STIs – Chlamydia
How do you get it?
- Your genitals coming into contact with your partner’s.
- Infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye.
Chlamydia cannot be passed on through casual contact, such as kissing and hugging, or from sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or cutlery.
Wearing a condom during vaginal, anal and oral sex prevents the spread of chlamydia.
Also use a condom if you are using a sex toy with someone.
Pain when peeing.
Unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or bottom.
In women: pain in the tummy, bleeding after sex and bleeding between periods.
In men: pain and swelling in the testicles.
If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your body and lead to long-term health problems, especially in women.
In women, untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
In men, in rare cases, chlamydia can spread to the testicles and epididymis (tubes that carry sperm from the testicles), causing them to become painful and swollen. This is known as epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the testicles).
It can also sometimes cause reactive arthritis in men and women.
Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test.
You should get tested at least once a year and between partners.
Sexual health clinics and your doctor’s will be able to administer the tests. You can also order them online for free.
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
You may be given a course of doxycycline to take for a week or azithromycin to take once a day for 3 days.
If you have doxycycline, you should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
If you have azithromycin, you should wait 7 days after treatment before having sex.
Under-25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated.
This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.