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STI Information

CHLAMYDIA

Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK and is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.

How is chlamydia transmitted?

Chlamydia is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. This can happen during:

  • Unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex
  • Close genital contact (even if there’s no penetration, orgasm, or ejaculation)
  • Sharing sex toys with an infected person

GONORRHOEA

Gonorrhoea is the second most common STI in the UK and is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

How is gonorrhoea transmitted?

Gonorrhoea is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. This can happen during:

  • Unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex
  • Close genital contact (even if there’s no penetration, orgasm, or ejaculation)
  • Sharing sex toys with an infected person

Symptoms

CHLAMYDIA

Most people with chlamydia--up to 70% of women, and 50% of men--have no symptoms, even though they can still pass the infection on to others. Those who develop symptoms usually do so within 1 - 3 weeks after exposure, though chlamydia symptoms can occur at any time, from days to months after infection. Symptoms of chlamydia can include:

  • Pain in your lower abdomen
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding (e.g. after sex, between periods)
  • Unusual discharge from your vagina (e.g. more than usual) or penis (e.g. white, watery)
  • Painful or swollen testicles
  • Pain or burning when you pee
  • Pain when you have sex
  • Pain or discharge from your back passage (if you have a rectal chlamydia)
  • Pain in your throat (if you have pharyngeal chlamydia, though usually this is asymptomatic)
  • Pain or redness in your eye (if you have conjunctival chlamydia)

GONORRHOEA

Many people with gonorrhoea--up to 50% of women and 10% of men--have no symptoms, even though they can still pass the infection on to others. Those who develop symptoms usually do so within the first 2 weeks after exposure (women usually develop symptoms in 2-10 days, and men in 2-5 days), though gonorrhoea symptoms can occur at any time, from days to months after infection. Symptoms of gonorrhoea can include:

  • Pain in your lower abdomen
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding (e.g. during sex, between periods, heavier periods)
  • Unusual discharge from your vagina (e.g. more than usual, and which could be green or yellow) or penis (e.g. which could be white, yellow, or green)
  • Painful or swollen testicles
  • Pain or difficulty when you pee
  • Pain when you have sex
  • Itching or discharge (e.g. blood or mucus) from your back passage (if you have rectal gonorrhoea)
  • Pain in your throat (if you have pharyngeal gonorrhoea, which is usually asymptomatic)
  • Pain or redness in your eye (if you have conjunctival gonorrhoea)

When to Test

CHLAMYDIA

Don’t delay getting tested if you think you have chlamydia (i.e. you or your partner(s) have any of the above symptoms, a partner tells you they have an STI, or you had unprotected sex with someone new, etc). You can get tested for chlamydia at any time, though you may be advised to repeat the test 2 weeks after the date of any potential exposure, as chlamydia can take up to 2 weeks from the time of exposure to show up positive in tests. Unless you have symptoms, we recommend that you wait 2 weeks from the time of exposure to test for chlamydia.

Importantly, if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant, and are concerned you may have chlamydia, you should not use an at-home test kit and should seek immediate attention and/or advice from a medical professional.

GONORRHOEA

Don’t delay getting tested if you think you have gonorrhoea (e.g. you or your partner(s) have any of the above symptoms, your partner tells you they have an STI, or you had unprotected sex with someone new, etc). You can get tested for gonorrhoea at any time, though you may be advised to repeat the test 2 weeks after the date of potential exposure, as gonorrhoea can take up to 2 weeks from the time of exposure to show up positive in tests. Unless you have symptoms, we recommend that you wait 2 weeks from the time of exposure to test for gonorrhoea.

Importantly, if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant, and are concerned you may have gonorrhoea, you should seek immediate attention and/or advice from a medical professional.

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