Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis.

Summary

How is chlamydia spread?

You can get chlamydia by having unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex. This means that you can get chlamydia in the throat and anus as well as the genitals. One simple way to protect yourself is by using a condom when engaging in these types of sexual contact.

An infected woman can give her baby chlamydia during childbirth.

Most people that have chlamydia don’t show symptoms

You can still catch chlamydia from someone who has the infection, even if they have no symptoms.


Useful resources and websites

Sexually Transmitted Infections – Family Planning NZ
Family Planning provides a range of services including sexual and reproductive health information and clinical services.

Chlamydia – Better Health Channel
Information about chlamydia from the Victorian Government, Australia.

Chlamydia – NHS Choices
Information about chlamydia from the National Health Service, UK.

Symptoms

Most people that have chlamydia don't know it, since the disease often has no symptoms.

Chlamydia symptoms can include:

Women

  • discoloured discharge from vagina
  • pelvic pain
  • bleeding between periods
  • pain when peeing
  • pain during sex
  • rectal pain and bleeding

Men

  • a discharge from the end of the penis
  • sore testicles
  • pain when peeing
  • pain during sex
  • rectal pain and bleeding

However, most people that have chlamydia do not experience any symptoms.

Treatment

Chlamydia can be treated. Antibiotics (usually a one-off dose) will treat chlamydia and kill the infection completely. If you have chlamydia, and it is left untreated, it can cause further health problems including permanent damage to a woman's reproductive system, making it difficult and at times impossible for her to get pregnant.

If your doctor has prescribed a single dose of medication, you should wait until seven days after taking the medication before having sex. A longer treatment course may be necessary, and again, you should wait until you have completed the treatment before having sex again.

Your partner should also be treated for chlamydia to reduce the risk of getting the infection again, even if they have no symptoms.

For more information and advice about treatment please visit a health specialist. Any of the options below will be able to help you.

  • Sexual Health Clinic
  • Family Planning centre
  • School nurse
  • Your doctor
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