Melbourne, Sept 17 : An increasing number of women in generation Y age group have become a victim of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause infertility, according to a sexual health researcher, who describes it as a "little epidemic".
Researcher and lecturer Dr Melissa Kang said the rates of chlamydia infections have significantly increased in the Gen Ys over the past decade.
The cases of chlamydia has quadrupled from 1999 to 2007 and the most affected were young women aged 20 to 24
The cases increased from 335 per 100,000 people in 1999, to 1300 per 100,000 people in 2007.
Women and girls aged between 15 and 19 had the second highest rate and young men aged 20 to 24 the third.
"One reason it has gone up is that we think more people are getting tested but even allowing for that, as Medicare records tell us not many people are getting tested, it is still only going to be few per cent of that age group that are getting tested," theage.com.au quoted Kang, as saying.
"We do believe it is like a little epidemic and it keeps spreading. It is very contagious. It doesn't carry symptoms for the majority of women that have it and about half of the men. That is why it has been so effective in taking off," she added.
She said that chlamydia was one of the leading causes of infertility in women.
"The longer you have it the more likely it is to spread up into your fallopian tubes and cause scarring," she said.
"The second, third and subsequent infections, that's where scarring of the tubes really increases," she added.
Testing and treatment of chlamydia is simple - a urine test and a dose of antibiotics. It can also be prevented by using a condom and water based lubricant.