What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is an infection you can get by having unprotected sex with someone who has chlamydia.

How do I get chlamydia?

You can get chlamydia if you don’t use a condom when having sex with a person who has the infection. You can’t get chlamydia from public toilets, swimming pools or giving someone a hug or shaking hands.

What does chlamydia do to the body?

For men

• Men can get chlamydia infection inside their penis (urethra), their bum or their throat.

• Men who have chlamydia can get sore and swollen testicles. The infection can also infect the tube in the testicles that carries sperm.

For women

• Women get chlamydia inside the vagina, bum or throat. Having the infection for a long time can stop a woman from having a baby.
• Mothers can pass chlamydia on to their babies during childbirth, causing the baby to have lung or eye infections.

How do I know if I have chlamydia?

Most people don’t know they have chlamydia because they don’t get any signs or symptoms. The only way to know if you have chlamydia is by getting tested. The test is really easy and involves providing a little bit of your pee. You can even do the test yourself.

For men
Men who have chlamydia might notice:
• redness or pain at the opening of the penis
• a stinging or burning feeling when peeing
• clear discharge from the penis.

For women
Women who have chlamydia might notice:
• vaginal discharge that’s not normal
• irregular bleeding (especially after sex)
• pelvic pain (including during sex)
• a stinging or burning feeling when peeing

What do I do if I have chlamydia?

Get medicine from your doctor.

It’s a good idea to tell anyone you’re having sex with to get themselves tested too. This is going to help stop them from spreading the infection to other people, or back to you.
If your partner doesn’t want to get tested, ask your doctor for some extra medicine to treat them as well.

After three months, get tested again to make sure the infection is gone.

Can chlamydia be treated or cured?

Yes. Chlamydia is easy to treat and can be cured with just one tablet. If you’ve had the infection for a long time it may take a little longer to cure.

Don’t have sex for a week after taking your medicine.

Chlamydia is something you can get more than once.

How can I protect myself from getting chlamydia?

Get yourself and your sex partner tested. The more people you have sex with the higher your risk of getting chlamydia, so if you’re having sex with more than one person, get tested more often.

Get treated: Ask your partner or anyone you’re having sex with to get tested and treated too to make sure you don’t keep giving the infection to each other and other people.

Use condoms when you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Talk to new partners about using condoms before you have sex.

How can I make sure I don’t give chlamydia to someone else?

• Use condoms every time you have sex, especially if you have sex with someone new.
• Get tested regularly if you have more than one sexual partner or your partner has sex with other people. You can get chlamydia again even if you have had it before.

Where can I get help and advice?

You can get help from:
• a doctor
• a sexual health clinic
• community health service
• family planning centres
• Your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Medical Service

More information