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Chlamydia is a common infection caused by bacteria and is easy to pass on. The bacteria live in the urethra in men or in the vagina in women, as well as in the throat or rectum.


Many people who have chlamydia don’t have any symptoms; however 10 to 20 days after getting infected you may notice the following.

In men symptoms of chlamydia can be:

  • A discharge from penis or anus (white liquid)
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Pain in the testicles and anus

In women symptoms of chlamydia can be:

  • A discharge from the vagina (white liquid)
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Pain during sex

How is it transmitted?

Individuals can become infected with chlamydia through having unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex or by sharing sex toys with a partner who already has the infection.

Do you think you may have chlamydia?

If you think you may have chlamydia you can go to your nearest GUM clinic. You can also see your local GP.

By law, a sexual health clinic cannot tell anyone about your visit to the GUM; these rules do not apply to your GP who can tell other people about your appointment.


The nurse or doctor will take a urine sample or a small swab.

  • In women swabs are taken from the cervix (entrance to the womb) and urethra.
  • In men a urine sample is taken however, if symptoms are present a swab may be taken from the tip of the penis.

Having a swab is not painful, but it may be uncomfortable.

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Chlamydia Screening Programme also provide urine tests which can be ordered through the post. Click here to order you test.


To treat chlamydia you will need to complete a course of antibiotics.

Why is treatment important?

It is important to get rid of chlamydia because if it stays it can cause serious health problems.

  • In men chlamydia can cause serious damage to testicles (known as epididymitis), arthritis or prostatitis (long-term inflammation inside the anus)
  • In women chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), where the fallopian tubes become infected.

No one is immune to chlamydia, if you have had it you can get it again.

Protect yourself and others

If you have chlamydia it is best to tell anyone you have recently had sex with, so that they can get a checkup. Remember, until the chlamydia is treated, and until you have taken all the antibiotics, you can still pass it on to anyone you have sex with.

Using a condom can help protect against getting and passing on chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections. Dental dams can also be used during oral sex and rimming for safer sex. You can order free safer sex packs from Trade here.

Sexual health