What is Chlamydia

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What is Chlamydia?


Information from


Published 13th November 2008

So what is chlamydia?

It's a sexually transmitted infection or STI, so you can get it by having sex with someone who already has chlamydia. It's caused by bacteria that affect the sexual organs, but the scary thing is, you probably won't notice anything wrong so you won't know you've got it. And it can cause serious medical problems such as infertility if left untreated. If you have it, you can also pass it on to anyone you have sex with.

Most people don't have any symptoms, but some do, and they can include:

- pain when you're having sex or urinating

- unusual discharge

- bleeding after sex or between periods

- pain below your belly button or in your testicles

If you notice any of these, see a doctor or nurse straight away. You can visit your GP or if you'd rather, a GUM (genitourinary medicine), sexual health or contraceptive (family planning) clinic.

If you have chlamydia and it's not treated, the infection can spread to other parts of your body and may cause the symptoms listed above. In women, untreated chlamydia may also stop you getting pregnant in the future or lead to an ectopic pregnancy, where the foetus grows outside the womb.

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