Up to 10% of young people are infected with chlamydia. Here's the Quick Fire Science, from Phil Sansom...
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. It’s one of the most common STIs - sexually transmitted infections - in the UK.
It’s easy to be infected with it without realising, because many people with chlamydia have no symptoms.
For those that do have symptoms, they can become apparent a few weeks after you’re infected. You might experience a discharge from the vagina or penis, or a burning sensation while urinating. For women there may also be bleeding after sex or between periods; for men, there might be painful testicles.
The long-term consequences can be varied and severe. For women, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can affect fertility. In men, testicles can become inflammed, and if not treated, there could be a risk to fertility.
It normally only takes a urine test or a swab of the relevant body part to diagnose chlamydia, and you can treat it with a course of antibiotics. It’s a good idea to get checked regularly if you’re sexually active.
There is currently no vaccine for chlamydia, but a group of Danish researchers are about to start the second stage of clinical trials on a possible candidate.