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Chlamydia is the most common STI among young people. You can get this infection during sex, especially if you don’t use condoms. Sometimes you have symptoms, but often you won’t notice it at all. Chlamydia is easy to treat. 

Video: Doctor Hanna about chlamydia

Chlamydia symptoms

When you’ve been infected with chlamydia, symptoms may occur within 1-3 weeks. Men usually notice they have chlamydia when they have discharge coming from their penis. It’s often watery and occurs after getting up in the morning (early-morning discharge). Peeing can be painful or give a burning sensation. In women, chlamydia can also cause discharge or irritation when you’re having a pee. Chlamydia can affect your anus too, giving symptoms like itching or pain when you’re having a poo. 

Female symptoms

  • More discharge than normal that may look different
  • Pain or burning sensation when peeing 
  • Pain or vaginal bleeding during or after sex
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Itching or irritation around the anus
  • Discharge (possibly containing blood) with faeces (poo) or diarrhoea

Male symptoms

  • Discharge from the tip of the penis that might be watery, mostly in the morning
  • Pain or burning sensation when peeing 
  • Pain in the scrotum
  • Itching or irritation around the anus
  • Discharge (possibly containing blood) with faeces (poo) or diarrhoea

Chlamydia with no symptoms

Women and girls usually don’t even notice that they have chlamydia. And about a quarter of the men or boys with chlamydia do not have any symptoms either. So you can still have chlamydia even if you have no symptoms at all. And you can also pass on the infection during sex, without having any symptoms. 

Easy to treat!

Chlamydia is easy to treat with a course of antibiotics. Have you had unsafe sex? Or sex with someone who has chlamydia? Or have you got 1 or more of these symptoms? Then go to your doctor or a Sense  clinic for an STI test!

What happens if chlamydia is left untreated?

If the chlamydia infection isn’t treated, most girls and women will never have any symptoms! But in some of them the infection will spread to the fallopian tubes. This can cause severe lower abdominal pain, sometimes with a fever. Or chronic abdominal pain later in life. Do you have any of these symptoms? Then make an appointment to see your doctor or to go to a clinic. 

Can chlamydia cause fertility problems?

It might, but there is only a very small risk. It is more likely if you have symptoms of a chlamydia infection that are left untreated.

Warning partners

If you have chlamydia, you should notify everyone who you’ve had sex with in the past 6 months. Then they can also be tested and treated. Is this difficult for you to do?  If you’ve been tested by your doctor or at a Sense clinic, the doctor or nurse can help you warn people without mentioning your name, using the partnerwaarschuwing site. 

Safe sex

Having safe sex is important when you go further than kissing and caressing or petting. Do you want to make sure you don’t get any STIs or get pregnant? Then always have sex safely.

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Partner notification

Do you have an STI? Warn your partner(s)! Even if you don't have any symptoms. Your partner can have an STI without knowing it and pass it on to others.

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