Regular testing for STIs is essential as soon as someone starts having sex, and it is never too soon to educate yourself about good sexual health. Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs among young people. Its name might sound pretty - but the symptoms are not!

Here are nine facts that everyone should know about Chlamydia:

  • Symptoms may not appear until several weeks after having sex with an infected partner.
  • Anyone who has sex can catch Chlamydia, through vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • Symptoms for women include: abnormal vaginal discharge and a burning sensation when urinating.
  • Symptoms for men include: discharge from their penis, a burning sensation when urinating, pain and swelling in one or both testicles (although this is less common).
  • It is possible to be infected in the rectum, with symptoms including: rectal pain, discharge and bleeding.
  • Even when there are no symptoms, Chlamydia can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman's reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on.
  • Chlamydia can cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb).
  • Having multiple sexual partners and not using condoms increases your risk of catching chlamydia (and all STIs).
  • Chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment – if you test positive, take medication as instructed by your doctor or sexual health worker.

FREE Chalmydia tests can be ordered in many areas of the UK. Click here to order a test.

Of course another way of getting tested is to find a local GUM clinic or sexual health service, and either attend a 'drop-in' clinic or make an appointment with a health care professional - with this option tests for other infections can be carried out too. Click here to find a clinic.

Information taken from Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.