Chlamydia is a common STI that can affect men and women.  It can be spread by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia.  It can spread without ejaculation.


Most people with chlamydia do not have any symptoms, so it is called a “Silent Disease.”  If you do have symptoms, they often do not appear until several weeks after sex with an infected partner.  Even if symptoms are not present, chlamydia can damage your reproductive system.  It can also be passed on when there are no symptoms.

If Symptoms are present:

Women may notice:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Burning sensation during urination

Men may notice:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Pain and swelling in one or both testicles (less common)

Rectal Infection Symptoms (from anal sex or spread from another infected site, such as vagina):

  • Rectal Pain
  • Discharge
  • Bleeding


Your healthcare provider may request a urine sample to test for chlamydia or a vaginal swab can also be used.

Repeat infection is common.  You should be tested again 3 months after treatment to ensure successful treatment and no repeat infection.

Repeat testing is also encouraged if you have changed partners.


Chlamydia infection is from bacteria, so treatment is a course of antibiotics.  A single dose or multiday course may be chosen.  It is important to complete the entire course of treatment. Do not share your medication with anyone.

For Females:  Untreated chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes and cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can be present without symptoms, while still causing damage to the reproductive system. PID can lead to long-term pelvic pain, inability to get pregnant or ectopic pregnancy (life-threatening pregnancy outside of the uterus).

For Males:  Men often do not have long-term health problems linked to untreated chlamydia.  Ongoing infection can cause pain and fever if it spreads to the epididymis, the tube that carries sperm from the testicles.  It rarely causes men the inability to have children.

For Men & Women:  Untreated chlamydia increases your chances of contracting HIV.

Chlamydia in Pregnancy

Infection can be spread from mom to baby during delivery, if mom has chlamydia.  This can cause the baby to have an eye infection or pneumonia as a newborn.  Chlamydia during pregnancy may make it more likely to deliver too early.

Source:  CDC