It is common to have a chlamydial infection and have no symptoms. Many people who do not know they are infected carry the infection for years. They can transmit it to others and slowly scar their genital organs. In these cases, infected people may have nonspecific symptoms, like vague back or pelvic pain, bowel trouble, painful intercourse, or loss of energy. If recognizable symptoms do occur, they usually appear weeks of exposure.
If left untreated, chlamydia can have serious health consequences.
Complications of untreated chlamydia in men include:
Complications of untreated chlamydia in women include:
Chlamydia symptoms may also appear in the:
Pregnant women can transmit chlamydia to their newborns during birth. This may cause conjunctivitis or pneumonia in the baby.
Chlamydia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/default.htm. Updated April 30, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated March 13, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Chlamydia fact sheet. US Department of Health and Human Services Women's Health website. Available at: hhttp://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/chlamydia.cfm. Updated July 8, 2011. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Ornithosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated November 30, 2009. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Trachoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated June 21, 2012. Accessed May 16, 2013
Workowski KA, Berman S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.
Last reviewed May 2013 by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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