Chlamydia - What is it?

A blog post by Dr. Christian Jessen, posted on the 21st of November.

Chlamydia - What is it?

Why is it that we get nagged so often in magazines and health campaigns about getting tested for chlamydia? Why is it so important to get tested for something that you can’t see or feel?

Well, if I told you that there was a bug going round that could secretly invade your organs and prevent you from ever having children - without you having any idea you were infected with it, would you worry? If I told you that it can infect babies as they are delivered causing a nasty discharge of pus from their eyes about a week after birth, which if untreated can go on to become a pneumonia, would you want to know more? I think so!

That’s exactly what chlamydia does and as it’s now one of the most common sexually transmitted infections around you can see why there are so many warnings about it. The numbers of people infected with chlamydia are reaching worrying proportions so I am urging all sexually active men and women to get tested for the disease every six months.

There are many sexual health clinics around that can give you loads of advice and test you for a variety of sexually transmitted infections, but for speed and convenience you can also test for chlamydia via post through

If you are embarrassed to talk to someone face to face or are simply not able to get away from work to go to an appointment then this may be a good option for you – it’s definitely better than doing nothing at all. Best of all, testing is free for under 25s!


The service offers free chlamydia testing and HIV testing in participating regions. Simply visit to see if you're eligible to order a free STI test kit.

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