Information About Chlamydia
How is Chlamydia contagious?
The most common way of becoming infected is by sex without a condom when mucous membranes come in contact with each other. This also applies to anal sex and oral sex. The bacteria only lives within other living cells and you can therefore not become infected by hand shakes, sauna benches, clothes, towels, or toilet seats. When giving birth, the baby may become infected from a mother who has Chlamydia with a consequence of child complications (see Complications).
Who gets Chlamydia?
Everyone who has sex without a condom has a risk of getting Chlamydia.
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease.
What are the symptoms?
Most people, both men and female, which are infected with Chlamydia HAVE NO symptoms at all but can still spread the infection. Symptoms, if there are any, come within 1-3 weeks after infection and are usually characterised by vaginal or urethral discharge and pain when urinating. Women can get vaginal bleeding. The bacteria can also lay dormant for long periods and then suddenly give both symptoms and complications.
Untreated Chlamydia infection can give pelvic inflammatory disease, which later can cause ectopic pregnancies or future infertility. The male can get epididymitis, prostatitis, urethritis, and possibly decreased fertility. Both male and females can get conjunctivitis and arthritis. Chlamydia infection in the mother can be transmitted to the child during delivery causing neonatal conjunctivitis and neonatal pneumonia. A child infected with neonatal Chlamydia pneumonia has an increased risk of getting asthma later in life.
How do I test myself?
A Chlamydia infection is treated with simple antibiotics and no post-treatment is needed. Partners also need to be tested and treated if necessary. All this is free. If your sample showed that you are infected with Chlamydia you can print out a treatment letter. This printed out treatment letter will work as a referral sheet to a health facility of your choice for free treatment.