updated 2 years ago in HIV and STIs

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What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria, which can affect anyone. It can affect the throat, penis, rectum (arse), eyes, vagina or front hole.

How do you get chlamydia?

Chlamydia can spread through sexual contact, including oral sex, arse play, fingering, fisting, rimming, vaginal or front hole sex, or anal sex (topping or bottoming).

Chlamydia can spread even when there are no symptoms.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

Chlamydia can affect different guys in different ways. Some guys will have no symptoms at all.

Symptoms can appear 2-21 days after infection. These may include:

  • a white, cloudy or clear fluid (discharge) coming from the end of your penis
  • itching, discomfort or a burning sensation when you piss or cum
  • itching, pain, burning or discomfort along your urethra (inside your penis) or around the opening at the end of your penis
  • pelvic pain or discomfort
  • redness, pain or swelling of your balls
  • pain, bleeding or fluid (discharge) from your arse
  • a difference in the fluid coming from your vagina or front hole
  • irregular bleeding from your vagina or front hole

How do I get tested for chlamydia?

A chlamydia test involves swabs of the throat and arse (and vagina or front hole for trans guys), as well as a urine test.

You can get tested by your regular doctor or at a sexual health service.

If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, also ask your doctor about testing for the less common strain of chlamydia known as LGV.

How is chlamydia treated?

Chlamydia requires medical treatment. It will not go away by itself.

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics, which your doctor will prescribe.

Avoid sex for at least one week after treating chlamydia to prevent it from spreading to other partners.

Contact previous sexual partners to let them know they may have been exposed to chlamydia and should get tested.

After treating chlamydia, you can still get chlamydia again in the future.

What are the best ways to prevent chlamydia?

Condoms help protect against chlamydia, but it is still possible for chlamydia to spread even when you’re using barrier protection.

One of the best ways to stop the spread of chlamydia and other STIs is to get tested regularly and treated if necessary.