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Chlamydia is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis.

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria. People who have chlamydia often do not have outward symptoms in the early stages. That might make you think you shouldn’t worry. However, chlamydia can cause health problems in the later stages, including preventing women from getting pregnant or even endangering their pregnancies.

How you get chlamydia

You can get chlamydia through:

  • unprotected vaginal sex
  • unprotected anal sex
  • unprotected oral sex
  • your genitals coming into contact with your partner's genitals
  • sharing sex toys when they are not washed or covered with a new condom between each person who uses them

Sexual fluid from the penis or vagina can pass chlamydia from one person to another even if the penis does not enter the vagina, anus or mouth. This means you can get chlamydia from genital contact with someone who has the infection even if there is no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation.

It isn’t clear if chlamydia could be passed on by transferring infected semen or vaginal fluid on the fingers, or by rubbing female genitals together.

Chlamydia cannot be passed on through casual contact, including kissing and hugging, or from sharing baths, towels, swimming pools, toilet seats or cutlery.

Infected semen or vaginal fluid can cause conjunctivitis if it gets into someone’s eye.

How to prevent getting chlamydia?

  • Abstain from vaginal and anal intercourse and oral sex.
  • If you choose to have vaginal or anal intercourse, use female or latex condoms every time.
  • Giving or getting chlamydia during oral sex is rare, but you can further reduce your risk by using condoms or latex or plastic barriers.

 

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