Signs of Chlamydia, Symptoms of Infection and When to Get Tested

Most people with chlamydia do not initially notice any symptoms or signs of chlamydia. If you notice symptoms, they usually appear between 1 and 3 weeks after unprotected sex with an infected person. In some people, they develop only after several months.

Sometimes symptoms can disappear after a few days. Even if the symptoms go away, you may still have an infection and can pass it on.

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If you happen to notice any signs or symptoms of chlamydia, it is advisable to get tested as soon as possible. However, for reasons of discretion, most people opt for home testing (where you take the sample at home and return it to the laboratory via an unmarked package). NYD also offers such tests.

Signs of Chlamydia in Women

At least 70% of women infected with chlamydia do not notice any symptoms. If signs do appear, they most commonly include:

  • pain when urinating
  • unusual vaginal discharge
  • abdominal or pelvic pain
  • pain during sex
  • bleeding after sex
  • bleeding during menstruation

If chlamydia is left untreated, it can spread to the uterus and cause a serious condition called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). It is the main cause of ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women.

Signs of Chlamydia in Men

At least half of men with chlamydia do not notice any symptoms. If there are signs of chlamydia, these most often include:

  • pain when urinating
  • white, cloudy or watery discharge from the tip of the penis
  • burning or itching in the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the body)
  • testicular pain

If chlamydia is left untreated, the infection can cause swelling of the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm from the testicles) and testicles. This could affect your fertility.

Where else can Chlamydia occur?

Chlamydia can also infect:

  • rectum (rectum) if you have unprotected anal sex – this can cause discomfort and discharge from the rectum
  • sore throat if you have unprotected oral sex – this is quite uncommon and usually does not cause symptoms
  • eyes if they come into contact with infected semen or vaginal fluid – this can cause red eyes, pain and discharge

When to get tested if you see signs of Chlamydia?

If you have any signs of chlamydia, inform and see your GP as soon as possible. You should also get tested if you don’t have any symptoms but are worried that you might have a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The quickest way to do this is to take the home tests for STDs.

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