chlamydia treatment

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Chlamydia Infection Treatment 

Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that does not always present itself with noticeable symptoms. It, however, may lead to severe complications if left untreated for a long period of time.

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a wide-spread sexually transmitted infection (STI) which is caused by bacteria known as chlamydia trachomatis. Usually, people suffering from chlamydia do not experience any symptoms in the early stages of the infection.

As per a study, about 40 to 96 percent of all chlamydia patients do not experience any symptoms. It, however, can still cause serious health issues in the later stages.

Hence, you should undergo regular screenings, and get proper treatment in case you are positive for infection and stay in touch with a healthcare professional to avoid any severe complications.

Generally, chlamydia presents itself with symptoms similar to other STIs. 

How is chlamydia transmitted?

Sexual intercourse, be it penile-vaginal, oral or anal, all can lead to chlamydia infection. Avoiding barrier methods like wearing a condom while having sex is the main reason behind the spread of chlamydia infection. It can also spread through oral sex if any barrier method is not used.

It does not necessarily require penetration to spread from one person to another. It can transmit even if the genitals were only touching, as it is enough for bacteria to pass on to either of the partners. 

Newborn babies can also contract chlamydia if their mother is suffering from it. You should ensure going for a chlamydia test on your first prenatal checkup.

Despite being rare, chlamydia can spread in the eye too through oral or genital contact.

Even if you have undergone a thorough treatment for chlamydia infection, you can still contract it from an infected person.

Can you get chlamydia without having sex?

Yes, you can! Sex is just one way this bacteria transmits from one person to another. For example, sharing sex toys with an infected person can also lead to this infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is also known as a “silent infection” because of its tendency of not triggering any symptoms. It, still, can cause a few symptoms in some patients, which include: 

  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain and/or burning while passing the urine
  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Yellowish and/or foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • Irregular bleeding in between periods
  • Pus or watery/milky discharge from your penis
  • Swollen or tender testicals
  • Pain, discharge or bleeding around anus
  • abnormal vaginal discharge (may be yellowish and have a strong smell)
  • bleeding between periods / breakthrough bleeding in between periods
  • pus or a watery/milky discharge from the penis
  • swollen or tender testicles
  • pain, discharge and/or bleeding around the anus

Symptoms of chlamydia may also vary in men and women.

Chlamydia symptoms in men

In most men, the symptoms of chlamydia go unnoticed. Some of them, however, may experience symptoms, such as:


  • Burning sensation while passing the urine 
  • Yellowish or greenish discharge from the penis
  • Lower abdomen pain
  • Testicular pain

Chlamydia infection can also spread in the anus. The symptoms in this case include:


  • Discharge
  • Pain
  • Bleeding from this area


This infection can also spread in your throat if you have oral sex with an infected person. Its symptoms include:


  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever


There is also a possibility of carrying this infection in the throat and not knowing about it at all.

Chlamydia symptoms in women

In women, the symptoms of chlamydia may take weeks to appear. Some of the most common symptoms of this STI in women include:


  • Pain during sexual intercourse also known as dyspareunia
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning sensation while passing the urine
  • Lower abdomen pain
  • Cervicitis which means inflammation of the cervix
  • Bleeding between periods

Chlamydia can also spread to the fallopian tubes of some women, which may lead to a condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can become troublesome and cause long term complications for a woman. 

The symptoms of PID are:

  • Fever
  • Severe pain in the pelvis area
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods

Chlamydia can also infect the rectum of women. This type of chlamydia usually does not present itself with any symptoms, but still, if it shows any symptoms, they may include rectal bleeding, pain in the rectum and discharge.

What are the first symptoms of chlamydia?

As already described, chlamydia does not show any symptoms in the early stages, but you can detect it if you experience any unusual discharge from your genitals. Pain, bleeding or discharge from your bottom may also indicate infection with chlamydia.

Causes and risk factors

There are several causes and risk factors associated with chlamydia.

How do you get chlamydia?

Generally, chlamydia infection transmits due to sexual activity, when vaginal fluid or semen containing the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria goes from one person to another. Sexual activities include all types of sex, including those which do not involve penetration or ejaculation.

