Chlamydia Symptoms

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) that affects both men and women. It is a very common condition; in fact, it is the most common STD in the U.S.

How often do chlamydia symptoms appear?

One reason that chlamydia is so common is that the majority of infected people do not have symptoms. This is referred to as a “silent” infection. This means they can unknowingly spread the infection to their sex partners. The U.S. CDC recommends that sexually active women under 25 years of age be tested for chlamydia every year, because it can damage the reproductive tract, causing infertility when untreated. Once the infection has been identified, treatment is simple and effective. It is also recommended that pregnant women be tested as well as women with multiple or new sex partners.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

When symptoms do occur with chlamydia infection, women may notice an abnormal vaginal discharge or burning with urination. Men who are infected sometimes also notice an abnormal discharge or burning with urination. Pain or swelling in the testicles is possible in infected men, but this is not a common symptom. Untreated chlamydial infection in women can spread up the reproductive tract to involve the uterus and fallopian tubes, a condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. Symptoms of PID can include:

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease

REFERENCES:

"Chlamydia." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Struble, Kelley, et al. "Chlamydial Genitourinary Infections." Medscape. 21 Mar. 2013.

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