What Is It?

Chlamydia, is the most common bacterial STIs and is on the increase here in Ireland. Women aged 16-24 and men aged 20-34 are at the greatest risk. You can catch it by having unprotected sex (without using a condom) or anal sex.

Getting a Chlamydia test is really easy and you should get one if you have any concerns at all, and particularly any of the following have happened to you:

  • You’ve had sex without a condom
  • A condom has split while you were having sex
  • A condom has slipped off or failed in any way while you were having sex
  • If someone you’ve had sex with tells you they have chlamydia

How Is It Passed On?

It is passed on by unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex, when sharing sex toys, or by a mother to her baby at birth.

What Are The Symptoms?

How to recognise Chlamydia

People with Chlamydia don’t always have symptoms  – so you could have it and not even know! If you notice any of these signs you need to be checked so it can be sorted quickly.


  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Heavy period or bleeding between periods
  • Pelvic and lower abdominal pain
  • Abdominal pain during vaginal sex
  • Bleeding during or after sex


  • White/cloudy and watery discharge from penis
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Painful swelling of testicles

Half of all infected men and 80% of infected women have no symptoms at all. The result of this is that a huge number of infections remain undiagnosed and untreated

How Is It Treated?

Chlamydia is really easy to treat, usually with a single dose of antibiotics. You shouldn’t have sex until treatment is complete.

Don’t be put off by any rubbish you hear. There are no embarrassing or painful things that you need to do when you go for a test. It’s usually a simple swab or urine test.

Visit a GUM clinic or your GP  or Ilash clinic to have the infection diagnosed. If you have chlamydia, it is easily treated with the right antibiotics. However, if left untreated it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to infertility. New methods of testing chlamydia are now available which will allow easier and more widespread screening of the infections. If you would like more information or a test see our Where To Go section.

Treatment in a STI clinic is confidential, non-judgmental and free. Staff in the clinic are trained to treat STIs in an understanding and helpful way so there is no need for you to feel embarrassed.

*Chlamydia testing is now available in the IIash Health Clinic