'Sexy Time' Article: Chlamydia (Heads Up eMag WIN17)

*This interview was originally published in headspace Chatswood's Heads Up eMagazine Winter '17 edition. To receive the Heads Up eMag free every quarter, delivered straight to your email, simply subscribe here.

by Kate Tolley

Welcome to Nurse Kate’s health column. In every Heads Up I’ll be chatting about different health topics that are important to young people. So, let’s get started with one of my favourite topics... chlamydia.

Chlamydia is a common bacterial infection passed on by having unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex. Lots of sexually active young people get it and the trickiest thing about chlamydia is that for most people there are no symptoms! This makes it even more important to have regular checks done because left untreated chlamydia can have some nasty effects including making sex painful or making it difficult to have children. It’s also really easy to pass on if you have it and don’t know.

The good news is it’s treatable and curable! Treatment is just two antibiotic tablets, which you can get for free from our partners at Clinic 16, and avoiding sex for 7 days after treatment.

So how do I get tested? At headspace Chatswood we've made it as simple as possible for you to get tested. You don’t even need to be an existing client or seeing anybody at headspace– just pop in and ask to use the bathroom.  All of our bathrooms have self-testing kits in them– you just pee in the provided jar and give us a way to let you know the results– that’s it. You can even use a fake name and results will get texted to your phone or emailed to you. This means your results are completely confidential. Clinic 16 can also help you to talk to your recent sexual partners to help them get tested too.

So now you’ve been tested, what next? Nurse Kate is available to talk about all aspects of relationships, sexuality, gender, sexual & reproductive health, STI screening and contraception. Don’t forget to pick up free condoms and lubricant while you’re in a headspace bathroom and if you need any extra information check out www.playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au.

As well as sexual health, you can make an appointment with Kate to talk about all things health-related like nutrition and weight, eating problems, sleep, alcohol and other drugs, chronic health problems or anything else you can think of!

*Kate is available on Wednesdays and Fridays – her services are completely free and no Medicare card is required. You can just see the nurse without using other headspace services. So chat to reception and ask about booking an appointment today.