What is chlamydia?

What is it and how is it transmitted?

Chlamydia is an infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) in Quebec. It’s possible to contract it more than once in a lifetime.

It can be transmitted through secretions from the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina during sexual activity with an infected person. This includes through oral, anal, and vaginal sex, non-penetrative genital contact, and sharing sex toys. There is also a risk of transmission during childbirth.

Possible symptoms

Very often, there are no symptoms. A person can therefore be infected without knowing it.

Inflammation of the throat (pharyngitis).

Genital itching, abnormal genital discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during urination and sexual activity, rectal itching, burning, and discharge, and testicular pain and swelling.

Complications when left undetected and untreated

Persistent abdominal pain, pain and infection in the testicles or prostate, infertility in people with uteruses, and increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.


Screening for chlamydia involves taking a urine sample or a sample from sites exposed during sexual activity (anus, vagina, or throat).


Treating chlamydia is easy (a course of antibiotics, the duration of which varies according to the site of infection) and is covered by RAMQ for the infected person and their partners.

Recherches populaires

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