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Learn More About Chlamydia

Most frequent questions and answers about Chlamydia

Chlamydia is currently one of the most common STIs (sexually transmitted infections) in the UK. In fact, chlamydia accounts for almost half of all cases of STIs in the UK.

Chlamydia is passed on through unprotected sex. It is passed through oral, vaginal or anal sex. You only need to have sex once with an infected person to catch chlamydia.

Barrier methods (condoms) are an effective way of preventing chlamydia. 

Men and women under the age of 25 are most likely to catch chlamydia. However, this does not mean older people are not at risk. About 6,000 cases per year are seen in people over the age of 45.

Anyone who is sexually active and not using condoms should get tested at least once a year and every time they change partners.  

75% of females and 50% of males have no symptoms! This does not mean it is harmless however, as it can be doing damage to you without your knowing

Some signs of chlamydia include:

  • painful urination
  • pain in the pelvic region
  • painful sexual intercourse
  • white, cloudy or watery discharge from the tip of the penis
  • pain in the testicles
  • burning or itching in the urethra (the tube carrying urine out of the body)
  • untypical vaginal discharge
  • bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • bleeding in between periods

In women, untreated chlamydia can spread to the womb and fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease. This causes permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus and leads to chronic pain, infertility and potentially life threatening ectopic pregnancies (pregnancies outside the womb)

Men and women can suffer from joint stiffness, swelling and swell and eye pain following a chlamydia infection.

You can find the nearest GUM clinic check if you can get free testing kits here: Find a Chlamydia Test.

If you think you are at risk of other STIs such as gonorrhoea or syphilis we always advise to do a full check-up at your local GUM clinic. Most offer morning walk ins without an appointment and you will find out the results anonymously within a few days.

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. The infection is usually cleared within 7 days. 

Once you are certain you have an infection (either through a positive test or your sexual partner testing positive), you can get antibiotic tablets from your GP or a regulated online GP such as e-Surgery.com.

After taking, keep in mind that you can still pass on the infection for 7 days. Therefore, it’s advised to not have sex during this time or use condoms to reduce the risk of passing the infection to your partner.

Please see our expert insight on chlamydia here: Chlamydia: The Silent STIand NHS: Chlamydia

Read our expert article on Chlamydia: The Silent STI.

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