What is it? The most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK, and is most common among men and women aged 16–24.

How can I catch it? Genital chlamydia is caught through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex or genital contact with an infected partner (and not from toilets seats, swimming pools, etc).

Symptoms: Chlamydia is often symptomless (in both men and women), but symptoms may include:

  • For women: white vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, pain when passing urine and lower abdominal pain.
  • For men: a white discharge from the penis, burning and itching in the genital area, and pain when passing urine.

The fact that chlamydia often does not cause symptoms can lead to serious problems. This is why it is important to get tested regularly, and to ALWAYS use a condom until both you and your partner have been tested.

How do I treat it? Once diagnosed, uncomplicated chlamydial infection is easy to treat and cure with antibiotics.

What are the risks if untreated?

  • For men: it may spread to the testicles, causing epididymitis (inflammation of the tubes that carry sperm) and lead to infertility.
  • For women: Around 50% of women who have an untreated infection will go on to develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which is a widespread infection of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. This can lead to scarring and chronic pain, problems with pregnancy and infertility.


How does it work?

Women can either give a urine sample or take a swab. Women can take the swab themselves from the lower vagina. Men will be asked to give a urine sample.

The test will only tell if you have chlamydia. If you think you might have another infection such as gonorrhoea, then you will need different tests.

A new urine dipstick test is available for chlamydia. This is free and can be acquired from the JCR Welfare Officers. There is also a local Chlamydia Screening Programme, with more information at

Where can I get screened?

  • CUSU (in the New Museums Site opposite Corpus on Free School Lane) provides screening. For more information email the Cambridge Chlamydia Screening coordinator, Kathryn Faulkner.
  • Ask the JCR Welfare Officers for a free urine dipstick test. Use the contact slip in the welfare pigeon holes or the contact link on the JCR website. Both processes can be anonymous and the test will be delivered in the welfare pigeon holes.
  • Ask the nurse in the Trumpington Street medical practice (in T–staircase).
  • See the contact list of clinics around Cambridge.

For more information visit

If you have any questions, speak to your nurse or doctor, or see the sexual health useful conctacts list. To book a sexual health screen online visit