There are several ways this bacteria can transmit from one person to another, which include:

  • Sexual intercourse: During sex, the bacteria travels from the male genital to the female genital, or vice versa.
  • Anal sex: In anal sex, the bacteria pass from penis to the anus or vice versa.
  • Oral sex: In oral sex, bacteria travels from the infected person’s mouth to the healthy person’s penis, vagina or anus, or vice versa.
  • Using common sex toys: Chlamydia infection passes from the sex toy to the penis, vagina or anus of the healthy person.
  • Manual stimulation of the genitals or anus : Rarely, infected vaginal fluid or semen comes in contact with the eye of the healthy person, leading to an infection known as conjunctivitis or pink eye. For example, this happens when you touch the genitals of an infected person and touch or rub your eyes without properly washing your hands first.
  • Chlamydia Urethritis: Chlamydial urethritis in men is a urethral infection resulting from the sexually transmitted infection (STI) chlamydia. In it, the urethra, which transports urine from the bladder to outside the body via the penis, becomes swollen and irritated, typically leading to discharge from the penis.

Chlamydia in throat: Chlamydia pharyngitis

STIs like chlamydia can also transmit from one person to another during oral sex. The bacteria can infect a person even if it comes in contact with their mouth, lips or tongue.

Chlamydia of the throat is not common.

It is even more difficult to identify the symptoms of chlamydia if you have contracted it through oral sex. Still, if any symptoms appear, they may include:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Dry throat
  • Cough

There are other STIs too that can develop in the throat. Every type of STI causes different types of symptoms and issues.

Chlamydial conjunctivitis: Chlamydia in eye

Chlamydia infection is most common in the genital region, but it can also occur in the less common areas like anus, throat and the eyes. It can infect the eyes through direct or indirect contact.

As already informed, you may get this infection in the eye if you touch an infected person’s genitals and then rub your eyes without washing your hands first.

Chlamydia eye infection, aka chlamydial conjunctivitis, may present itself with the following symptoms:

  • Redness in the eyes
  • Swollen eyes
  • Itching around the eyes
  • Irritation
  • Mucus or discharge
  • Sensitivity to light also known as photophobia

Chlamydia in the eye can even lead to blindness if not treated on time. The treatment of this infection is pretty easy, and early treatment helps in preventing the complications too.

What doesn’t cause chlamydia?

Chlamydia infection doesn’t spread through casual contacts including situations which involve exchange of bodily fluids. You can not contract chlamydia through:

  • Hugging or holding hands
  • Kissing
  • Sharing food or drinks
  • Using a toilet after someone else
  • Inhaling droplets after someone coughs or sneezes

How long can you have chlamydia without knowing?

Chlamydia is also known as silent infection because 40-96% of people never notice any symptoms. People who do have noticeable symptoms can only identify them a few weeks after being infected.

Because most people suffering from chlamydia are asymptomatic, it is often spread by the infected person without even realising it. Due to the same reason, people miss out on taking the treatment for the infection in time to prevent the development of serious complications.

Can you tell how long you’ve had chlamydia?

Usually, people who have noticeable symptoms, experience them between one week and three months from the time of having unprotected sex. In some people, however, it can take more than three months. 

You must undergo regular screenings for STIs if you are sexually active, because you may be having an infection without even knowing it. These screenings help you diagnose such infections before they become severe. For example, the screening may help your doctor find out if the infection has spread into your fallopian tubes or testicals.

Who does chlamydia affect?

Notably, Chlamydia trachomatis causes 30-40% of non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) in men globally. 

Everyone who is having regular sexual intercourse can get chlamydia infection. Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacteria irresponsible for this STI, travels through vaginal fluids and semen. It clearly means that everyone who is having regular sex can get infected and also infect their partners. Pregnant ladies who are suffering from chlamydia can also pass on the infection to their newborn.

How common is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs caused by bacteria. Over a million cases of chlamydia are reported every year in India alone! It is a disease that can even impact fertility in women or cause ectopic pregnancies.

The actual number of cases is surely way higher as in most people it goes unnoticed for a very long time. 

Your age, gender, and race are also some of the characteristics that can make you more prone to getting diagnosed with chlamydia. People who are at a higher risk of getting this STI include:

  • People aged between 15 and 24 years are at a higher risk. Over half of all diagnosed chlamydia cases in the United States are from this age group. The rate goes even higher in women.
  • Men who have sex with other men are also at a higher risk of developing chlamydia infection as compared to men who have sex with women.
  • Black and non-Hispanic people are also found to be more prone to developing this infection.

As per the verified sources, thes higher rates of chlamydia transmission are less about sexual behaviour and more about the networks and lack of access to STI prevention resources. For example, it has a higher probability of spreading within communities that have higher infection rates. Additionally, it has a higher possibility of spreading among groups that do not have easy access to sex education or barrier methods for STIs like condoms and dental dams.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends chlamydia testing as a must have part of your regular health maintenance.

