Chlamydia is a common bacterial infection – 1 in 10 young men and women (under 25) who are having sex have got it, but many don’t know as sometimes there are no symptoms.

How you get it

Through unprotected (condomless) vaginal or anal penetrative sex, or (less likely) through oral sex.


Most of the time, none, but sometimes pain when urinating (for males), lower abdominal pain (for females) or unusual discharge from the vagina or any discharge from the penis.



Testing for chlamydia is incredibly straightforward. In most sexual health clinics you’ll be asked for a urine sample which is sent off for testing.


A simple course of antibiotics (4 tablets taken together) for both partners. If left untreated, it can occasionally lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women and, very rarely, to infertility in men and women.


The best way to avoid becoming infected with chlamydia is to use a condom during vaginal, anal and oral sex.


Reduce the risk of a condom bursting by:

  • making sure it's properly unrolled

  • squeezing the air out of the 'teat' before putting it on

  • keeping your fingernails short and smooth

  • using lube suitable for use with condoms

  • never using oils, oil-based lubricants, or oily foodstuffs during sex


The risks from oral sex can be reduced if you:

  • always use a fresh condom

  • avoid oral sex if there are any signs of infection

  • avoid oral sex if the person giving it has any cuts or sores in their mouth

© 2019 Know Your Risk: Testing Week Scotland