What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK
It's common because most people (70% of women and 50% of men!) don't get any signs or symptoms of the infection
The problem with Chlamydia is that if it is left untreated it can cause complications, including pelvic infection in women, testicular infection (ball-ache) in men and if it's not treated properly or you keep catching it it can potentially affect fertility (stop you from having children).
Lots of people think if they had an infection they would definitely know but this isn't the way Chlamydia works
Chlamydia is easily passed on from person to person from sexual contact - oral, anal or vaginal sex. You can also catch it from sharing sex toys. Pregnant women can also pass it on to their baby if the baby is born whilst the mum has Chlamydia infection.
The most important thing to know though is that Chlamydia is easy to treat and treatment is free, effective and easy to take
So if you are worried about Chlamydia - do a test - its really easy to do.
If your test is positive and shows that you have Chlamydia infection we will help sort out treatment for you and your sexual partners
Using condoms reduces the risk of catching Chlamydia. Also asking sexual partners when they last had a sexual health check up is a good thing to do - if they haven't been tested recently it may be worth waiting until they have been tested before having sex or stopping using condoms together.
How to test
Testing for Chlamydia is easy !
If you have no symptoms and simply want a Chlamydia test you can either visit a clinic, or if you are aged 16-25 you can either pick up a testing kit from a local pharmacy or have a testing kit sent to you in the post so you can do the test at home.
To test for Chlamydia women usually do a self-taken swab from the vagina using a cotton bud and men provide a urine sample - its that easy!
If you are aged 16-25, click here for details of how to get a free postal testing kit.
Where to test
Had a positive test and need treatment?
If you have a positive test for Chlamydia, one of the clinic nurses will call and speak to you about your result.
You can then arrange to visit one of the clinics to collect some treatment
Treatment is FREE and is over 95% effective in treating the infection, as long as it's taken correctly
When you attend the clinic we'll talk you through how to take the treatment and answer any questions you may have.
It's really important that you don't have sex for 7 days after taking your treatment - it can take that long for the treatment to work and it's important not to pass it on to anyone else during this time
We'll also talk with you about getting your partner treated too - you don't want to be reinfected! We'll also talk with you about contacting other people you have had sex with recently. We know that sometimes it can be hard trying to get hold of people - either because you might not have their details or because you don't want to have to get in touch with an ex. We can talk with you about ways we can help with this if you think this may be difficult for you - we can sometimes contact people in a confidential way to try and help them get treatment. Let us know if you need our help.