What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by Chlamydia Trachomatis. It is a sexual transmitted infection that can be passed on through unprotected sex or sharing sex toys. Chlamydia can affect both men and women and is transmitted through sexual contact with the vagina, penis, mouth or anus of an infected partner. According to the Word Health Organisation (WHO), chlamydia is one of the most common bacterial STIs in the world. 

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

The symptoms of chlamydia can be very obvious or you can be totally asymptomatic. The scary thing about chlamydia is that the majority of people infected do not have any symptoms. This means that you can have chlamydia without knowing it. In women, the bacteria initially causes infection of the cervix (cervicitis) resulting in an abnormal vaginal  discharge or bleeding after sex. The infection can spread from the cervix to the upper genital tract (uterus and fallopian tubes) causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Men with chlamydia can present with urethritis, causing a penile discharge or discomfort when passing urine.

Chlamydia can cause severe complications if left untreated. Read more about the complications of chlamydia on

How do you test for chlamydia?

Chlamydia is tested by either taking a urine sample or a swab. For urine testing a sample of your urine is sent to the laboratory to check for the presence of chlamydia. Women can also be tested by taking a swab from your vagina. For men testing can also be done by inserting a very thin swab into the penis to get a sample of the urethra. It is important not to do the blood tests for chlamydia since the results can be inconclusive. 

We understand that it can be difficult to go for STI testing. You are not the first and definitely not the last person that will be tested for STIs at our clinic. We are here to support you. 

How much does a chlamydia test cost?

A chlamydia test can cost around R1400. The test that we at MSH suggest is a panel of tests for infections that can cause the same symptoms. If you suspect that you might have chlamydia then you are at risk of gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, ureaplasma and mycoplasma. That is why it is better to test for all the infections, and not just one. (The prices mentioned are approximate for April 2020.)

How do you treat chlamydia?

Chlamydia is treated by taking antibiotics. In the majority of cases taking a one-time dose of the antibiotic should clear the infection. It is very important that your partner also gets treated to prevent the infection being passed back and forth.The infection can take up to two weeks to go away after taking treatment. It is best to abstain from sex or use protection during that time.

How much does chlamydia treatment cost?

Chlamydia treatment costs generally range from R200 and R300 for the once off dose of antibiotics. These costs are an estimate and can vary depending on the antibiotics prescribed. (The prices mentioned are approximate for April 2020.) 

We understand that it might be scary to think that you might be infected with a STI. We know it is not easy to get tested. But the doctors on the My Sexual Health team have helped thousands of people in your position. We offer screening of STIs at our branches in Bryanston (JHB), Pretoria and Cape Town. Click here for more information on STI screening