What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

symptoms-of-chlamydia-hero-image-woman-in-pain

The symptoms of chlamydia vary between men and women, there are some similarities and some differences, however in the majority of cases, neither males or females will experience any symptoms at all. 

Infact, 90% of women and 70% of men who are living with chlamydia will not experience any symptoms.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia? 

Chlamydia symptoms in women may include: 

  • Irregular vaginal discharge
  • Pain during urination
  • Pain during sex 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Rectal pain
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods 
  • Spotting or bleeding after sex
  • Inflammation of the eye
  • Pain in the lower back 
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Nausea 

symptoms-of-chlamydia-in-females-infographic

Chlamydia symptoms in men may include: 

  • Pain during urination 
  • Irregular discharge from the penis 
  • Rectal pain
  • Rectal discharge 
  • Rectal bleeding 
  • Inflammation of the eye 
  • A burning or itching sensation at the opening of the penis 
  • Testicular swelling and/or pain
  • Sore throat

symptoms-of-chlamydia-in-males-infographic

What is usually the first sign of chlamydia? 

In women, the first sign of chlamydia is usually irregular vaginal discharge and/or pain during urination. 

In men, the first sign of chlamydia is usually irregular discharge from the penis and/or pain during urination.

Does chlamydia have a smell?

Chlamydia often presents with a smell in cases where there is irregular discharge present. 

If you are experiencing an off-white or yellowish discharge, it may carry a foul fish smell. 

How do I know if I have chlamydia?

As mentioned, the majority of people who are living with chlamydia will not experience any symptoms, this highlights the importance of getting screened regularly for chlamydia. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting a full sexual health screening once per year. If you have multiple sexual partners, you should attend a screening every  3-6 months. 

If you have had unprotected sex, you should consider getting screened as soon as possible. 

FAQs

I’m pregnant. How does chlamydia affect my baby?

According to the CDC, if you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection to your baby during delivery. This could cause an eye infection or pneumonia in your newborn. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby too early.

If you are pregnant, you should get tested for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Testing and treatment are the best ways to prevent health problems.

Does chlamydia stay in the body after it’s been cured?

Nope! Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, which means that once you’ve been treated and tested negative for it (to make sure the antibiotics worked), it’s gone. Your doctor will tell you exactly what type of antibiotics you need, and when to get tested again to make sure the antibiotics worked.

Can you test yourself for chlamydia at home?

You can now use an at home chlamydia test to identify whether or not you have chlamydia from the comfort of home. Read our top picks for at home STD tests here.

Does chlamydia have a smell?

It is quite uncommon for a person who is living with chlamydia to have any signs or symptoms, in fact 8 in 10 people who are living with chlamydia will not have any symptoms. If chlamydia has a smell, it will be more likely to affect women, via unusual smelling vaginal discharge. Men may also experience an unusual discharge coming from the tip of the penis, however it is less likely.

Can you tell if someone has chlamydia just by looking at them?

You will not be able to tell if someone has chlamydia just by looking at them. Chlamydia is known as a “silent STD”, for this reason, it is so important to get tested on a regular basis, because if chlamydia is left untreated, it can lead to further health complications such as pelvic inflammatory disorder which can affect female fertility.

What should you do if you get a positive chlamydia test result?

The good news is chlamydia can be treated easily with a course of antibiotics. If you get a positive result for chlamydia, you must not have sex until the infection has been cleared via treatment. It is also essential that you reach out to previous partners and notify them so they can get tested to.

Written by Hannah Kingston on April 16, 2021 

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