Diagnosis and Tests

Diagnosing chlamydia is very important to avoid future complications.

How is chlamydia diagnosed?

Serological tests for chlamydia infections measure the presence of antibodies produced by the body in response to the bacteria. The most common serological test is the microimmunofluorescent (MIF) antibody test, which is considered the “gold standard”. Other serological tests include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs

ADD Anti-chlamydia antibody IgG test, etc . / serology tests.


PCR test from  Urine


Do not screen for chlamydia using serological tests.

Date reviewed: 1 September 2016

There is no role for chlamydia serology as a screening test as antibodies elicited during infection are long-lived, meaning a positive antibody test will not distinguish between a previous and a current infection and are non-specific for genital serovars. 

Chlamydia serology may be useful in specific circumstances, for example, investigating atypical pneumonia in babies or in identifying late stage Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) infection. 

Laboratory tests based on nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) technologies remain the first choice for diagnosis of chlamydial infections during pregnancy and in other settings. NAAT testing for identifying LGV serovars of Chlamydia trachomatis has superseded the use of serology for diagnosis but is only available in some specialist settings.

Nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) is the recommended method for initial screening or testing for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) infections.

Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are recommended for the diagnosis of chlamydia and gonorrhoea due to their high sensitivity and specificity,1–3 but a variety of urogenital specimens (ie, urine, cervical and vaginal) are used for testing at clinic level

Can a PCR test detect chlamydia?

PCR is a modern test that investigates the presence of bacteria at the molecular level. Currently, this test is widely used in the diagnosis of some infectious diseases. In particular, PCR shows an important role in finding gonorrhea and chlamydia bacteria to identify the disease with very high accuracy.

A serological Chlamydia test measures IgG, IgM, or IgA antibodies against the pathogenic bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. This is the most common test used for Chlamydia detection. NAAT involves the detection of nucleic acid sequences specific to the pathogen.

The most common test to diagnose chlamydia infection is known as a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). To carry out this test, your doctor will collect a sample of fluid through a vaginal/cervical swab or a urine sample. The collected sample is then sent to a lab where they look for the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria in it. 

Your doctor may also ask you to do an at-home test to diagnose chlamydia. You just have to strictly follow the instructions of the doctor to ensure getting an accurate result.

The CDC recommends everyone to go for regular screenings of chlamydia even if you do not have any noticeable symptoms. The CDC also confirmed that women are at higher risk of developing chlamydia infection as compared to men, and are also more prone to getting severe complications. Hence, women must keep getting screened for STIs.

Women are at a higher risk if they:

  • Are below 25 years of age
  • Are pregnant
  • Have a new sexual partner
  • Have more than one sexual partners
  • Have suffered from chlamydia infection previously

Men must get regularly screened for chlamydia if:

  • Have a new sexual partner
  • Have more than one sexual partners
  • Have sexual intercourse with other men.
  • Have suffered from chlamydia infection previously.

Irrespective of your age, gender or risk factors, you should keep discussing your sexual history and activity with your doctor at regular intervals. This way, your doctor will be able to offer you the best guidance on how often you should get tested for chlamydia and other STIs.

Management and Treatment

Chlamydia can be managed and treated easily. You just have to strictly follow the instructions of your healthcare practitioner to achieve optimal health.

How is chlamydia treated?

Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics once you have been diagnosed with chlamydia. The symptoms may disappear within a week or two of taking antibiotics, but you are not supposed to stop the medication on your own. You should consult your doctor to understand the future course of action to confirm if the infection has gone completely. There is always the possibility of recurrence of chlamydia infection.

You are supposed to follow some general guidelines during the course of treatment, which include:

  • Stop any sexual activity until you are completely treated, and also ensure that your sexual partner, who may be infected, gets tested for chlamydia and receives complete treatment. 
  • Do not think that as soon as you start taking medications for chlamydia infection, you are clear to have sexual intercourse. First, you have to complete your treatment as directed by your physician and avoid all sexual contact during the period.
  • Get in touch with your all sexual partners in the past three months period and inform them about you being infected so that they can also get tested, and treated if needed.
  • Also get tested for STIs like HIV/AIDS, syphilis, herpes and gonorrhoea. People may have multiple STIs at the same time and it is very important to take treatment for each one of the infections.


Antibiotics are known to treat the infection but they can not reverse the complications it has already caused to your body. This is the reason why you should regularly undergo screenings for chlamydia infection.

