Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Canada. It is caused by a bacteria. Chlamydia is most common in youth/young adults 15-24 years of age and if left untreated, can cause infertility in men and women.

How do I Get It?

You can get Chlamydia from unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex or sharing sex toys with someone who has the infection.  If you are pregnant, you can pass it to your child when you are giving birth.     

How Can I Tell If I Have It?

It might be hard to tell- more than 70% of women and 50% of men with Chlamydia do not have symptoms.  You can pass the infection to someone else without even knowing that you have it.

If you have Chlamydia and DO have symptoms, you may experience the following within two to six weeks after you are exposed to the infection:


  • A change or an increase in discharge from your vagina
  • An itchy vagina
  • Pain when you urinate
  • Pain in your lower abdomen
  • Bleeding during or after vaginal sex
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Pain during sex


  • Discharge from your penis
  • Burning or itching around tip (the hole) of your penis
  • Pain when you urinate
  • Pain and swelling in your testicles

What Can It Do To Me?

If not treated, Chlamydia infections can result in:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory  Disease
  • Risk of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy 
  • Difficulty becoming pregnant
  • Pelvic pain 
  • Reiter's syndrome (Rashes, sores and joint pain)
  • Pain and swelling in testicles

Chlamydia is often associated with other undetected or untreated infections and people infected with Chlamydia are at greater risk of becoming infected with, and spreading, HIV.

How Do I Get Tested?

Usually a simple urine test can be taken from women or men to test for Chlamydia.

Sometimes, a swab can be taken from the infected area (cervix [opening of the uterus], urethra [opening of penis], anus or throat).

You can ask your health care provider to take a swab while a pap test is being performed.

What Are The Treatments?

Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics.

It is important to take the medication as directed by your health care provider - even if your symptoms have disappeared. 

It is also important to not have sex (oral, anal and/or vaginal), until you and your partner(s) have finished your treatment (7 days after a single dose treatment, or until all the medication is finished for a multiple day treatment). If you have unprotected sex with your partner(s) and they have not been treated, you can get infected again.

You may be asked to return to your health care provider or sexual health clinic for a repeat test after finishing all medication.

What About My Partners?

If you test positive for Chlamydia, it is important to tell your sexual partner(s) within the past 60 days so they can be tested and treated. If you haven't had sex in the past two months, then your last sexual partner should be tested and treated. Tell your partner(s) that many people with the infection will have no symptoms. A nurse at the sexual health clinic is able to help you contact sexual partners as needed (and anonymously if preferred).

How Can I Reduce My Chances Of Getting And Spreading Chlamydia?

  • Use condoms or a dental dams correctly and every time you have sex, even if you are using another form of birth control
  • Do not share sex toys
  • Get tested after unprotected sex
  • To help protect against other STIs, get vaccinated for Hepatitis A, B and HPV.

How Do I Book for An Appointment?

For more information or to book an appointment please contact the sexual health clinic at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5289

North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)