Chlamydia

Overview

Definition

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STIs).

Causes

Bacteria from an infected sex partner causes the infection. This can happen during oral, genital, or anal sex.

Risk Factors

The infection is most common in people under 24 years old. It is also more common in people who are Black or Hispanic.

Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Being sexually active
  • Prior STIs
  • Having a new sex partner
  • Having more than one sex partner
  • Having a partner with an STI
  • Having sex without a condom

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Symptoms

Most people do not have symptoms. People who do may have:

In men:

  • Pain when passing urine
  • Pus exiting the penis
  • Scrotal pain or swelling

In women:

  • A change in vaginal discharge
  • Pain or bleeding during sex or between periods
  • Belly pain
  • Vaginal redness or pain
  • Pain when passing urine
Male Genitourinary System
Prostate Gland
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Female Reproductive System Organs
Female Reproductive Organs
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

These tests will be done to look for signs of infection:

  • A swab of the penis, cervix, throat, or rectum
  • Urine tests

Treatments

Treatment

Antibiotics are used to treat the infection. A person's sexual partners should also be treated.

Prevention

To lower the risk of this infection:

  • Do not have oral, anal, or genital sex.
  • Limit sex to one partner.
  • Use latex condoms during sex.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov 

Office on Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services http://www.womenshealth.gov 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada https://www.canada.ca 

The Sex Information & Education Council of Canada http://sieccan.org 

References

2015 Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/default.htm. Accessed October 16, 2020.

Chlamydia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/default.htm. Accessed October 16, 2020.

Chlamydia fact sheet. Office on Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/chlamydia.html. Accessed October 16, 2020.

Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chlamydia-genital-infection. Accessed October 16, 2020.

Workowski KA, Bolan GA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2015 Jun 5;64(RR-03):1-137.