Chlamydia is the most common STI. It is a bacterial infection.

How is it passed on?

Chlamydia is passed on through oral, vaginal or anal sex.

It is not spread by kissing, hugging, sharing baths, towels, cups, swimming pools or toilet seats, as the bacteria can’t survive outside the body for long.


Most people have no symptoms – this is why it is important to test regularly, especially if you change partners.

Symptoms could occur anytime from a few weeks to many months or even years after infection.

Chlamydia can cause a change in vaginal discharge, pelvic pain or irregular periods.

Long term effects

Some women experience long term health problems from Chlamydia including reduced fertility or increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.

Chlamydia can be passed from mother to child during birth and cause eye infections or pneumonia in infants.

Chlamydia can also cause infections in the joints.

Chlamydia increases the chance of getting or passing on HIV.

The SH:24 STI test kit

The test for Chlamydia is a vaginal swab for women.

Swabs for STI test
Urine sample for STI test

Chlamydia may take two weeks to show up in a test from the time of infection.


Chlamydia is treated with antibiotic tablets. You should not have sex for 7 days after both you and your sexual partner have been treated. You should re-test for Chlamydia three months after the infection has been treated.

As soon as your test results become available, we will send you a text message to let you know how to get treatment.

Telling your partner

If you have Chlamydia, you should tell all of your current partners and anyone else that you have had sex with in the last 6 months. They may have Chlamydia without knowing it, so it is important for them to be tested.

How to avoid Chlamydia

Condoms are very effective at preventing Chlamydia infection.

You can get free condoms at sexual health clinics.

Regular testing each time you change sexual partner helps reduce the spread of STIs.


Recurrent Chlamydia or untreated Chlamydia can affect your fertility. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of the infection is likely to minimise this risk.

Thumb up 111   Thumb down 7

They may be able to tell if you have symptoms of infection but not if you don’t. However, you should tell your partner if you have Chlamydia as they will need testing and may need treatment.

Thumb up 50   Thumb down 14