What are the Symptoms of Chlamydia?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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Chlamydia is a fairly common sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is actually the result of bacteria being passed from one person to another via sexual contact, and the condition is usually highly preventable by using barrier methods of birth control, especially male or female condoms during any type of intercourse or sexual play. When recognized and in its early stages, chlamydia is fairly easy to treat with antibiotics, but it may not always be noticed.

The symptoms of chlamydia can vary, and they differ in men and women. Both men and women can have the illness and not notice it, and in fact about 70% of cases of chlamydia don’t have symptoms. Men’s symptoms are more pronounced and they may be likelier to catch early signs of the condition; yet this STD can still be missed in early stages. Unfortunately, when it’s missed it can result in significant complications including pelvic inflammatory disease, inflammation of the cervix, and transmission to newborns in women, and swelling of the testicles or the urinary tract in men.


In women, symptoms of chlamydia may include painful intercourse, or pain when they urinate. Some women develop bladder infections and will have burning or discomfort when they urinate or feel like the bladder never fully empties. The cervix can become irritated and this can lead to more vaginal secretions than are normal. Bleeding might occur between periods, or periods could become abnormal, and some women feel pain in the pelvis or in the lower abdomen.

In men, the symptoms of chlamydia can cause pain when urination occurs, especially a pain that burns. Men may also have unusual discharge from the penis, and this discharge could be more noticeable because it will typically stain underwear. Some men might also notice pain or discomfort in the testicles or pain in the pelvis.

One of the symptoms of chlamydia that both men and women may develop is a secondary infection in the eyes. The eyes may become swollen, and burn and itch if this occurs, though it is not particularly common. This occurs by transmission of genital disease to the eyes, and may be avoided if people thoroughly wash hands after using the bathroom, if they know they have an active case of the condition.

Since many times symptoms of chlamydia don’t exist, the best method for avoidance is through safer sex practices. People who routinely have unprotected sex, especially with multiple partners, are at much greater risk for the illness. However, it only takes one time of unprotected sex with an infected partner to catch this condition. People should get treatment if they have had sex with a partner who has chlamydia even if they do not show outward symptoms of the illness.


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