Chlamydia: Overview, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Complications

Do I have Chlamydia?

Take our quick quiz to find out if you could have Chlamydia, including individual recommendations!

Chlamydia Symptom Checker

Chlamydia, a bacterial infection, is often called the silent sexually transmitted disease because most people – men and women – tend not to have any visible symptoms. Any sign of the disease tends to show up when there are complications, or major damage has been done to the reproductive organs.

Chlamydia is an extremely common STD, with more than three million Americans being diagnosed with the condition each year. In 2011 alone, there were 1.4 million cases of chlamydia in the U.S. The disease is often seen in sexually active teens to young adults (14 to 24-year-olds).

Other groups the disease is found in include:

  • African Americans
  • People in urban regions
  • People with low economic or social status

Appearance Of Chlamydia Symptoms

It can take up to three weeks after the initial infection for a person exposed to chlamydia to experience symptoms.

It is strongly advised to get tested for Chlamydia as well as other STDs at least once a year or when you have a new sexual partner.

How Is Chlamydia Transmitted?

This STD is spread through sexual contact – either orally, vaginally or anally. The infection is found in vaginal fluids, pre-cum and semen, which can infect the vagina, anus, penis, urethra, throat and eyes. Even worse, chlamydia can spread even without an orgasm – from either man or woman.

An infected pregnant woman can also give her unborn baby chlamydia when giving birth.

In rare cases, the disease can spread to the eye after touching an infected area of your body with your hand, and your hand touches your eye. It’s rare but can happen.

How Is Chlamydia Not Transmitted?

When people hear the words sexually transmitted disease (or the acronym STD), they automatically assume that a disease can also be caught through casual contact such as kissing, hugging, hand-holding, sneezing, coughing, sharing food or drinks with an infected person or sitting on the same toilet seat as an infected person.

Mark Riegel, MD

Quick snapshot

Can it be cured?

Yes. Chlamydia is easily treated with a course of antibiotics.

Type of Infection

Bacterial. Caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium.

How is treated?

Antibiotics. A single dose of Azithromycin or seven daily doses of Doxycycline.

Recovery Time

1 to 2 weeks. One to two weeks may be required for symptoms to fully disappear.

Can I have sex?

No. Sexual activity should be avoided until treatment is successful.

Can I get re-infected?

Yes. Re-infection is possible from sexual activity with an infected person.