Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the National Chlamydia Screening Programme?
    The programme is a government initiative to try to increase awareness of the infection and to encourage young people to have a test. You have to be under-25 years old to be tested in the programme. If you are older, you can be tested at any sexual health clinic or at your surgery.
  • How do I know I have Chlamydia?
    Most people have no symptoms. The only way to be sure is to have a test.
  • What is the test?
    The test is a swab for women, which you can take from the vagina yourself. For men we test a urine sample. You do not need to be examined for this test
  • Is the test accurate?
    The test is very sensitive and it is very rare for it to be wrong.
  • What if I have the infection?
    You will have told us how to contact you when you filled in the test form, so we will get in touch, and discuss how you and your partner can get treatment. You may wish to be screened for other infections at the same time.
  • How will I know if Chlamydia has affected my fertility?
    Chlamydia is just one of many factors that can affect your fertility. However, the more episodes of infection a person has, the more likely it is to cause complications which can affect fertility. If you have had Chlamydia you will not normally be offered any routine tests to see if you are fertile unless you and your partner find that you have difficulty getting pregnant. If you are concerned, talk to your GP or practice nurse.
  • What happens if I get Chlamydia when I’m pregnant?
    Chlamydia may be linked to early miscarriage or premature birth of the baby. It can be passed to the baby during the birth and (less commonly) before the baby is born. This can cause inflammation, discharge from the baby’s eye (conjunctivitis) and pneumonia.

    Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics when you are pregnant and when you are breastfeeding - the antibiotics won’t harm the baby - but do tell the doctor or nurse that you are pregnant to make sure the correct type of antibiotic is prescribed. You will also need to return for a repeat test.
  • Will I know how long I have had the infection?
    A positive test result does not give any indication of the length of time someone has been infected for. You may not have any symptoms at all or they may appear a long time after you have been exposed to Chlamydia. You might not know whether you have caught it from your current or a previous sexual partner. These doubts can be hard to handle. Some people feel upset or angry when they have an STI and find it difficult to talk to their partner or friends. Don’t be afraid to talk about how you feel with the staff at the treatment centre.
  • What is the treatment?
    A single dose of antibiotic that will get rid of Chlamydia within seven days. It is important not to have sex for seven days after you have had the treatment.
  • Will the antibiotics clear the infection completely?
    Yes, providing you follow the instructions you are given. There is no need for a repeat test unless you are pregnant.
  • What about my partner?
    It is essential that your current partner is treated at the same time as you and that you do not have sex for seven days after the treatment. You will catch Chlamydia again if your partner has not been treated.
  • Which partner?
    We will ask you about previous partners. We need to test and treat as many people as possible, we will ask you to contact every one you have had sex with over the last six months, or we can do this for you confidentially.
  • How do I let my partner(s) know?
    The nurse advisor will discuss how to inform your partner (partner notification) before you attend for treatment. You can choose to inform your partner(s) yourself and we can give you a referral letter. If you feel unable to inform your partner(s), the screening office can contact them anonymously
  • Will I ever need to have another test?
    You should have another test every time you have a new partner. We also recommend an annual check.
  • Who can I talk to if I’m worried?
    Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) at: www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk
  • Where can I be tested?
    The programme encourages testing in places that do not normally offer screening such as youth centres, colleges and schools. Look at the ‘treatment sites’ page to find your nearest testing venue. Alternatively, you can order a postal self-test kit by following the links on this site.
  • Who can I contact if I’m worried?
    The Chlamydia Screening Office will be happy to talk to you about any concerns related to Chlamydia that you may have, Telephone: 01392 284 965. Or visit the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) at: www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk