What’s all the fuss – is it such a big deal?
YES! Chlamydia is a big deal. It is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI for short) in the UK. 1 in 10 women and men under the age of 25, who are tested, have it.
BUT! The problem is that most people have no symptoms. So most people who have wont know they have it.
Chlamydia is a bacteria that affects the sex organs. If it is not treated the infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause pain, especially in the abdomen (lower stomach), and may cause infertility. This risk is increased if you get infected again and again.
Where can I get the chlamydia test?
Here at the surgery – we would encourage all 15-24 year olds to have the test. It is free, painless and simple to get tested.
You will be asked to give a urine sample or, instead, women can take a swab from the lower vagina (a cotton wool bud is used to wipe the area).
The test will only tell you if you have chlamydia. If you think you have another infection (STI), like gonorrhoea, then you will need different tests. Please ask the nurse or doctor about this.
What if I have chlamydia?
First of all - DON'T PANIC!! If you have chlamydia, we will give you free antibiotic tablets to treat it. The people you have recently had sex with will also need treatment and/or a test to stop them having problems in the future or passing the infection on. We will help you to contact your partners if you do not want to do so yourself.
Do tell us if you could be pregnant, as you may need to have different antibiotics. Remember: antibiotics can stop the contraceptive pill or patch from working. If you do get symptoms, these may show up 1–3 weeks after coming into contact with chlamydia, many months later, or not until the infection spreads to other parts of your body. If you do get symptoms you might notice:
• unusual vaginal discharge
• pain when peeing or having sex
• bleeding after sex or between periods
• lower abdominal pain or painful testicles
If you have any of these, see someone right away to check for an infection.
What can you do to stop getting chlamydia?
• Use condoms every time you have sex. This can reduce the risks of getting or passing on chlamydia and other STIs including HIV.
• Each time you have a new sexual partner both of you should get a chlamydia test.
• Have a chlamydia test every year while you are under 25.
• If you do have chlamydia, take all the tablets you are given.
• Do not have any sex (oral, vaginal, anal or using sex toys) with partner(s) until their treatment has also been completed.
For more information on chlamydia please click on the link below: