Sexual Health & Relationships

Chlamydia Testing

Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK; affecting both men and women.

Most people who have it will have no symptoms, without a test you will probably not know anything is wrong. If you or your sexual partner are left untreated it can cause infertility (not being able to have children) and long term pelvic pain. This risk may increase if you have Chlamydia again and again.

At The Zone we offer free and confidential screening for Chlamydia, which involves a simple self test. Males must ensure that they have not urinated for at least an hour before having a test.

If you are concerned about Chlamydia or any other STIs please to talk to one of our sexual health advisers by calling 01752 206626, texting 07867358187 or email.

Signs and Symptoms of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is known as the ‘silent’ infection due to its lack of noticeable symptoms. If left untreated it can spread to other parts of the body and cause pain, especially in the abdomen, and may lead to infertility. 75% of women and 50% of men show no symptoms. This is why it is recommended that you are tested regularly for Chlamydia.

For people who do develop symptoms, these may show up 1-3 weeks after contact with Chlamydia, many months later or not until the infection spreads.

Women may notice the following:

• Unusual vaginal discharge.
• Bleeding between periods.
• Bleeding after sex.
• Heavier periods (including those using hormonal contraception such as the pill)
• Pain (and/or bleeding) during sex.
• Pain when passing urine.
• Lower abdominal (pelvic) pain.

Men may notice the following:

• A white/cloudy or watery discharge from the penis.
• Burning and itching in the genital area.
• Pain when passing urine.
• Painful swelling of the testicles.

For both Men and Women:

• There are rarely any symptoms if the infection is in the rectum, but it can sometimes cause discomfort and discharge.
• Infection in the eyes can cause pain, swelling, irritation and discharge.
• Infection in the throat isn’t common and doesn’t produce any symptoms.

What does the test involve?

The test is FREE, simple, painless and confidential. You can do the test yourself – you do not need to be examined.

Men will be asked to give a urine sample and women will be asked to take a swab (although on some occasions may be asked to provide a urine sample).

How long does it take before I get the results?

After a swab or urine test is taken, the test is sent away for analysis. It can take seven to 10 days for the results to come through. These can be sent to you by text, email or letter; you can choose how you would like to receive your results when you complete the test. It may take longer than normal at the moment due to the current situation with Covid 19.

I've just found out that my partner/ ex- partner has Chlamydia - what should I do?

Please contact The Zone to speak with one of our Sexual Health Advisers as soon as possible. They will be able to discuss your options with you and seek advice from the Chlamydia Screening Office.

I have tested positive for Chlamydia - what happens next?

The common treatment for Chlamydia is a course of antibiotics. You can arrange with the Chlamydia Screening Office to receive treatment at The Zone.

What about other STIs?

The test will only tell if you have Chlamydia. Please let your worker know if you think you might have, be at risk of having another infection or believe you have any symptoms; you will need different tests which are available from GUM based up at Derriford Hospital.

Where do I go if I want a full STI screen?

Your Sexual Health In Plymouth (formally known as The Department of Genital – Urinary Medicine) are based at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. They are a free, friendly and completely confidential service. Please call them on 01752 431124.

For more information about Chlamydia please visit: NHS Choices 

This information was published in December 2020 and will be reviewed in September 2021.