What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. It is very common, and can cause serious health problems. It has to be treated.

How do you get it?

You can get chlamydia if you have unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex with a person who already has the infection. If you are pregnant you can pass it on to your baby when you are giving birth.

How can you tell if you have it?

You may have chlamydia and not have any signs or symptoms. You can pass it on without even knowing that you have it. If you have chlamydia and you do have symptoms, you might notice:

Female

  • a change or an increase in vaginal discharge
  • an itchy vagina
  • bleeding between, during menstrual cycles, or sex
  • pain in you lower abdomen or back
  • pain when you urinate

Male

  • a burning feeling when you urinate
  • a watery or milky discharge coming out of your penis
  • burning or itching around the hole of your penis
  • pain or swelling of the testicles

How do you get tested?

A doctor or nurse will check for infection by asking you for a urine sample or taking a swab from the infected area of the cervix, urethra or rectum. Chlamydia testing is not included in a women’s regular Pap smear test.

How is it treated?

Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics. It is important to tell your sexual partner(s) that you have Chlamydia. They also need to be treated. You and your partner(s) should not have sex until you have completed treatment and have been told that the infection is gone. Even if you are treated for this infection, you can get it back if you have sex with someone who is infected or has not been treated.

Sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, often have no symptoms at all.

Source: Health Canada

Where can I get help?

Visit one of our Sexual Health Clinics or to speak confidentially with a Public Health Nurse call 519-271-7600 or toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 extension 779.