What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacterium (a microscopic organism) that lives as a parasite inside human cells. Approximately 80% of women and 50% of men will have no symptoms of the infection.
When left untreated, it can permanently damage the sexual organs leading to infertility in women and reduced fertility in men. In women, it can infect the cervix and urinary tract and can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) when it reaches the fallopian tubes. In men, it can infect the urinary tract causing swelling or inflammation of the testicles.
Did you know? …
Chlamydia is the most common STI in the world, however 80% of women and over 50% of men have no symptoms, so the only way to know if you have Chlamydia is to get tested.
How can I get it?
It is normally passed on though sexual activity with someone who has it. The bacteria can thrive in various regions of the body including the penis, vagina, anus, and throat. Unprotected contact with any of these areas may lead to infection.
What are the symptoms?
As most people do not have any early symptoms, it is often difficult to tell whether you are infected. For those people who do get symptoms, these may include:
- Burning or painful sensation when urinating for men and women
- For women, discharge or a "mucus" coming out of the vagina, back pain, unusual pain during sex and bleeding between periods
- For men, a discharge or "mucus" coming out of the penis, inflamed or swollen testicles and/or discomfort around the tip of the penis.
How do I test for it?
Testing at Better2Know is easy, fast and painless. Our usual test is with a urine sample, but we can also test you with a swab from your throat, anus or vagina if you choose (we even test for Gonorrhoea at the same time). Results will be available from two days after the sample is received in the laboratory.
How is it treated?
The infection is curable and can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics. If you test positive, a doctor's consultation is available at no further charge, or you can take the results to your own doctor.
What are the adverse consequences?
Chlamydia is one of the most important preventable causes of infertility. Left untreated it can lead to infertility in women and reduced fertility in men.
In pregnant women, it can lead to increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and potentially fatal tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. If the baby is exposed during delivery, he or she could suffer from eye infections or pneumonia.