A well-known symptom of Covid-19 could actually be a sign of having a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Having a 'low-grade' fever – a slightly raised temperature between 37.5°C and 38.3°C – not only indicates the virus, but could also be a symptom of chlamydia., one of the UK's most common STIs.
Superdrug's Doctor Zenon Andreoua says this 'chlamydia fever' is mainly associated with men, with other symptoms possibly indicating the STI including:
Unusual itching around the opening of the penis
Clear or coloured discharge from the urethra.
Tenderness or pain in the testicles
Pain or burning during urination
Why it's important to get treated
Doctor Andreoua says if chlamydia is left untreated it can lead to fertility problems.
Other complications can also include epididymitis, which causes inflammation of the epididymis – the tube which carries sperm from the testicle.
"This can result in very painful swelling of the testicles and can occur in one or both tubes," Doctor Zenon warned.
He added: "In some cases, chlamydia in men can also infect the rectum causing inflammation. This condition is known as proctitis and the inflammation is accompanied by a sticky discharge and pain."
How do you get chlamydia?
The NHS explains: "Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. The bacteria are usually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids (semen or vaginal fluid)."
You can get chlamydia through:
Unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex
Sharing sex toys that are not washed or covered with a new condom each time they're used
Your genitals coming into contact with your partner's genitals – this means you can get chlamydia from someone even if there's no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation
Infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye.
According to the NHS, chlamydia cannot be passed on through casual contact, such as kissing and hugging, or from sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or cutlery.
Considering the risks involved, it's crucial to get tested for chlamydia.
According to Bupa, you should arrange to have a test if:
You, or a person you’ve had sex with, has any of the symptoms listed in the symptoms above
You’ve recently had unprotected sex (sex without a condom) with somebody new
Somebody you’ve had sex with has had unprotected sex with another person
Somebody you’ve had sex with recently tells you they have a sexually transmitted infection
You’ve had sex with two or more people in the last year.
"You can have a test even if you don’t have any symptoms," explains the health body.
Testing for chlamydia is done with a swab test or urine test. If you’re sexually active and under the age of 25, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test at least once a year.
In England, the tests are offered free to all people under the age of 25.
There are a number of services where you can get tested for chlamydia and other STIs for free, and straight away.
Genitourinary medicine (GUM) and sexual health clinics
Your GP surgery
Contraception clinics and some pharmacies.
You can also pay to get a test done at a private clinic.
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