What are chlamydia symptoms?

Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs and affects men and women.

Symptoms can include:

  • For women
    • Abnormal vaginal discharge
    • Burning when urinating
  • For men
    • Pain and swelling in the testicles
    • Discharge from the penis
    • Burning when urinating

Chlamydia can also cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system, making it difficult to get pregnant, and in some severe instances, sterility. It can also cause a potentially fatal pregnancy that occurs outside the womb (ectopic pregnancy).

Rectal infections of chlamydia are also possible, through anal sex or through spreading from another infected site such as the vagina. Often times these infections do not have symptoms, but can cause bleeding, discharge and rectal pain.

The symptoms of chlamydia and other STDs include smelly discharge, unusual sores, burning during urination, or for women, bleeding between periods. See a doctor if you or your partner experience any of these symptoms.

Chlamydia testing and treatment

Lab tests are used to detect chlamydia, either through a urine sample or a culture swab.

Chlamydia can easily be cured. Antibiotics are prescribed for the treatment of chlamydia. You must take all of the medication to properly stop the infection and decrease chances of a complication. It is common to contract chlamydia again so it is important to be tested again about three months after completing treatment. To prevent spreading the infection, those undergoing treatment should not have sex for seven days after a single dose antibiotic, or until completing a seven-day course of antibiotics.

If symptoms persist a few days after treatment, contact your doctor to be re-tested.

Chlamydia and complications in women

Chlamydia can cause serious reproductive health complications. If an infant is infected, they can develop pneumonia and/or conjunctivitis (ophthalmia neonatorum). Infants can also be easily treated with antibiotics.
If untreated, chlamydia can spread to your fallopian tubes and uterus, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Abdominal and pelvic pain are often the only symptoms of PID, and many times there are no symptoms at all. PID can cause permanent damage to the reproductive system and can lead to potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy, sterility, and long-term pelvic pain.

Be sure to tell your partner so they can be tested and receive treatment.