Chlamydia Symptoms & Testing

 
Cross Street Medical Clinic offers all relevant STD/STI screening tests and treatments. Speak to our doctors today about what you may need. Female doctors are available by appointment. We ensure patient privacy and confidentiality for all discussions, tests and treatments.

 
 
 
Chlamydia Symptoms & Testing
 
 

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia infection (or chlamydia) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.

Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs worldwide. In 2016, over 2.5 million new cases were reported in the USA.

Infections are most common among those between the ages of 15 and 25; they are more prevalent in women than men.

 
 

How do we contract Chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be spread during vaginal, anal or oral sex.

If you have had chlamydia and were treated, you can still get infected again through unprotected sex with someone with chlamydia.

How can we tell we that may have Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is often called a “silent” infection, because 70–80% of cases have no symptoms and the infection can linger in the body for months or years before being discovered.

For 10-20% of cases, symptoms develop a few weeks after sex.

Common symptoms of chlamydia:

  • In women: vaginal discharge or burning sensation when urinating
  • In men: discharge from the penis, burning sensation when urinating, tingling or vague discomfort in urethra and testicular pain and swelling
  • Men and women can also get infection in the rectum. People may experience rectal pain, discharge or bleeding

Testing for Chlamydia

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT/NAT) are the most sensitive tests and suitable for self-collected vaginal swabs or urine-based screening. Tests may be done on:

  • A urine sample or a swab of the cervix, vagina, or urethra
  • Rectal swabs are required to diagnose infections in the rectum
  • Mouth swabs are required to diagnose infections in the mouth

Women should consider screening if they are sexually active and have vaginal discharge or bleeding between periods. Screening is recommended yearly for sexually active women under the age of 25, and more frequently for those who have high risk sex.

Sexual partners should also be treated and the infected people advised not to have sex for 7 days and until symptom free.

For positive cases, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and HIV should be tested.

Cross Street Medical offers all relevant chlamydia screening tests. Speak to our doctors today about what you may need. Female doctors are available by appointment. We ensure patient privacy and confidentiality for all discussions, tests and treatments.

What does Chlamydia do to our bodies?

Usually, chlamydia causes symptoms at the site of infection.

Untreated chlamydia may also increase a person’s risk of HIV.

In 10-15% of women with untreated chlamydia, infection can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, infertility and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.

Chlamydia can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. There is a significant risk of the baby developing conjunctivitis and pneumonia. Pre-natal screening is recommended.

Chlamydia may also cause reactive arthritis, especially in young men.

A different strain of chlamydia trachomatis may cause lymphogranuloma venereum, an infection of the lymph nodes and lymphatics.

What is the treatment for Chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be cured by antibiotics.
Following treatment, patients should be tested again after three months.

Cross Street Medical offers chlamydia treatment. Speak to our doctors today about what you may need. Female doctors are available by appointment. We ensure patient privacy and confidentiality for all discussions, tests and treatments.

How do we prevent infection and re-infection?

  • Avoiding high risk sex , including commercial sex workers, casual sex and multiple sex partners
  • Using condoms, including during oral sex
  • Being in a long-term monogamous relationship with a partner who has tested negative for chlamydia and other STDs/STIs