What is Chlamydia?
- Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection
- People who are 24 and under and sexually active are more likely to get Chlamydia
- 1 in 14 people 24 and under who are tested, have Chlamydia
- It affects both men and women
Most people who have chlamydia don't know they've got it! Have You? - 'Be C-Sure'.
Video: Ben & Rosie in 'A Responsible Romance'
What are the Symptoms?
Below is a list of the symptoms of chlamydia in men and women. Please note, chlamydia does not always have symptoms.
- You may notice that you have an unusual vaginal discharge. This may be heavier than you might normally have
- You may have unusual bleeding between periods or after sex
- You might need to wee more often and it might sting as well
- Sex maybe painful for you
- You may have lower tummy pain
- You may have a discharge from the end of your penis
- It may hurt or sting when you have a wee
- Your penis might feel itchy
- You may notice that your testicles are feeling achy and swollen
- Most of you will not have any of these symptoms but if you do, make an appointment to see your doctor or Genito Urinary clinic (GUM) to be checked out.
What is the Treatment?
The treatment is a simple course of antibiotics, which are usually 2 or 4 tablets taken at the same time.
If you are pregnant or not able to take these tablets, you will be given a longer course of antibiotics that will not harm your baby.
You do not have to pay for the treatment but it is important that you take all your tablets to get rid of the infection.
It is important not to get reinfected. To do this you should make sure:
- That your partner is treated
- You do not have sex for 7 days after treatment
- Always use a condom!
Should I get tested?
The answer is yes!
- If you have ever been sexually active
- Even if you don't think you have it
- We would like to test all young people 24 and under who have ever had sex and have no signs or symptoms of the infection.
You can get a free, confidential test from the Hertfordshire Chlamydia Service. You do not have to see a doctor or nurse to have the test if you do not want to-you can take the test yourself. If there is nowhere close to you that offers testing, you can ring and we will send you a testing pack. You can also request a testing kit on this website. All you have to do once you have done your test is pop it in the post in the envelope supplied; it's as simple as that.
What about my Partner?
We understand it can be difficult knowing how to talk about having chlamydia, but if you don't tell your partner(s) you are at risk of:
- Re infection if you have sex, including oral sex with an untreated partner
- Having serious health problems from untreated chlamydia such as, lower tummy pain, testicular pain and swelling, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and Reiter's syndrome.
Unless you tell your partner about their need to attend for testing and antibiotic treatment they may never know they have an infection.
- 0 – 80% of women have no symptoms with chlamydia
- 60% of men don't get symptoms either
Remember it is not about blame but about looking after each other!
Once you have told your partner it is their responsibility to seek help and your responsibility to protect yourself from re-infection.
Informing current and recent ex-partners is important.
- It is being responsible and mature
- It will help to cut down the number of people with chlamydia and therefore reduce the chances of you getting it again in the future
If you need help on how to tell your partner please ask to speak to our Health advisor. If you cannot face informing them yourself the Health advisor can arrange to do this on your behalf. This will be done confidentially and your name will not be mentioned.
Remember the correct & consistent use of condoms will help protect you from chlamydia again in the future.