Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. There are 2,800,000 new cases each year with some individuals accounting for multiple cases. Approximately 1.9 million Americans are currently infected with the sexually transmitted disease.

What are the symptoms?

In most cases, there are no symptoms. Some females may experience vaginal discharge and/or pelvic or abdominal pain. Males usually have pain while urinating and may have a discharge from the penis.

Can having chlamydia lead to other problems?

Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in females. PID involves a severe infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries which may lead to infertility, tubal pregnancies, and chronic pelvic pain. It is also easier to transmit or get infected with HIV if you are infected with chlamydia.

How is it transmitted?

Chlamydia is transmitted by contact with infectious secretions during sexual activity which includes vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse.  It may also be spread from mother-to-child during birth.

How is it diagnosed?

Chlamydia may be diagnosed by your healthcare provider using a lab test to assess the secretions from the infected area which may include the cervix, urethra, anus, or throat. The lab may also use a urine sample for testing.

How is it treated?

Chlamydia may be treated and cured with antibiotics administered orally.

Can chlamydia be prevented?

There are only two 100% effective ways to prevent chlamydia. The first is to refrain from sexual contact of any kind. The second is to be in a long-term monogamous relationship such as marriage.

Last Updated: 08/2015

Compiled using information from the following sources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Infectious Diseases of the Female Genital Tract Fourth Ed. Sweet, Richard L, et al, Ch. 5.