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Teens ignorant of fertility threat - warning

Friday January 8th, 2010

Too many young adults are unaware of the risks of an infection that can prevent a woman having children, campaigners warned today.

A survey conducted in England has sparked alarm after showing high levels of ignorance and risky behaviour.

The survey was conducted by the British government to identify public knowlege about the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia.

It found that very few young adults would consider getting tested for infections before starting a new relationship. Just ten per cent agreed to this.

And as many as 78 per cent did not know that chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection.

The findings were released to back a new campaign to alert teenagers and young adults to the risks of infection.

The UK department of health wants young adults to seek testing when they have had unprotected sex.

And it wants them to take precautions - using condoms - to prevent infection.

Parents are also being urged to talk to their children about the risks.

Dr Catherine Hood, a sex and relationship expert backing the campaign, warned that the infection does not cause symptoms.

Eventually women may suffer infertility, pelvic pain and other problems.

She said: "Despite knowing how common chlamydia is, many young adults are worryingly indifferent to the potentially serious consequences of catching and leaving chlamydia untreated."

TV celebrity Adam Child, aged 25, admitted to having caught the infection twice.

Mr Child, who took part in the T4 Shipwrecked series, said: "Now I get tested regularly - everyone should - and want to raise awareness of just how easy it is to catch chlamydia. If chlamydia isn't caught and treated it can be really serious for girls and guys."

Tags: Infancy to Adolescence | UK News | Womenís Health & Gynaecology

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