STI Information

Chlamydia

Basic Info
Symptoms
Testing & Treatment
Protecting Myself
Chlamydia is the most common STI. Did you know that:
  • Both men and women can get it.
  • About 1 in 10 young people who are sexually active are found to have Chlamydia when tested.
  • You can get Chlamydia by having sex (vaginal, anal, and oral, or by sharing sex toys) with a person who has the infection.
  • An infection might have been picked up recently or you could have had it for many months, even years without realising, as about 70% of people with Chlamydia do not know they have it because they donít have symptoms
  • Chlamydia can also affect the eyes if infected genital body fluid (vaginal discharge or semen) gets into them.

What are the signs or symptoms?

A lot of people (70%) don't have any symptoms but those who do might experience one or more of the following:

In women

  • An unusual vaginal discharge
  • The need to pass urine more often
  • Pain on peeing or when having sex
  • Pain or cramps in the lower abdomen (belly)
  • Any irregular bleeding between periods or after sex

In men

  • A clear or cloudy discharge from the end of the penis
  • Pain and/or burning feeling when peeing
  • Irritation at the end of the penis
  • Painful swelling of the testicles (balls)

Testing for Chlamydia

Testing is via a urine sample or occasionally for women a swab to collect a sample of cells. This takes a few seconds and is not painful.

Treatment for Chlamydia

Most STIs can be treated with antibiotics and it is important to complete the course. Staff will explain your treatment and how to avoid getting infected again. Itís important to tell a member of staff if you think you might be pregnant as this could affect the type of antibiotic given. Remember, using condoms every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex will really reduce the risk of getting or passing on STIs. Condoms can be used for anal, oral and vaginal sex. Although not specifically made for anal and vaginal sex, flavoured condoms can be used for anal and vaginal sex if they are the only condom you have.

Protecting Myself

As with all STIs, itís always best to protect yourself and others by using a condom. It is also best to avoid sharing sex toys but if you do, wash them or cover them with a new condom before use by anyone else. Remember, you can get free condoms in any sexual health clinic.

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