Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria found in the semen and vaginal fluids. The infection can get passed between sexual partners from vaginal, oral or anal sex or by sharing sex toys. It can also pass from a pregnant woman to her baby.


  • Sometimes no symptoms
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding during or after sex
  • Pain with sex
  • Pain when urinating
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Rectal pain if transmitted anally
  • Watery or cloudy discharge from tip of penis painful testicles
  • Conjunctivitis if spread to eyes

How is chlamydia treated?

Symptoms may appear quickly - say a week or so after contracting the infection - or may occur many months later.

The only way to check for chlamydia is to have a test which is offered free on the NHS from your GP, sexual health clinic, some pharmacies or via a testing kit available by post. Testing involves either a urine test or swab (like a cotton bud) used to take cell samples from the vagina, rectum or throat.

The infection is easy to treat with a course of antibiotics. Sexual partners should be treated too to prevent reinfection.

Without treatment the infection can spread and cause long-term health problems including infertility, long-term pelvic pain, an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and testicular pain in men.

Alternative Remedies & Self-help

Avoid unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex to prevent infection. Condoms (or a dental dam during oral sex) will reduce your risk.