Treatment for chlamydia involves more than just taking medication. It is important that you notify your partner(s) so they can get tested and treated. It does not mean they have chlamydia, but have been exposed to it. Ideally, you should notify any partner with whom you had sexual contact within the past 2 months prior to the onset of your first symptoms. At the very least, the last partner should be notified, even if it has been more than 2 months since your symptoms appeared. If they had sexual contact with others, they also need to notify their partner(s). These conversations may be uncomfortable, but are important for your health, and the health of your partner. Your doctor can provide reading material that can help your partner understand chlamydia and its complications.
If it is unlikely that your partner will seek medical treatment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has endorsed a form of partner-treating known as expedited partner therapy (EPT). If your state and doctor support EPT, you may be given a prescription to give to your partner. They can then be treated without needing to seek medical attention. Where it is allowed, EPT can help reduce the spread of chlamydia. EPT is generally not recommended for men who have sex with men because of the high risk of coexisting, undiagnosed infections.
2015 Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/default.htm. Updated January 25, 2017. Accessed February 16, 2018.
Chlamydia—CDC fact sheet (detailed). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-chlamydia-detailed.htm. Updated September 26, 2017. Accessed February 16, 2018.
Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T910269/Expedited-partner-therapy-for-sexually-transmitted-infections . Updated June 7, 2016. Accessed February 16, 2018.
Expedited partner therapy for sexually transmitted infections. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114223/Chlamydia-genital-infection . Updated August 23, 2017. Accessed February 16, 2018.
2/15/2007 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T910269/Expedited-partner-therapy-for-sexually-transmitted-infections : Trelle S, Shang A, Nartey L, Cassell JA, Low N. Improved effectiveness of partner notification for patients with sexually transmitted infections: systematic review. BMJ. 2007;334(7589):354.
Last reviewed March 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 3/15/2015