Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and the most common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).
Chlamydia can be passed on through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
The bacteria that cause chlamydia are unable to survive outside the body for long periods of time. Chlamydia is not spread through hugging and kissing, sharing baths, swimming in a shared pool, cups or toilet seats.
Most people with chlamydia will not have symptoms.
A person with chlamydia may experience symptoms anytime from a few weeks to months or years after the initial infection.
When symptoms occur in women they can cause changes in vaginal discharge, pelvic pain or irregular periods.
When symptoms occur in men they can cause pain when passing urine or a discharge from the end of the penis.
It is possible for some people to experience long term problems from chlamydia, these include reduced fertility or an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy in women and ongoing testicular pain in men.
If chlamydia is present when giving birth it can pass from mother to child, potentially leading to eye infections and pneumonia.
Chlamydia can also cause problems with infections in the joints as well as increasing the chances of getting or passing on HIV.
As most people with chlamydia will not have symptoms, you could be passing infections on to other people without knowing it. It is therefore important to test regularly and especially when changing partners.
The test for chlamydia is a vaginal swab for women or a urine test for men. Men who have sex with men will also be offered anal and oral swabs.
Chlamydia may take two weeks to show up in a test from the time of infection.
Treatment for chlamydia is with antibiotic tablets. After you and your partner are treated you should not have sex for 7 days. Three months after you have treated the infection you should re-test for chlamydia.
As soon as your test results are available we will send you a text message. If the result is positive for chlamydia we will let you know how to get treatment.
If you have chlamydia, you should tell all current partners as well as anyone else you have had sex with in the last six months. Current and previous partners may have chlamydia without knowing, so it is important for them to be tested.
They may be able to tell if you have symptoms of infection but not if you don’t. However, you should tell your partner if you have chlamydia as they will need testing and may need treatment.
Recurrent chlamydia or untreated chlamydia can affect your fertility. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of the infection is likely to minimise this risk.