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Most people who have chlamydia do not have symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they might appear within 1-3 weeks of exposure.
Symptoms in men may include:
Purulent discharge from the penis
Burning, itchy, or painful sensation while urinating
Symptoms in women may include:
Increased or abnormal vaginal discharge
Vaginal redness or irritation
Painful and frequent urination
Unusual vaginal bleeding, or bleeding between periods
Pain or bleeding during or after sex
Pregnant women can transmit chlamydia to their newborns during birth. This may cause
or pneumonia in the baby.
Identification and treatment during pregnancy can greatly reduce risks for the baby.
Chlamydia can also cause serious health complications.
Complications in men include:
—A painful swelling and inflammation of the testicles, which may lead to infertility.
—The inside of the urethra may become inflamed, which causes burning when passing urine. If scarring occurs, it may cause difficulty with passing urine, or block urine flow completely.
—An inflammation of the prostate gland. Symptoms include pain in and around the groin and pelvis, or discomfort when urinating. It may also create flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, body aches, or fatigue.
Pelvic inflammatory disease
(PID)—A serious infection that can lead to
infertility, even in women who never have symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include pelvic pain and pain with intercourse. PID causes scar tissue, or may cause an abscess to form, in the fallopian tubes.
—Scarring in the fallopian tube also increases the risk of a tubal pregnancy and infertility. A tubal pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg cannot reach the uterus. It is a serious condition that may cause a rupture, bleeding, or infection inside the abdomen. A ruptured or bleeding tubal pregnancy is considered a surgical emergency.
Abdominal inflammation—Chlamydia and
may cause inflammation around the reproductive organs, the appendix, or the liver. When the liver is involved, symptoms resemble
gallbladder disease, with fever and pain under the right ribs. This condition is called Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome.
Blas MM, Canchihuaman FA, et al. Pregnancy outcomes in women infected with Chlamydia trachomatis: a
population-based cohort study in Washington State.
Sex Transm Infect
Chlamydia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated April 30, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated March 13, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Chlamydia fact sheet. US Department of Health and Human Services Women's Health website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated July 8, 2011. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Gottlieb SL, Martin DH, et al. Summary: The natural history and immunobiology of Chlamydia trachomatis genital infection and implications for Chlamydia control.
J Infect Dis. 2010;201:Suppl 2:S190-204.
Kent CK, Chaw JK, et al. Prevalence of rectal, urethral, and pharyngeal chlamydia and gonorrhea detected in 2 clinical settings among men who have sex with men: San Francisco, California, 2003.
Clin Infect Dis.
Workowski KA, Berman S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010.
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