Fast facts about chlamydia
Did you know...
Up to 70% of people with vaginas will not have symptoms if they are infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea.1
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in Canada and infection rates are increasing, growing 16.7% between 2010 and 2015.1
Did you know...
Chlamydia affects people with vaginas more, accounting for two-thirds of reported infections between 2010 to 2015. Young people are also more likely to get chlamydia!1
Most of the time, chlamydia infects the genitals (vagina, penis). However, it can also be contracted in the throat, rectum, or even the eyes!2
How might chlamydia be contracted?
How is chlamydia detected?
It might take 2 to 7 days to show symptoms (if any) after infection occurs.3 Keep in mind that most people don't show any signs of infection!2 When it doubt, the best way to find out is to get tested.
Possible signs & symptoms
Some of these symptoms might indicate a chlamydia infection.
Pain or burning during sex or urination3
Vagina is leaking fluid (discharge) that might smell or is discoloured (green, yellow, off-white etc)3
Sore throat or swelling3
Uh oh... What can go wrong with chlamydia infections?
Chlamydia is very easily treated without any major permanent complications. However, if chlamydia remains untreated, it can develop into more serious issues that can cause permanent problems.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
When chlamydia in the vagina is untreated, it can progress and the infection can spread deeper into the body, infecting the uterus and fallopian tubes. This is called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and can lead to severe problems, such as:
A condition where the pregnancy happens in the tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus
A condition where pregnancy is difficult to achieve despite regular, unprotected sex
Chronic Pelvic Pain3
Pain in the area below the belly button that lasts for 6 months or more
When chlamydia occurs at the same time as a pregnancy, it can cause
The baby is born much earlier than expected
Low Birth Weight5
The baby is born infected with chlamydia
Lyphogranuloma Venerum (LGV)
LGV results from untreated chlamydia infections, which can lead to sores, growths, scarring, and/or damage to internal organs.7
Other long term effects of chlamydia include rashes, sores, and joint pain.2
How is chlamydia treated?
Treating chlamydia is generally quite simple, and requires a course of antibiotics. The course and duration of treatment depends on how severe the infection is. It is important to follow treatment instructions of avoiding sex, so that it cannot be transmitted to others during the treatment period.8
Once cured of chlamydia, it cannot be passed onto later sexual partners. However, chlamydia re-infection is possible again in the future.2
More serious infections and complications might require longer treatments, or even hospitalization.9
How is it prevented?
There are several ways chlamydia can be slowed down from spreading:
Learning and talking about STIs helps everyone feel more comfortable discussing it. We know the conversations can be awkward, but it gets easier with practice. Talk to your partners about getting tested, and ask your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.