Chlamydia Symptoms

Reviewed by Frank Cockerill, MD, Mar. 28, 2017

Chlamydia symptoms in women

Most common

  • No symptoms at all (75% infected women show no signs)

Less common

Least common

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Lower bellyache
  • Low back pain
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Pain during sex
  • Sore throat

Chlamydia symptoms in men

Most common

  • No symptoms at all (50% infected men show no signs)

Less common

  • Thick yellow or milky or watery discharge from penis
  • Painful urination
  • Rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding
  • Inflamed eye

Least common

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Pictures of chlamydia symptoms

male chlamydia symptoms
male chlamydia symptoms
chlamydia symptoms
NOTE: These photos represent symptoms of advanced disease.

75% of the women with chlamydia have no obvious symptoms.

Even though chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the US, it can also be the most "silent." Just because you don't have any signs doesn't mean you don't have an infection. Chlamydia may lead to more serious risks, including increasing the risk of getting other STDs like HIV. The Centers for Disease Control recommends sexually active women get tested for STDs at least once a year. Because most of the time, you don't know if you have an STD until you get tested.

Half the men with chlamydia don't show symptoms, either.

As with women, chlamydia is a "silent" STD for half of the men who have it. This means that they never show symptoms and won't find out unless they are tested or have a sexual partner who shows signs of infection. As for the other half that do show signs of chlamydia, the common symptoms of urethra infections is a pus or discharge that is thick, yellow-white or milky or watery. You may also have painful urination and a burning itch around the opening of the penis. A less common symptom is pain or swelling in the testicles.

If you do show signs of chlamydia, they can appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.

Signs of chlamydia usually appear 1 to 3 weeks after being exposed to the bacterial infection through vaginal, oral or anal sex.

Untreated chlamydia can lead to other health problems.

For women who get chlamydia from vaginal sex, the infection can first present on the cervix (entrance to the womb). Along with vaginal discharge and painful urination, other symptoms include bleeding between periods and stomach pain. When the infection is untreated it may spread to the uterus (womb) or fallopian tubes (tubes that carry fertilized eggs from the ovaries to the uterus) and become pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). While some women with these increased infections may still have no symptoms, others will have low back pain, nausea, fever and painful sex.

Both women and men can have the same rectal and eye symptoms.

Men and women who receive anal sex and get rectal infections may shows signs of Chlamydia through rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding. And even women who only have vaginal sex can get rectal chlamydia by spreading the infection from their cervix when wiping. An inflamed eye and conjunctivitis (eyelid discharge) are signs that chlamydia has attacked your eyelids. And in rare cases you may get a sore throat from oral sex infections.

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