Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States.
Treatment includes antibiotics, partner notification, and lifestyle changes.
Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted from an infected partner during sex. This can happen during oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
Chlamydia is most common among sexually active teens and young adults. Other factors that increase your chances of getting chlamydia include:
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:
Symptoms in women may include:
Pregnant women can transmit chlamydia to their newborns during birth. This may cause conjunctivitis 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:
Complications in women include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis is based on tests.
Tests may include:
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics are:
To ensure successful treatment:
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, follow your doctor's instructions.
To reduce the chances of getting chlamydia, take these steps:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
US Department of Health and Human Services Women's Health
Sex Information and Education Council of Canada
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 . 2007;83(4):314-318.
Chlamydia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/default.htm . Updated April 30, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated March 13, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Chlamydia fact sheet. US Department of Health and Human Services Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/ . 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 . 2005;41:67-74.
Workowski KA, Berman S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR . 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.
Last reviewed May 2013 by Brian Randall, MD