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Patient Care



What is chlamydia?

It is one of the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Singapore. Chlamydia affects both men and women.

How is chlamydia passed?

It is passed through sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal) where vaginal or penile fluids are passed from one person to another. It can sometimes also be passed on through oral sex.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Chlamydia often does NOT cause symptoms especially in women.  If symptoms do appear, they may be mild.

Men Women
• Burning sensation in the penis when passing urine
• Discharge from penis
• Increased frequency of urination​
• Abnormal vaginal discharge
• Abnormal bleeding
• Pelvic pain
• Pain when passing urine​

When do signs and symptoms appear?

Chlamydia is known as a ‘silent’ infection because most infected people may not show any sign or symptom. If symptoms do appear, they may not appear until several weeks after exposure.

Who should get tested?

• Sexually active people especially young adults.
• If you have had unprotected sex with casual partners or sex workers.


How is chlamydia diagnosed?

• Urine sample specifically testing for chlamydia (note: not all urine samples done at clinics test for this)
• Swab sample – nurse will collect a sample with a cotton swab stick from the affected area 
(DSC uses the chlamydia PCR test)

Can chlamydia be treated?

Yes, with a course of antibiotics.

Chlamydia is easily passed on between sexual partners so it is advisable that both you and your partner be treated at the same time, even if neither of you have any symptoms.

We recommend avoiding sex until you have finished your medication and your sexual partner has also been treated.

Can chlamydia cause other problems?

Men​ Women​
• Epididymitis (painful and swollen testicles)
• Infection in rectum​
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – infection in the womb and tubes causing abdominal pain, damaged fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic (abnormal) pregnancy​
Having chlamydia (or any STI) can increase your risk of getting HIV.

It is important to be aware of symptoms and report them to your doctor, even if mild.

Chlamydia in pregnancy

It can increase the risk of premature birth and still birth.

Babies born to women with chlamydia can be infected in the eyes and lungs when passing through the birth canal.

Pregnant women with chlamydia will be given an antibiotic that is safe in pregnancy.

If you are pregnant or think you might be, tell your doctor so the correct antibiotic can be given to you.

Do I need to return for follow-up visits?

• You will be given an appointment to return in 3 months’ time for blood tests (HIV and syphilis).
• If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you are recommended to have another test 4 weeks after treatment.
• If you missed your follow-up appointment, you will be contacted by the clinic through phone or letter.

Important Notes

• Take all medications as advised.
• See that your sex partner is also treated.
• Avoid sex while both of you are taking medication.

Practice safer sex

• Sex without exchange of body fluids (vaginal secretions or semen).
• Use condoms correctly and every time you have sex.
• Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol before or during sex, as this may impair your judgment.


We have attempted to provide full, accurate and up to date information in this patient information leaflet, based on current medical evidence and opinion. However, information and advice may vary from different sources, and over time. If you have any further questions, see your doctor or healthcare provider.
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Last update on 19 Sep 2014
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