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Chlamydia: Just The Facts

Chlamydia is sometimes described as a ‘silent’ infection.

This is because about 75% of women with chlamydia and 50% of men don’t have any obvious signs or symptoms.

How can you get chlamydia?

  • Unprotected vaginal sex
  • Unprotected anal sex
  • Unprotected oral sex
  • Your genitals coming into contact with your partner’s genitals
  • It’s not fully known whether it can be passed on via fingers

You can’t get chlamydia by:

  • Kissing
  • Hugging
  • Sharing baths
  • Sharing towels
  • Going to a swimming pool
  • Sitting on a toilet seat
  • Sharing cups or utensils

If you think you have chlamydia (or any other sexually transmitted disease), it’s very important that you tell all recent sexual partners, as they will need testing /treating as well.

If left untreated, women with chlamydia are at risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and suffering damage to the fallopian tubes, and men can get an infection in their testicles. In both men and women, chlamydia can cause infertility.

Testing

This can be done by a urine test or a swab test. You can get a free postal test online here, or can also visit your GP or local sexual health clinic for support.

Treatment

Treatment for chlamydia is a course of antibiotics. During the seven day treatment period, you should not have sex. The doctor or nurse who gives you the medicine will advise you on how to take it, and what side effects you may experience.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

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