Chlamydia

you don't know someone has Chlamydia by looking at them

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is one of the most common Sexually Transmitted Infections's (STI's) in the UK.  

If chlamydia is left untreated in women, it can spread to the womb and cause pelvic inflammatory disease which can cause infertility (not being able to have a baby), miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.

If chlamydia is left untreated in men they are at risk of complications of chlamydia such as orchitis (swollen testicles), reactive arthritis, and infertility.

Chlamydia symptoms

Most people who have chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms, and so don't know they have it. Research suggests that 50% of men and 70-80% of women don't get symptoms at all with a chlamydia infection.

Symptoms in women

  • pain when urinating (peeing)
  • a change in vaginal discharge
  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • pain and/or bleeding during sex
  • bleeding after sex
  • bleeding between periods
  • heavier periods than usual


Symptoms in men

  • pain when urinating (peeing)
  • discharge from the tip of the penis (this can be a white, cloudy or watery discharge)
  • pain in the testicles


How is Chlamydia spread?

Chlamydia is spread through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex and sharing sex toys that haven't been washed and covered with a condom each time they have been used.

You can't catch chlamydia from kissing or sharing things such as toilets or towels with someone who has the infection.

Get Tested

If you think you have chlamydia or you have had unprotected sex (sex without using a condom) get tested at the Integrated Sexual Health Service.

Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test.

Treating Chlamydia

Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics.

Preventing the spread of Chlamydia

Anyone who is sexually active can catch chlamydia, especially people who change partners frequently or don't use condoms when having sex.

You can help to prevent the spread of chlamydia by:

  • using a condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex
  • using a condom to cover the penis during oral sex
  • using a dam (a piece of thin, soft plastic or latex) to cover the female genitals during oral sex or when rubbing female genitals together
  • not sharing sex toys

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