What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacterium (a microscopic organism) that lives as a parasite inside human cells.
How can I catch it?
It is passed on through sexual activity with someone who is infected. The bacteria can thrive in various regions of the body including the penis, vagina, anus and throat, so unprotected contact with any of these areas may lead to an infection.
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What are the signs and symptoms?
As most people do not have any early symptoms, it is often difficult to tell whether you are infected. This is why it is important to get tested regularly. For those people who do get symptoms, these may include:
- Burning or painful sensation when urinating (in men and women)
- In women, discharge or "mucus" coming out of the vagina, back pain, unusual pain during sex and bleeding between periods
- In men, discharge or "mucus" coming out of the penis, inflamed or swollen testicles and/or discomfort around the tip of the penis.
Did you know? …
Chlamydia is the most common STI in Ireland, however, 80% of women and over 50% of men have no symptoms. The only way to know if you have it is to get tested.
How can I test for Chlamydia?
Testing with Better2Know is easy, fast and painless. Our usual test for Chlamydia 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). The results of our standard test are available 2 days from when the sample is received in the laboratory. At certain clinics, you can have an instant Chlamydia test and get your results in around 20 minutes.
You can also test for Chlamydia with a Home Sample Collection Kit. Visit our Home STD Testing page for more details.
If left untreated, what are the health risks?
Chlamydia is one of the most important preventable causes of infertility. If left untreated, Chlamydia can permanently damage the sexual organs leading to infertility in women and reduced fertility in men.
In men, it can infect the urinary tract causing swelling or inflammation of the testicles.
In women, it can infect the cervix and urinary tract and can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) if it reaches the fallopian tubes.
In pregnant women, it can lead to increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and potentially fatal tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. If the baby is exposed to the infection during delivery, he or she could suffer from eye infections or pneumonia, so it is important to get tested.
What if I test positive for Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is curable with a short course of antibiotics. The treatment usually takes seven days to complete. During treatment, the infection can still be passed through unprotected sex, even when you show no symptoms.
You can choose whether you receive treatment through your Better2Know doctor, your own GP or your local GUM clinic. Your choice of clinician will be able to prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic for you.
If you have tested positive for Chlamydia using one of our home test kits, we can arrange a doctor’s consultation for you. Your doctor will receive a copy of your results, discuss your diagnosis with you and prescribe the appropriate antibiotic. To book your private GP appointment, please phone us on the number above.
At the end of your treatment, you may wish to consider having a repeat Chlamydia test to ensure that the infection has cleared. It is important to contact any previous partners as he/she may need to get tested. You can use our anonymous SMS service to notify them about your result.
Book your Chlamydia test
Better2Know is the world’s largest private provider of sexual health testing services. We will arrange a confidential appointment at a clinic near you with fast and accurate results for your peace of mind. Book online or call our Sexual Health Advisors now.