Chlamydia is an infection caused by bacteria (single celled organisms) called Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria can live in the vagina, womb, cervix (entrance to the womb), urethra (tube carrying urine out of the body when you pee), and the rectum (back passage). It can sometimes live in the throat and eyes.

Anyone who has sex can catch it. You don’t have to have lots of sexual partners to get Chlamydia.

How do I get it?

  • You can get Chlamydia from having sex with someone who has it. The bacteria is carried in semen (cum or pre-cum) as well as vaginal and rectal fluids so it can be passed on by unprotected (without a condom) vaginal and anal sex. 
  • Chlamydia can also live unnoticed in the back of the throat and so it can be picked up and passed on through oral sex (going down, giving or receiving head).
  • Rarely, Chlamydia can cause an eye infection if someone rubs their eyes after they have touched genitals with an infection.
  • Chlamydia can be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby when the baby passes through the vagina during birth. The bacteria can cause infections in the baby including conjunctivitis (the eye) or a type of chest infection if it goes to the lungs.
  • Chlamydia can also be passed by sharing sex toys that aren’t cleaned or aren’t covered with a new condom each time they are shared.

What might I notice if I have it (symptoms)?

More than 50% of men and 70% of women with chlamydia don’t notice anything.

Symptoms can occur about 1 to 3 weeks after having sex with someone who has chlamydia.


For men

  • pain when passing urine (having a pee)
  • a watery or cloudy liquid (discharge) coming out of the penis tips
  • pain in the testicles


For women

  • bleeding after or during sex
  • bleeding between periods or heavier periods (including women who are taking hormonal contraception)
  • pain and/or bleeding when you have sex 
  • lower abdominal pain (pain below your belly button)
  • unusual vaginal liquid (discharge) 
  • pain when passing urine (having a pee)


For men and women

  • Infection in the rectum (back passage) is often silent, but it can cause discomfort and discharge.
  • Eye infection usually leads to irritation, redness or wateriness in the eye.

How do I get tested?

Chlamydia tests are very easy to do. It's usually a urine sample for men and a self-taken swab (like a cotton bud) from the vagina for women.

Swabs can also be taken from other parts of the body as appropriate to symptoms and types of sex (anal or oral).

Please order a self test kit. 

For females, if you have pelvic pain and bleeding after sex please book an appointment online. 

What is the treatment?

A short course of antibiotic tablets.

You would need to avoid sex for a about a week until you and current sexual partners have completed the treatment.