Chlamydia link to infertility
Dr Kirsty Horsey
Progress Educational Trust
10 August 2003
The UK's Family Planning Association (FPA) has launched a new campaign aiming to make the government introduce a national opportunistic chlamydia screening programme. The FPA also hopes to raise public awareness of chlamydia, which is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK.
The FPA's latest figures show an increase in the numbers of young people aged 16-24 infected with chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection, which can cause infertility in some sufferers. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women and is also likely to cause fertility problems in men. Although it is easily treated with antibiotics, diagnosis of chlamydia is a problem as it is often asymptomatic in up to 50 per cent of men and 70 per cent of women.
According to a survey commissioned by the FPA, more than 60 per cent of people in the 16-24 age group said that they had not used, or only used infrequently, a condom within the last year, despite the fact that many of them had had more than one sexual partner during that time. Only a few of the 1245 people surveyed said that they had consciously taken tests or used condoms in order to prevent sexually transmitted infection. The FPA says that this indicates a low level of awareness of the risks of sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia.
Anne Weyman, chief executive of the FPA said that the lack of chlamydia screening is 'a crazy, false economy on the part of the government considering that dealing with the consequences of untreated chlamydia, such as ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease and fertility problems cost the NHS an estimated ?50 million per year'.
© Copyright Progress Educational Trust
Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.
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