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Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a tiny bacterium, chlamydia trachomatis.
It has been dubbed 'The Silent Infection' as it often causes no (or only very mild) observable symptoms.
Around 25 - 50% of all male chlamydia cases go completely unnoticed (see also chlamydia symptoms in women), which is why chlamydia is highly prevalent in Ireland and around the world.
The symptoms of chlamydia in men can be difficult to spot. Symptoms may be infrequent and random, which sometimes leads patients to believe that they are not caused by an infection.
Chlamydia symptoms in men include:
These are likely to appear within 1 to 3 weeks of initial exposure. The male symptoms of chlamydia aren't limited to the genitals as chlamydia can also occur in the throat, eyes and rectum (depending on how it is transmitted).
The following chlamydia symptoms can also occur:
The negative impact of chlamydia on male infertility is often underestimated. Chlamydia in men can damage sperm and cause scarring in the reproductive tract (which can lead to permanent infertility).
Men with chlamydia have 3 times the normal level of DNA fragmentation in sperm (which means that the genetic material is not packed tightly enough and the long strands become susceptible to breakage).
Mycoplasma (a sexually transmitted infection) and chlamydia in men affect sperm production. Infected men produce sperm with 80% more physical abnormalities and 10% less mobility compared to their non-infected peers.
In addition to this, male chlamydia patients are also more likely to experience rheumatological conditions, conjunctivitis, urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) and reactive arthritis.
Early testing and treatment of chlamydia is key. If you've recently had unprotected sex with a new partner, with someone you suspect may be infected or if you just haven't been tested for STIs in a while, you should get tested. You can do this at your local GP or GUM clinic, (you are entitled to a chlamydia test even if you aren't displaying any observable symptoms). Alternatively, you can order a chlamydia test kit from us and take your test at home. Because chlamydia is highly prevalent among 16 to 25 year olds, chlamydia tests are now offered at most youth clubs and universities too.
You will need to provide a urine sample; you may need to refrain from passing urine for about two hours leading up to the test to get an accurate result. If you have been engaging in oral or anal sex and are experiencing symptoms, you need to visit your GP for a swab of your rectrum or throat. Your sample will be sent to a laboratory for analysis and you will be contacted with the result within a few days. If you don't have much time or would prefer a home test you can order a chlamydia test kit from us and have it delivered to your UK address within 48 hours.
Chlamydia in men is easy to treat. If you test positive for chlamydia, you may be prescribed a single dose of antibiotic (such as Azithromycin) or an alternative one if you are allergic to the standard antibiotic. It is very important that you contact all previous partners and make them aware that they, too, may have contracted chlamydia. If you have been diagnosed with chlamydia, you can order your treatment online from our discreet service and have it delivered.
To lower your risk of contracting or passing on chlamydia, it's highly important that you:
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