Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease or infection (also called an STD or STI).
The infection can affect many parts of the body, but usually the bacteria infect the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine and semen out of the penis. Chlamydia may also infect the epididymis or the prostate gland. The epididymis is a coiled tube attached to the testicle. It stores and carries sperm. The prostate is a gland located between the bladder and the penis. The anus and rectum may be infected if you have anal sex. Oral sex may infect the throat.
Chlamydia can cause infertility, which means you may have trouble getting your partner pregnant when you decide that you’re ready to have a family. The risk is greatest if you have an infection for weeks or months without treatment. The infection can cause problems with making sperm or cause scarring which makes it hard for the sperm to pass out of the body.
Also, if you have chlamydia and then have unsafe sex with someone who has HIV, you are more likely to be infected with HIV.
The infection is caused by bacteria called chlamydia. It is usually passed from person to person during oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
Most people who are infected do not have any symptoms. This means you can pass the infection to your sexual partner without knowing that you are infected. Also, your partner can pass the infection to you without having any symptoms.
Symptoms may include:
Sometimes infections of the prostate or epididymis are sudden and severe. These infections may cause fever or other symptoms of illness, such as headache, back pain, or muscle aches. Sudden illness with fever needs prompt medical care.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and sexual and medical history and examine you. Tests may include:
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotic medicine. You may need to take more than 1 antibiotic.
Symptoms are usually gone 1 to 4 weeks after you start taking the antibiotic. If you keep having symptoms even though you are taking an antibiotic, tell your healthcare provider. Also tell your provider if any symptoms come back after you finish taking the antibiotic.
You will be asked about your sexual partners. Your infection will be reported to the local health department and your sexual partners will be told that they have had contact with someone who has a sexually transmitted infection. (Your name will not be given.) This will help them get prompt treatment for the infection. It can also help prevent new infections.
Ask your healthcare provider if you should get checked again after treatment to make sure the infection is gone.