Home remedies for chlamydia

As we have already highlighted that chlamydia is a bacterial infection, consulting your doctor to get a proper treatment is the only way to cure it. There, however, are some alternative treatment methods which can help you subside the symptoms.

Before going ahead with any home remedies to manage chlamydia infection, you must understand that this STI can lead to long-term complications, including infertility and chronic inflammation.

Some effective home remedies to manage symptoms of chlamydia infection include:

  • Goldenseal: This medicinal plant has the capability to reduce inflammation during the infection.
  • Echinacea: This plant is known to improve the immune system of people, which helps in fighting off several infections like common cold, skin wounds, etc. This plant may help in subsiding the symptoms of chlamydia.

Despite having the compounds to alleviate the symptoms, there is no quality research available which proves that these plans have the capability to help in the treatment of chlamydia infection.

Can chlamydia go away on its own?

You should never wait for this STI to go away on its own as if left untreated for a significant amount of time, it can lead to serious harm to your health. Moreover, leaving it untreated puts your sexual partner at the risk of suffering from serious complications.

What medications are used to get rid of chlamydia?

There is a list of antibiotics that are commonly used to treat chlamydia infection:

  • Doxycycline: This is one of the most common antibiotics prescribed by physicians for chlamydia. It usually has a seven-day course. Discuss please
  • Azithromycin: Generally, it is taken as a single dose for chlamydia. It is the most preferred medicine during pregnancy.

You should never self-medicate as it may worsen the situation. You must consult with your healthcare provider and only take the medications as directed by him/her. Also, you should ensure completing the course of medication, even if the symptoms have disappeared completely to avoid the chances of recurrence.

Can chlamydia be cured?

Chlamydia is definitely curable, but you will have to take precautions to stay safe and avoid the chances of recurrence.

Some sexually transmitted infections, however, are becoming resistant to antibiotics and it becomes tougher to cure them completely. Hence, the best way to fight chlamydia is to prevent it, and if you still have got infected, you should immediately get in touch with an experienced sexologist.

What can happen if chlamydia isn’t treated?

Leaving chlamydia untreated can put you at risk of suffering from severe health complications.

Complications of chlamydia for women

Chlamydia, if left untreated, can lead to: 

  • Infertility: Leaving chlamydia untreated can also damage your fallopian tubes, uterus and vagina, making it really difficult for you to get pregnant.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): PID is a serious health condition in women that needs immediate hospitalisation. It may manifest when an STI like chlamydia is left untreated and it reaches your reproductive organs. PID can cause chronic pelvic pain and even infertility. PID is also known to block the tubes and lead to ectopic pregnancy, which can prove fatal for both, foetus and the mother.
  • Pregnancy complications: Leaving chlamydia untreated during pregnancy can lead to preterm delivery. Additionally, the infected mother can pass it on to the newborn. Babies born with chlamydia are prone to suffer from pneumonia or conjunctivitis, which can potentially cause blindness if left untreated. Hence, you must undergo chlamydia screening at your first prenatal appointment


Complications of chlamydia for men

Untreated chlamydia can cause:

  • Epididymitis: This condition arises when the infection reaches through to your testicals. In this condition, you will experience symptoms like pain, swelling and tenderness in your testicals.
  • Impaired Fertility: Chlamydia infection also affects your sperm which makes it very difficult for you to impregnate your partner.

Complications of chlamydia that can affect everyone

Leaving chlamydia untreated can lead to spread of infection in your bloodstream, which:

  • Puts you at a higher risk of sustaining reactive arthritis, which leads to swelling of the joints and pain in the joints region.
  • Enhances your risk of getting infected with HIV.

How soon after treatment will I feel better?

Usually, patients start feeling better within a week from the start of chlamydia treatment.

You, however, should continue taking the prescribed medications until the course is complete even if your symptoms have disappeared.

How long should I wait to have sex if I am getting treatment for chlamydia?

Generally, you are advised to stop any kind of sexual activity for the first seven days from the day you begin taking the medications. This allows the medication to work properly so that you do not pass on the infection to your partners. Still, your doctor would be the best person to define the time period you should avoid having sex.

Once you have healed completely, you should practise safe sex and get regular STI screenings to ensure you do not get it again.

