Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is easy to treat. It is quite easy to catch and can cause serious problems if it isn’t treated. Untreated Chlamydia infection can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women, and testicular pain and swelling in men.
You can catch Chlamydia by having sex or sexual contact with another person with Chlamydia. This includes oral, vaginal or anal sex and sex play or sharing toys. Chlamydia can also be passed from mother to baby during birth and may result in an eye or lung infection in the baby.
Many people don’t notice any symptoms. If they do, symptoms could include unusual vaginal discharge, pain when urinating, low tummy pain or unusual bleeding in women. Men may notice discharge from the opening at the end of the penis (urethra), pain when urinating, or testicular pain or swelling. There may be discharge or bleeding from the anus if there has been anal sex.
Testing for Chlamydia is easy; a vaginal swab for women or a urine test for men. Men who have sex with men should also have throat and rectal swabs. It can take up to 2 weeks after infection for a test to become positive for Chlamydia.
If your test is positive, you will need to see your local treatment provider. Treatment consists of a course of antibiotics. Anyone you have had sex with in the past 3 months should also get tested and treated.
Using a condom every time you have sex means you are much less likely to get Chlamydia.
For more information about STIs, including Chlamydia, visit www.justthefacts.co.nz