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Sexual and Reproductive Health


​​Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis).

How do I get chlamydia?

Chlamydia is passed between people through unprotected sexual contact (oral, vaginal, or anal sex without a condom or other barrier method). You can infect others right after you come in contact with chlamydia. You can spread it to others without knowing it.

How can I prevent chlamydia?

When you’re sexually active, the best way to prevent chlamydia is to use condoms​ or other barrier method, for oral, vaginal, and anal sex.

Don’t have any sexual contact if you or your partner(s) have symptoms of an STI or may have been exposed to an STI. See a doctor or go to an STI clinic for testing.

Get STI testing every 3 to 6 months if you have:

  • a new partner
  • more than one partner
  • anonymous partners
  • any symptoms

How do I know I have chlamydia?

Most people with chlamydia don’t have symptoms. The infection can be in the rectum, penis, cervix, throat, and the eye. If you have chlamydia, you may have:

  • pain or burning when you pee
  • discharge, bleeding, or itching from the bum
  • redness or discharge from one or both eyes
  • unusual vaginal discharge
  • irregular bleeding (often after sex)
  • pain in the abdomen, low back, or during sex
  • watery or milky discharge from the penis
  • irritation or itching inside the penis
  • painful or swollen testicles

The best way to find out if you have chlamydia is to get tested. Your nurse or doctor can test you by taking a swab or doing a urine test.

Is chlamydia harmful?

If not treated, chlamydia can cause serious long-term effects including infertility and arthritis. Other effects include:

These effects can be prevented if you get early STI testing and treatment.

What if I’m pregnant?

If not treated, chlamydia can cause early delivery or rupture of membranes. If you aren't treated and you have a vaginal delivery, chlamydia can cause serious eye and lung infections for the baby. Get tested and treated before delivery to prevent these problems.

How is chlamydia treated?

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. Your partner(s) also needs to be tested and treated, even if there are no symptoms.

You can get re-infected if you have unprotected sex with someone before they are treated.

When can I have sex again?

It will take 1 week for the antibiotic to get rid of the infection. Don’t have unprotected sex (oral, vaginal, or anal sex without a condom or other barrier method​) for 7 days after you and your partner(s) have been treated. The best protection is not to have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) for at least 7 days.

If you still have symptoms, don’t have any sexual contact.

What if I still have symptoms following treatment?

Please contact your healthcare provider.

Where can I find more information?​

If you have questions, need to find a clinic near you, or want more information, call Health Link at 811 anytime, day or night, to talk to a registered nurse.​

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