WHAT IS CHLAMYDIA?
Chlamydia is 1 of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK.
It's passed on through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) and is particularly common in sexually active teenagers and young adults.
If you live in England, are under 25 and are sexually active, it's recommended that you get tested for chlamydia every year or when you change sexual partner.
HOW IS CHLAMYDIA TRANSMITTED?
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. The bacteria are usually spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids (semen or vaginal fluid).
You can get chlamydia through:
unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex
sharing sex toys that are not washed or covered with a new condom each time they're used
your genitals coming into contact with your partner's genitals – this means you can get chlamydia from someone even if there's no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation
infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye
It can also be passed by a pregnant woman to her baby.
Chlamydia cannot be passed on through casual contact, such as kissing and hugging, or from sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or cutlery.
Although chlamydia does not usually cause any symptoms and can normally be treated with a short course of antibiotics, it can be serious if it's not treated early on.
If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your body and lead to long-term health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) and infertility.
This is why it's important to get tested and treated as soon as possible if you think you might have chlamydia.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Most people with chlamydia do not notice any symptoms and do not know they have it.
If you do develop symptoms, you may experience:
pain when peeing
unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or bottom
in women, pain in the tummy, bleeding after sex and bleeding between periods
in men, pain and swelling in the testicles
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Here at TADIC testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test. The swab is something you can also do yourself. We test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea at the same time using the same urine test or swab. The test is FREE for anyone.
Once tested we will be in touch within 1 - 2 weeks with your results. If your test result is negative you will be texted. If you are positive, you will be invited into the clinic to arrange your treatment.
If for any reason, you do not hear from us 2 weeks after visiting the drop centre, then please get in touch with us.
WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE?
Chlamydia will be treated with a course of antibiotics. You should not have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment.
It's important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you have had are also tested and treated to help stop the spread of the infection.
HOW TO PREVENT CHLAMYDIA
Anyone who's sexually active can catch chlamydia.
You're most at risk if you have a new sexual partner or do not use a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom, when having sex.
You can help to prevent the spread of chlamydia by:
using a condom every time you have vaginal or anal sex
using a condom to cover the penis during oral sex
using a dam (a piece of thin, soft plastic or latex) to cover the female genitals during oral sex or when rubbing female genitals together
not sharing sex toys
If you do share sex toys, wash them or cover them with a new condom between each person who uses them.