advice, based on your gender, age and sexual preference.
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 taking a test. 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 Swiss doctor and many international doctors.
Choosing a doctor
If the test showed 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.
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