Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that impacts both men and woman. Chlamydia is one of the most reported bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the NWT.

Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact including vaginal, anal or oral sex. Chlamydia can also be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth.

If you are sexually active, you are at risk for getting chlamydia. Increased risk occurs if you have multiple sexual partners and unprotected sex.

People often do not experience symptoms, and do not know they have chlamydia. You can still spread chlamydia even if you have no symptoms.

The only reliable way to know if you have chlamydia is to get tested. Chlamydia testing is done through a urine sample, or a swab.  STI testing is free and confidential in the NWT.

Treatment for chlamydia requires antibiotics.  The infection will not go away on its own. You can continue to infect others with chlamydia until you are treated. If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to painful health problems and infertility complications. Taking treatment for chlamydia does not protect you from getting it again. If you are treated, and your sex partner is not, it is likely you will get infected again (reinfection).

The only way to completely avoid getting chlamydia is not to have sexual contact. If you are sexually active, you can minimize your risk of getting chlamydia by ensuring:

  • Correct and consistent use of condoms or other barrier protection
  • Avoid sexual contact if you or your partner is being treated for an STI
  • limiting the number of sexual partners, you have and knowing who they are
  • Getting tested regularly for STIs

References: (Government of the Northwest Territories) (Alberta Health Services) (Public Health Agency of Canada)  (Centers for Disease Control and prevention)