Chlamydia can usually be effectively treated with antibiotics. More than 95% of people will be cured if they take their antibiotics correctly.
You may be started on antibiotics once test results have confirmed you have chlamydia. But if it's very likely you have the infection, you might be started on treatment before you get your results.
The two most commonly prescribed antibiotics for chlamydia are:
- azithromycin – given as two or four tablets at once
- doxycycline – given as two capsules a day for a week
Your doctor may give you different antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or erythromycin, if you have an allergy or are pregnant or breastfeeding. A longer course of antibiotics may be used if your doctor is concerned about complications of chlamydia.
Some people experience side effects during treatment, but these are usually mild. The most common side effects include tummy pain, diarrhoea, feeling sick, and vaginal thrush in women.
When can I have sex again?
You shouldn't have sex – including vaginal, oral or anal sex, even with a condom – until both you and your partner(s) have completed treatment.
If you had the one-day course of azithromycin, you should avoid having sex for a week after treatment.
This will help ensure you don't pass on the infection or catch it again straight away.
Will I need to go back to the clinic?
If you take your antibiotics correctly, you may not need to return to the clinic.
However, you will be advised to go back for another chlamydia test if:
- you had sex before you and your partner finished treatment
- you forgot to take your medication or didn't take it properly
- your symptoms don't go away
- you were treated for chlamydia while you're pregnant
If you're under 25 years of age, you should be offered a repeat test for chlamydia three months after finishing your treatment because you're at a higher risk of catching it again.
Testing and treating sexual partners
If you test positive for chlamydia, it's important that your current sexual partner and any other sexual partners you've had during the past six months are also tested and treated.
A specialist sexual health adviser can help you contact your recent sexual partners, or the clinic can contact them for you if you prefer.
Either you or someone from the clinic can speak to them, or the clinic can send them a note to let them know they may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
The note will suggest that they go for a check-up. It will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.