Skip to main content

Chlamydia facts

Chlamydia facts

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the United States

Signs and symptoms

  • Many people do not have symptoms.
  • If symptoms occur, they usually appear 1-3 weeks after exposure
  • Abnormal discharge from penis or vagina
  • Burning or pain while peeing
  • Irritation around anus
  • Painful or swollen testicles
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Painful intercourse (women)
  • Lower abdominal or back pain (women)


  • Oral, anal or vaginal sex
  • Infected mother to baby at vaginal birth


  • Use condoms/barriers consistently and correctly for oral, anal or vaginal sex
  • Maintain a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and/or treated for STDs
  • Get tested regularly and treated for STDs
  • Get an infected partner treated
  • Do not have sex with a partner who has chlamydia until 1week after they have completed treatment and no longer have symptoms


  • See a health care provider for exam and tests to figure out the best treatment.
  • Treatment is medicine (antibiotics) prescribed by a health care provider
  • If pregnant, get a follow-up exam to make sure the treatment worked

If not treated

  • Can increase risk for getting or spreading HIV
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (women)
  • Infertility (women)
  • Ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • During pregnancy:
    • Premature delivery
    • Low birth weight in newborns
    • Eye and respiratory tract infections in newborns

Help stop the spread of chlamydia

  • Refrain from oral, anal or vaginal sex if you have symptoms
  • Seek medical care, including STD tests
  • Do not have sex until 7 days after you have completed treatment
  • Take all medicines prescribed, even if your symptoms are gone
  • Re-test in 3 months
  • Make sure sex partners get treated
  • Get yearly STD screens if sexually active
  • If you are pregnant, get tested for STDs and HIV


For patients:

For King County health care providers: