Chlamydia is 1 of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK.
It’s passed on through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) and is particularly common in sexually active teenagers and young adults. If you live in England, are under 25 and are sexually active, it’s recommended that you get tested for chlamydia every year or when you change sexual partner.
Symptoms of chlamydia
Most people with chlamydia do not notice any symptoms and do not know they have it.
If you do develop symptoms, you may experience:
• 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
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. The bacteria are usually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids (semen or vaginal fluid).
You can get chlamydia through:
• unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex
• sharing sex toys that are not washed or covered with a new condom each time they’re used
• your genitals coming into contact with your partner’s genitals – this means you can get chlamydia from someone even if there’s no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation
• infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye
It can also be passed by a pregnant woman to her baby.
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics
You may be given some tablets to take all on 1 day, or a longer course of capsules to take for a week.
You should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
If you had the 1-day course of treatment, you should avoid having sex for a week afterwards.
It’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.
Under-25s who have chlamydia should be offered another test around 3 months after being treated.
This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.