How can I reduce my risk of getting chlamydia? Or Prevention of Chlamydia

The only way to prevent chlamydia is to completely abstain from all forms of sexual activity. Still, there are several ways you can reduce your chances of getting chlamydia if you are sexually active:

  • Use protection: Using barrier methods like wearing a condom or dental dam while having oral, vaginal, or anal sex can significantly cut down your chances of getting the infection.
  • Go for regular STI screenings: Getting regularly screened for chlamydia helps in preventing the infection and also allows you to trace it in the early stages to get it treated easily. Depending upon your sexual habits and frequency, your doctor would be able to ascertain how often you should get tested. 
  • Open communication with sexual partners: You are at a higher risk of developing chlamydia or other STIs if you have more than one sexual partner. You, however, can reduce your chances by openly discussing STI preventive measures with your partner and using barrier methods while having sex.
  • Avoid sharing sex toys: You are advised not to use anyone else’s sex toys. But if you have decided to use one, you must wash them properly before and after every use, and also cover them with a condom.

How long does chlamydia last?

Usually, chlamydia goes away within a week or two from the day you start taking medication. Your test results may still appear positive until four weeks after the treatment. 

Living With Chlamydia Infection

You should not delay in getting treatment for chlamydia to ensure there is no further damage to your health because of the infection.

When should I see my doctor  / healthcare provider?

Being proactive is the key when it comes to chlamydia infection. If you are sexually active, you should get in touch with your doctor and evaluate your risk of infection. Prepare a plan to get screened regularly for STIs as recommended by your physician.

You should immediately book an appointment with a qualified doctor if you experience any symptoms or any of your sexual partners test positive for chlamydia or any other sexually transmitted infection.

Dr. Monga’s in Delhi has a team of highly qualified and experienced doctors who have treated thousands of chlamydia patients over the years. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of the infection, you should immediately book an appointment with Dr. Monga’s in Delhi NCR and get the best treatment today.


Chlamydia is a very common infection among sexually active people around the world. People usually hide and feel embarrassed about discussing this issue even with their doctor which often leads to serious complications. The treatment of chlamydia is very simple and quick. Hence, you should never hide or feel ashamed about having this infection and seek immediate medical help.





No, chlamydia infection does not always have a smell. But sometimes chlamydia patients experience unusual vaginal discharge which has a foul smell.

Can experience discharge both from  vagina or urethra of men which can be thick, milky, and yellowish, and may have a strong, unpleasant odor that’s similar to fish or pus 

You can get infected with chlamydia if your partner had oral, vaginal or anal sex with an infected person and then had sex with you. Hence, it is very important to keep the communication very open with your partner so that you both can cut down your chances of contracting chlamydia. Practising safe sex is the best way to reduce your chances of infection.

Chlamydia symptoms may not manifest for weeks, months, or even years. Frequently, the infection is asymptomatic, leading to unawareness of its presence. Consequently, it’s plausible that you contracted chlamydia from prior sexual encounters. Therefore, if you’ve engaged in unprotected sex with multiple partners, it’s advisable to undergo chlamydia testing.

Chlamydia home testing kits are readily accessible and obtainable from numerous pharmacies or online vendors. Generally, these kits necessitate either a urine sample or a tissue swab, which you can conveniently gather at home and return securely to the laboratory for analysis. 

The timeline for damage caused by chlamydia can vary widely among individuals. In some cases, complications may arise quickly, while in others, they may take years to develop. If the infection is not treated on time, the reproductive system can be severely damaged, with the disease spreading across the fallopian tubes and uterus in women. In men, this infection can cause various kinds of fertility issues. This is why it is always best to start the Chlamydia infection treatment as soon as possible.

Generally, it takes close to a week or two for the chlamydia infection to go away. During this time, the doctor will advise you to avoid having sex to avoid the transition of the disease. You will also be prescribed medicines that will help clear the infection, after which the doctor will advise you to undergo another set of tests.

Yes, women who undergo proper treatment from a doctor for chlamydia infection near them can conceive or get pregnant without any difficulties. However, if you have a history of repeated infections or left untreated, it can cause PID or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. It is always advisable to talk to your doctor first to ensure that you will not have any problems at the time of conception.

In case the treatment does not work or show the necessary results, the doctor will change the medicines and try a new course of action. During this time, you can also get an infection due to recent exposure. Those who have a partner suffering from this infection pose a high risk of catching it themselves. If both of you are infected, the chances of recurrence of infection are very high.

Sometimes, a chlamydia discharge has a very strong odour and is yellow or green in colour. One of the most commonly known symptoms that can result in a chlamydia infection is painful urination, leading to a burning sensation around the genital area. Nevertheless, it is always better to get the discharge checked to understand what kind of infection you have and seek the necessary help as soon as possible.

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