Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States.
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted from an infected partner during sex. This can happen during oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
Chlamydia is most common among sexually active teens and young adults. Other factors that increase your chances of chlamydia include:
Most people who have chlamydia do not have symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they might appear within 1-3 weeks of exposure.
Symptoms in men may include:
Symptoms in women may include:
Pregnant women can transmit chlamydia to their newborns during birth. This may cause conjunctivitis or pneumonia in the baby. Identification and treatment during pregnancy can greatly reduce risks for the baby.
Chlamydia can also cause serious health complications.
Complications in men include:
Complications in women include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis is based on tests.
Your bodily fluids will be tested. This can be done with:
You may be tested for other STDs, such as:
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics.
To ensure successful treatment:
To reduce the chances of getting chlamydia:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office on Women's Health
The Sex Information & Education Council of Canada
2015 Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/default.htm. Updated March 9, 2016. Accessed May 31, 2016.
Blas MM, Canchihuaman FA, Alva Ie, Hawes SE. Pregnancy outcomes in women infected with Chlamydia trachomatis: a population-based cohort study in Washington State. Sex Transm Infect. 2007;83(4):314-318.
Chlamydia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/default.htm. Updated December 9, 2015. Accessed May 31, 2016.
Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114223/Chlamydia-genital-infection. Updated February 15, 2016. Accessed September 29, 2016.
Chlamydia fact sheet. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/chlamydia.html. Updated November 18, 2015. Accessed May 31, 2016.
Gottlieb SL, Martin DH, Xu F, Byrne GI, Brunham RC. Summary: The natural history and immunobiology of Chlamydia trachomatis genital infection and implications for Chlamydia control. J Infect Dis. 2010;201 Suppl 2:S190-S204.
Kent CK, Chaw JK, Wong W, et al. Prevalence of rectal, urethral, and pharyngeal chlamydia and gonorrhea detected in 2 clinical settings among men who have sex with men: San Francisco, California, 2003. Clin Infect Dis. 2005;41(1):67-74.
3/17/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114223/Chlamydia-genital-infection: LeFevre ML, U.S. Preventive Services Task force. Screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(12):902-910.
Last reviewed May 2016 by David Horn, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.