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What Are the Symptoms of Chlamydia?

What Are the Symptoms of Chlamydia?

Story at-a-glance -

  • Catching the symptoms of chlamydia beforehand can be difficult since it is asymptomatic, meaning that infected women and men may be unaware that they have this disease
  • While there is only one type of bacteria that causes chlamydia, the symptoms and side effects are different for men and women

Recognizing the symptoms of chlamydia before it’s progressed too far can be difficult since it’s is asymptomatic,1 meaning that infected women and men may be unaware that they have this disease.2 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chlamydia symptoms usually don’t appear for up to several weeks after you have sexual intercourse with someone with this sexually transmitted infection (STI).3

While there is only one type of bacteria that causes chlamydia, the symptoms and side effects are different for men and women. Men should watch out for these warning signs:

Yellow, green, or white discharge from the penis4,5

Burning feeling while urinating6

Pain and swelling in one or both testicles (considered to be less common)

Rectal pain, discharge and bleeding7

Conjunctivitis in the eyes

Throat infection

In men, chlamydia leads to epididymitis or inflammation and pain in the epididymis, the tube responsible for keeping the testicles in place. Chlamydia could also move to the prostate gland, resulting in fever, painful sexual intercourse and lower back discomfort.8 In rare cases, chlamydia can affect a man's ability to have children.9

Meanwhile, women should check for these indicators that they may be infected with chlamydia:

Abnormal vaginal discharge that's either yellow or green10,11

Burning feeling while urinating

Traces of blood in the urine12

Increased urinary urgency and frequency (especially if the urethra is infected)

Dyspareunia or pain during sexual intercourse13

Discharge, bleeding and pain in the anus14

Chlamydia can result in detrimental and permanent damage to a woman’s fallopian tubes, prompting pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is considered to be a medical emergency that causes abdominal and pelvic pain.15 16

This disease also poses health risks for women who plan to have children, as it may result in future infertility and a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy.17 Being diagnosed with this STI during pregnancy also leads to a higher risk of premature birth and having a child with low birth weight.18

It’s important to note that prolonging a chlamydia infection for both men and women can actually lead to an increased probability of acquiring or transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.19

Men and women who have these symptoms or have had sexual intercourse with someone who was infected with chlamydia should consult a physician immediately.20 Pregnant women should be screened for chlamydia during their first prenatal care visit, and those under the age of 25 or with a high risk of chlamydia should have an additional screening when they reach their third trimester.21

Your physician will discuss how you were likely exposed to chlamydia since chlamydia patients are usually asked about the symptoms experienced beforehand.22 When it comes to diagnosing the disease, nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are the preferred method because they analyze the genetic material of the bacteria strain that brings about the infection.23 This test is also performed on easy-to-obtain specimens such as urine from men and vaginal swabs from women.24


Chlamydia: Introduction

Chlamydia Types

Chlamydia Symptoms

Chlamydia Causes

Chlamydia Treatment

Chlamydia Prevention

Chlamydia Diet

Chlamydia FAQ

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