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How is a Chlamydia Infection Treated?

Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the UK, but many people aren’t sure what to do once the positive test result comes back. In this article, our Medical Director Dr Rashid Bani, explains how a chlamydial infection is treated:

Chlamydia is treated with a routine course of antibiotics that are available with a prescription following a positive test, or if a doctor believes it’s highly likely that you have the condition. This form of treatment is effective in 95% of people who take their antibiotic treatment as prescribed.

Read on to learn more about which antibiotics are used to treat chlamydia, and how to know when treatment has been successful.


How is Chlamydia Treated?

Once a test comes back positive, a chlamydial infection is easily treated with a routine course of antibiotics, which are either given as multiple tablets taken in one sitting or as a one-week course. These antibiotics are 95% effective when taken properly. 

Once you’ve received treatment for chlamydia you should abstain from sexual activity for at least seven days following the successful completion of antibiotics. It’s also recommended that you be retested two weeks following treatment to confirm a negative test. If you have a regular sexual partner they must be tested and then treated before you have sex with them again.


Which Antibiotics Treat Chlamydia?

There are two common types of antibiotics that are prescribed to treat a chlamydia infection. In the UK, these are:

  • Azithromycin – the course will consist of 2 or 4 tablets taken in one sitting
  • Doxycycline – this is taken as 2 tablets taken every day for a week

In some instances, doctors may prescribe different antibiotics if a patient is allergic to penicillin or is breastfeeding. A longer course of antibiotics may also be prescribed in instances where the patient is suffering from complications or severe symptoms as a result of a chlamydia infection. Providing that the antibiotics are taken according to package instructions, they are 95% effective at fighting the infection.


Can You Take Chlamydia Treatment Without Being Tested?

You shouldn’t take antibiotics for chlamydia without a positive sexual health test result first. Antibiotic treatment for chlamydia should only ever be taken if you have a prescription or following a positive test. Unfortunately, many patients have been known to seek out treatment without a positive test by purchasing the drug online.

However, taking antibiotics without a need can have a long-term impact on your body’s immunity against serious infections. It can strengthen the resistance to the medication of dangerous bacteria that live inside the body meaning that if you get a serious infection in future it may be harder for you to fight it.


How Can I Treat Chlamydia Without Going To the Doctor?

If you think you might have chlamydia, but you don’t want to go to the doctor, you should start by taking an STD test to confirm the infection. You can order one of our home postal test kits, and mail the samples back to one of our specialist laboratories.

In the unfortunate event that your results come back positive, these can be discussed and actioned by your own GP. We can also recommend an independent private GP service if you prefer who can discuss your circumstances and manage further as required. This service will be free of charge to you.  In most cases, prescriptions can be mailed directly to your home, or you can collect your medication from a local pharmacy.


How Do I Know My Chlamydia is Completely Gone?

The only way to know that you are completely free from a chlamydia infection is to get tested once you have finished treatment. Of course, if you had any symptoms (such as burning when you pee, or unusual discharge), these should have also cleared up whilst on antibiotics. If symptoms persist, or your sexual health test remains positive, you should get back in touch with your GP.

Looking for a discreet test for chlamydia? Book one of our home testing kits today.


How To Avoid Getting Chlamydia in Future

Once you’ve been treated for chlamydia, you should avoid getting re-infected. You’ll also want to avoid the potential embarrassment of passing it on. These helpful tips can help you stay clear of chlamydia:

  • Always use a condom when having sex with a new partner – condoms dramatically reduce the risk of infection
  • Get tested regularly and whenever you have a new sexual partner
  • If you’ve just begun having sex with someone new, encourage them to get tested


Discreet Sexual Health Testing in the UK

Your Sexual Health has a wide range of private chlamydia tests that are available to be carried out at one of our 100+ clinics nationwide or using our convenient postal testing service.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with chlamydia, you might find one of our recent blogs helpful: What to do if you have chlamydia, or you can read our dedicated Chlamydia Advice Page. Alternatively, get in touch with a member of our team – we’d be happy to help.


Related Questions

Can Sexual Health Clinics Prescribe Antibiotics?

Yes – sexual health clinics are authorised to prescribe antibiotics. At Your Sexual Health, we’ll arrange a free telephone consultation with you following a positive test result. We’ll be able to offer tailored advice on what to do next, as well as prescribe you the best course of antibiotics, which you can pick up from your nearest pharmacy.

How Long Does Chlamydia Last?

Chlamydia lasts indefinitely until it is treated with antibiotics. After you finish a course of medication (such as Doxycycline or Azithromycin), you may remain infectious for up to a week, so it is best to avoid sex until this time period has passed.

Can Chlamydia Be Completely Cured?

Yes – although chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the UK, it is usually curable with a simple course of antibiotics. However, if the infection is left untreated for a long period of time, it can sometimes develop into more serious conditions like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), or go on to cause infertility. Some of these conditions can’t be cured.