Chlamydia Treatment on the NHS

Can You Get Treated for Chlamydia on the NHS?

When it comes to managing your sexual health and STIs like chlamydia, it makes to look into how the NHS could help.

However, the NHS is not the only option available. Find out what the advantages might in choosing an alternative to NHS chlamydia treatment.

How Does the NHS Provide Treatment for Chlamydia?

At either GP surgeries or sexual health clinics. Chlamydia is easily treated and cured with antibiotics like doxycycline. If you take your treatment correctly, it is over 95% effective for genital chlamydia.

Does it take long to get an appointment?

It depends on how busy the clinics or surgeries are. Some clinics also have a walk-in service where you don’t have to make an appointment before.

Do I need to pay for tests or treatment on the NHS?

No, all tests and treatment are free through the NHS services and the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP). You may have to pay a prescription charge fee if you need a prescription for treatment from your GP practice.

Once you take treatment

You should notice an improvement in any symptoms quite quickly. Any discharge or pain when you urinate should disappear within a week and any pain in your pelvis or testicles should disappear within two weeks. If your symptoms do not improve despite treatment, then speak to your doctor. You may need further treatment or investigation about any possible cause.

What Are the Pros and Cons to NHS Chlamydia Treatment

The pros to getting tested for chlamydia include:

  • Free
  • Reliable – over 95% of recommended tests are accurate
  • Clinics are available all over the UK
  • You can order online postal self-testing kits (although only if eligible)
  • The test is optional and only done with your permission
  • You can ask questions and get advice
  • You can have your result texted to you

The cons to getting tested for chlamydia include:

  • You may have to wait to make an appointment with your GP or clinic
  • The results take between 7 to 10 days to be reported
  • There is a small chance of a false negative result as no test is 100% accurate

Discreet, secure patient accounts and messaging are not always standard for the NHS, unlike with reputable online providers. Communication like text alerts for STIs health management may be less private.

Does the NHS Provide Testing Too?

Yes – you can get the chlamydia test on the NHS. You can get tested whether or not you have symptoms.

You can get tested at either one of the following and should choose the one you are most comfortable with:

  • A sexual health clinic
  • A genitourinary clinic (GUM)
  • Your GP surgery
  • Most contraceptive or young people’s clinic
  • Some pharmacies
  • Abortion, antenatal or gynaecology services may also offer women a chlamydia test

Local councils also pay for free testing in men and women under the age of 25 in their area, as part of the NCSP – they may also locally advertise outreach testing in places such as colleges, youth clubs or military bases

How soon after sex do I need to get the test?

You can get tested straight away, but you may be advised to have another test after two weeks, as chlamydia is more difficult to detect in the early stage.

Can I do the test myself?

Yes, you don’t necessarily need to be examined by a healthcare professional and you can usually collect the sample yourself.

Home testing

If you don’t want to visit your GP or a clinic, you can order a free NHS home self-testing kit. This is available online in certain areas from This may be quicker and easier.

What does the test involve?

A urine or swab sample is needed. The swab is similar to a cotton bud but it is smaller and rounder. The swab is wiped over parts of your body that could be infected and it easily picks up a sample of cells or discharge.

Are the types of sample different for men or women?

Yes, men will usually be asked to provide a urine sample and women can provide either a swab or urine sample. Swab samples are recommended for women as they are more accurate.

Is the test difficult or painful?

Vo, the test is simple and painless but you may feel slight discomfort when you swab the area.

Do I need other tests?

If you have chlamydia then you will be encouraged to get tests for other STI’s, as it’s common to have more than one STI at a time.

What Are the Alternatives to NHS Treatment?

You can also choose to pay for a chlamydia test or treatment at a private clinic.

Convenient home testing

You can also purchase a home self-testing kit online privately. The accuracy of these tests varies and it’s important to buy from a reputable and recognised website like Superdrug Online Doctor.

Ordering treatment online

You can order chlamydia treatment online if you or your partner have been diagnosed with chlamydia. To place your order with Superdrug Online Doctor:

  • Fill in our short medical questionnaire
  • Your online doctor will review your request and approve treatment if appropriate
  • Prescription and delivery are included
  • We offer chlamydia test kits if you would like to order them online.

Do natural remedies work for chlamydia?

No, there is currently no evidence that these treat or cure chlamydia.

No treatment is not a good option

If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to serious long-term complications:

  • Chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs in women and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – this can cause blockages in the fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy (when the pregnancy develops outside the womb)
  • Women may also experience pain or inflammation in the liver
  • Men may experience an infection of the testicles, which can possibly reduce fertility
  • Both men and women may rarely experience inflammation of the joints. This is more common in men and is called Sexually Acquired Reactive Arthritis (SARA)

Avoiding chlamydia-related problems

The more times you have chlamydia the higher your risk of complications. To avoid any complications, it is always best to treat chlamydia early. It is always important to practice safe sex as even one episode of unprotected sex can put you at risk.


Nwokolo, C., N. et al (2016). 2015 UK national guideline for the management of infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. International Journal of STD & AIDS; 27(4): 251-267. [accessed 22nd May 2018]

The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2016). Chlamydia: looking after your sexual health. The Family Planning Association. [online] [accessed 22nd May 2018]

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