Chlamydia can be passed on through vaginal, anal and oral sex and from mum to baby in childbirth.
Most people with chlamydia will not have symptoms. It is therefore important to test regularly and when changing partners. When symptoms occur in females they can cause changes in vaginal discharge, pelvic pain or irregular periods. When symptoms occur in males they can cause pain when passing urine or a discharge from the end of the penis.
Testing is easy and includes a vaginal swab or a urine sample. Depending on your sexual history, you may also be offered rectal and throat swabs.
You can order order a postal STI test here or can find a clinic to get tested.
Chlamydia may take two weeks to show up in a test from the time of infection.
Yes. Chlamydia can be easily treated with antibiotics.
It is possible for some people to experience long term problems from chlamydia, these include reduced fertility or an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy in women and ongoing testicular pain and reactive arthritis in men.
If chlamydia is present when giving birth it can pass from mother to child, potentially leading to eye infections and pneumonia.
Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is caused by a strain of Chlamydia bacteria that attacks the lymph nodes. LGV is usually found in men who have sex with men and is passed on through anal, vaginal and or oral sex (without a condom). There is a higher risk of transmitting LGV during group sex and through fisting or sharing sex toys.
Some people have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they include:
If you are concerned that you may have LGV or have symptoms, you can visit your local axess clinic for a Chlamydia screen, if this is positive then the sample will then be checked for LGV. If you are positive, then you will need to let your sexual partners know so that they can be treated.
Anti-biotics will be prescribed to treat LGV.
If left untreated, LGV can cause scarring and swelling of the skin and can also cause permanent swelling of the testicles. Rectal scarring and swelling can lead to long term bowel complications.