What are some symptoms of Chlamydia?

My friend was recently treated for Chlamydia which got me to wondering.  What are some symptoms of Chlamydia?

Good question.  Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the US with more than 1.44 million cases reported to the CDC in 2014.  More than half of these occurred in women aged 15-25 years.

The symptoms of Chlamydia may include abnormal vaginal discharge, vaginal irritation, pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, dysuria, painful sex, and/or contact bleeding.  OR there may be no symptoms at all.  In fact, it is very common not to have any symptoms.  That is why routine screening tests are important for sexually active women.

Annual screening is recommended for all sexually active women who are:

  • less than 25 years of age
  • 25 year or older and have a new sex partner, more than 1 sex partner, a sex partner with concurrent partners, a sex partner who has an STI, or if you have had a previous history of Chlamydia

Early detection of Chlamydia is important as serious consequences can result.  These may include:

  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • chronic pelvic pain
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • infertility

The treatment of uncomplicated Chlamydia is easy enough with a single dose of antibiotics.  However, this easy enough treatment will only be effective if your partner is Chlamydia free, so, and  I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH, sexual partners must be evaluated and treated as soon as possible to prevent re-infection.  Both partners must abstain from sexual activity (NO SEX OF ANY KIND) until 7 days after they have been treated.

The Ohio State University has various resources available for STI testing.

  • An appointment can be scheduled with a provider at Student Health Services.
  • An Order-it-Yourself (OIY) lab for detected Chlamydia can be completed at the Student Health Services Laboratory.
  •  Free STI testing is offered by the Student Wellness Center.

Ryo Choi-Pearson, M.D.


3 thoughts on “What are some symptoms of Chlamydia?

  1. Hi,
    one of the biggest problems facing young women is the phrase you used: “abnormal vaginal discharge”. That has become such a difficult descriptor, that it is becoming more ignored. For example, various daily factors (such as using a different lube, excitement levels, etc.) can change the consistency, color and volume of discharge — all of which may leave a woman wondering if it is “abnormal” or not. We have had better luck using terms such as “burning during intercourse or urination”, or “really bad smell”, or “strange pelvic pains”. These terms were easier for women to identify.

    With men, the symptoms are usually hidden or ignored. We suggest to men (who are sexually active with multiple partners) that they perform “squeezing” techniques in the morning before their first urination. This will allow them to see any potential yellow or white discharge that would normally get “lost” if they urinated without squeezing. Typically men are not going to get tested — especially if they have read online or heard from friends how doctors prefer to get samples from the urethra to be tested.

    Thanks for interesting article.

  2. hello i have been diagnostic with chlamydia it was a really hard news for me because i didn’t know how to confront it with my parents im scared of what they will think about me, this disease its silent not everyone get symptoms i did, i started to use the bathroom frequently and i wasn’t able to hold it for too long, when i had intercourse with my boyfriend i had some weird pains and i didn’t do anything about it until this day that i had a really weird pain on my left leg it felt like cramps, i also had abdominal pain and back pain

    • Please make sure that your boyfriend is also being treated. If you have chlamydia then he does too.

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