Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Canada. It's caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The highest rates of infections are found in youth/young adults 15-24 years of age.
How is Chlamydia spread?
Chlamydia is spread through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex with an infected partner.
What are the symptoms?
Most people do not have symptoms. Some people may experience the following symptoms two to six weeks after exposure:
- Discharge from vagina or penis
- Burning or pain when passing urine
- Pain during sex
- Bleeding between periods or after sex
- Lower stomach pain
- Burning or itching around tip of penis
- Pain in testicles
How is Chlamydia diagnosed?
- A urine sample can be taken
- Swabs can be taken from the infected area (cervix, urethra, anus or throat)
- Ask your health care provider to take a swab while a pap test is being performed
How is chlamydia treated?
Chlamydia is treated with an antibiotic that is prescribed by a doctor. It is important to take the medication as directed. It is also important to not have sex (oral, anal, and/or vaginal), until you and your partner(s) have finished all medication and all test results after treatment are negative. If you have unprotected sex with your partner(s) and they have not been treated, you can get infected again.
What about partners?
People who test positive for chlamydia are asked to tell all sexual partner(s) so they can be tested and/or treated. A Public Health Nurse is able to help contact sexual partners as needed.
Things to think about…
If not treated, chlamydia infections can result in:
- Chlamydia may spread to uterus and fallopian tubes (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
- Risk of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
- Difficulty becoming pregnant
- Reiter’s syndrome (Rashes, sores and joint pain)
- Chlamydia is often associated with other undetected or untreated infections. Individuals infected with Chlamydia are at greater risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV.
How can I reduce my chances of getting and spreading Chlamydia?
- After any type of unprotected sex
- After your last partner and before a new partner
To help protect against STIs, get vaccinated for hepatitis A, B and HPV.
For more information, please contact The Clinic at 519-663-5317.
Date of creation: September 1, 2011
Last modified on: October 26, 2023