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does chlymidia show up in a urine sample a couple years after you may have recieved it?

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Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK and affects up to one in 10 sexually active men and women (most commonly those under 25).

Chlamydia is known as the ‘silent’ infection due to its lack of noticeable symptoms. If left untreated, it can cause painful complications and may lead to infertility.

Toni Belfield, former director of information for fpa (formerly the Family Planning Association), suggests some questions you might want to discuss with your clinician.


What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is a bacteria which is found in the semen of men and vaginal fluid of women who have the infection.

How long have I had chlamydia?
Chlamydia rarely shows symptoms or the symptoms aren’t noticed, which means it’s difficult to know when you were infected and how long you have had it for.

How did I get it?
You get chlamydia by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who is already infected. It can also be passed on by sharing sex toys, which haven’t been washed or covered with a condom before each use and passed by a pregnant woman to her baby during birth.

How is chlamydia detected?
The test is either a simple urine or swab test that can be taken at your general practice, or genitourinary clinic (GUM clinic), sexual health or contraception clinic. Many GUM clinics have a walk-in service, but it's a good idea to call in advance.

Chlamydia testing is also available in young people’s clinics, some youth services and in pharmacies. You can also buy home testing kits from pharmacists.

Will it go away with treatment?
Most chlamydial infections clear up after a single course of antibiotics or a longer course of up to two weeks. Long term or more complicated chlamydia, which has spread to the upper genital tract and tubes, may need a longer course of treatment. What the antibiotics can’t do is reverse any damage that may have been caused by the infection (such as blockage of the fallopian tubes).

What happens if I don’t have treatment?
In women, if left untreated, chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

In men, chlamydia left without treatment may lead to a painful infection in the testicles and can sometimes reduce fertility.

Does having chlamydia mean I am infertile?
No. It is untreated chlamydia that may result in infertility. It’s difficult to know why one woman’s fertility may be affected by chlamydia, while another woman’s isn’t. There may be more likelihood of chlamydia causing infertility if you have repeated infections or if it remains untreated.

Will it come back?
It can do if you have unprotected sex with someone who has the infection.

Do I have to tell any sexual partners?
Yes, definitely. It’s important for all recent sexual partners to go to a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic for a check-up. If they have chlamydia and they don’t get tested and treated, they could be at risk of complications, as well as passing it on to others.
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