STD Facts: Chlamydia - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Chlamydia (caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, a bacteria): Sexually Transmitted Disease Facts

On this page:
Signs and Symptoms
Transmission
Complications
Prevention
Testing and Treatment
For More Information

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Signs and Symptoms

  • Most people have no symptoms
  • Develop 7-21 days after exposure, or not at all

For women:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Anal discomfort

For men:

  • Watery or thin white discharge from penis
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Anal discomfort 

Transmission

Chlamydia is spread by:

  • Vaginal sex
  • Oral sex
  • Anal sex
  • Infected mother to newborn

Complications

If left untreated, chlamydia can:

  • Spread to sex partners
  • Lead to ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
  • Lead to pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Lead to infertility in men and women
  • Make it easier to transmit or acquire HIV during sex

During pregnancy, chlamydia infection:

  • Can be passed to newborn during childbirth and cause serious eye infection or pneumonia
  • Can lead to premature delivery and low birth weight

Prevention

  • Avoiding vaginal, oral or anal sex is the best way to prevent STDs.
  • Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of chlamydia.
  • Always use latex condoms during vaginal and anal sex.
  • Use a latex condom for oral sex on a penis.
  • Use a latex barrier (dental dam or condom cut in half) for oral sex on a vagina or anus.
  • Limit the number of sex partners.
  • Notify sex partners immediately if infected.
  • Make sure partners are tested and treated at the same time to prevent re-infection.

Testing and Treatment

  • Get a test from a medical provider if infection is suspected.
  • Chlamydia can be cured using medication prescribed by a medical provider.
  • Partners should be treated at the same time.

NOTE: A person can be re-infected after treatment.

For more information, contact:

STD, HIV and TB Section
Minnesota Department of Health
651-201-5414

Minnesota Family Planning and STD Hotline
1-800-783-2287 Voice/TTY; 651-645-9360 (Metro)

American Social Health Association (ASHA)

CDC National STD and AIDS Hotlines
1-800-CDC-INFO; 1-888-232-6348 TTY
1-800-344-7432 (Spanish)

Updated Tuesday, 27-Mar-2018 14:49:27 CDT