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What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection and is passed from one person to another by having sex without a condom. This includes vaginal, anal or oral sex. Anyone who is sexually active can get chlamydia regardless of age or gender.

How will I know if I have Chlamydia?

Most people have no symptoms and feel well which is why regular sexual health testing is important. A small proportion of people with Chlamydia do develop symptoms and may include discharge from the penis or vagina and a burning sensation when peeing. Women may notice pain during sex or bleeding in between periods or after sex. Men may notice discomfort or swelling of the testicles.

How do I get tested for Chlamydia?

It is easy to test for Chlamydia. If you have no symptoms, a urine test for men and a self-taken vaginal swab for women may be all that is required. Results for Chlamydia tests are usually available within 2 weeks.

If you have symptoms the health care professional may recommend that you have a swab test as well. A swab test uses a very small cotton-bud to collect a specimen from inside the vagina or penis. This can allow a quicker diagnosis and treatment can be started on the same day.

Your GP can provide testing too.

How is Chlamydia treated?

If you test positive for Chlamydia you will be offered treatment with antibiotics. It is easy to treat.

How can I protect myself in the future?

Once you have been treated use condoms with any new partner until you have both had a sexual health check. Condoms are the best way to prevent all sexually transmitted infections including Chlamydia.

Can Chlamydia cause long term problems?

Untreated Chlamydia can occasionally lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women and Epididymitis in men. PID can cause internal scarring which may lead difficulties getting pregnant or an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Epididymitis can also cause scarring within the tubes of the testicles which may also lead to fertility issues.