Chlamydia guide

Chlamydia signs and symptoms


Most of the time, chlamydia is silent...you can have the infection and not know it. That's why getting tested is so important. If you do show symptoms, they'll typically occur within 7 to 14 days after sexual contact.

Chlamydia symptoms in women

Common

  • No symptoms
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Bleeding after sex or between periods

Uncommon

  • Pelvic pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Nausea or fever
  • Pain during sex
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Rectal discharge, pain or bleeding

Chlamydia symptoms in men

Common

  • No symptoms
  • Discharge from penis
  • Burning or painful urination

Uncommon

  • Burning, discomfort or itching around the opening of the penis
  • Testicular pain or swelling
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Rectal discharge, pain or bleeding

Throat or rectal symptoms

Both men and women who have anal sex and get rectal infections may experience chlamydia symptoms...including rectal discharge, pain or bleeding, or swelling of the rectum. Even women who only have vaginal sex can get rectal chlamydia by spreading the infection from their genitals when wiping.

Symptoms of oral chlamydia – generally passed from person to person through oral sex – including a sore throat and throat infection. A sore throat could simply mean strep throat or a virus...but, if you've have had oral sex recently, it could mean oral chlamydia or, more commonly, gonorrhea in the throat. If you have these symptoms and test negative for strep, it's a good idea to consult your regular doctor for a throat examination and a thorough swab test which cannot be done at a standard testing facility.

Last reviewed by Lisa Oldson, MD, January 2011.

Lisa Oldson, MD

STD expert

"The first thing I tell a patient about STDs is that if you're worried about one STD, you should probably worry about all STDs. In other words, if you had unprotected sex and you're worried about a possible HIV exposure, it's important to understand that hepatitis can be spread in the same fashion...ditto for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and syphilis."