Chlamydia

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What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK. It’s most common in men and women under 25 years old. Chlamydia is found in the semen and vaginal fluids of people who have the infection. Chlamydia is easily passed from one person to another through any sex when a condom is not used.

Why is chlamydia a problem?

If chlamydia is not treated it can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in the fallopian tubes) and infertility (being unable to have children). This risk is increased if you get the infection again and again.
Most people with chlamydia don’t get any symptoms.

If you do get symptoms you might notice:
• Unusual vaginal discharge
• Pain when peeing or having sex
• Bleeding after sex or between periods
• Pelvic pain (pain in the lower part of the stomach) or painful testicles

If you have any of these symptoms you should see a health professional, even if you have tested negative for chlamydia as you may have a different condition.

How regularly should I get a chlamydia test?

If you are under 25 years old and sexually active, you should get tested for chlamydia annually or when you change your sexual partner.

Where can I get a free chlamydia test?

• www.sexualhealthwestsussex.nhs.uk
• West Sussex Sexual Health clinics
• by telephoning 0800 015 0503
• by texting your name, address and date of birth to 07767 383553
• GP surgeries
• Community pharmacies

What is the chlamydia test?

The test is free and simple and you don’t need to be examined. Men give a urine sample and women give a self–taken vaginal swab. You will need to fill in a short form and we will also need a way of contacting you with your results – this can be a letter to your address, a text to your mobile or an e-mail.

What if I have chlamydia?

If you have chlamydia you will be given antibiotics to treat the infection (do tell us if you could be pregnant, as you may need different antibiotics). The people you have had sex with recently should also be tested and treated.

It is a good idea to get tested again about 3 months after you finish your treatment. This is because it’s been shown people who have chlamydia once are more likely to get it again, and that repeat infections mean it’s more likely to affect you in the long term. You may be contacted again about the option of getting re-tested. It’s also important you follow the safer sex advice below.

How do I protect myself from chlamydia and other STIs?

You can reduce your risk of getting or passing on chlamydia, or other STIs, by:
• Always using a condom when having sex with casual and new partners
• Reducing your number of sexual partners and avoiding overlapping sexual relationships
• Getting screened for chlamydia every year, and on change of sexual partner.

For more information and to find out where you can get a test locally:
• Call West Sussex Integrated Sexual Health Service on 0845 111 3456 or visit www.sexualhealthwestsussex.nhs.uk
• Visit www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk

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