Chlamydia Symptoms

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three million Americans become infected with chlamydia each year.
Although chlamydia can affect people of all ages, in the United States it is most common among teenagers. Most cases of chlamydia are transmitted from person to person through oral, anal, or vaginal sex.

Symptoms of Chlamydia

If patients develop the infection after vaginal sex, common symptoms include

  1. painful urination
  2. vaginal or penile discharge
  3. lower abdominal pain
  4. painful sexual intercourse in women
  5. testicular pain in men

If patients develop the infection after anal sex, rectal inflammation usually occurs. This inflammation typically causes pain and mucus discharge.
If patients touch their eyes after touching bodily secretions (e.g. semen or vaginal discharge) that are infected with chlamydia, they may develop an eye infection called pinkeye (conjunctivitis). Left untreated, pinkeye may lead to permanent blindness.

Newborns who contract chlamydia during childbirth usually develop pneumonia and/or severe eye infections, which may lead to blindness.

Selected References

American Social Health Association. Accessed April 28, 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Accessed April 28, 2009.
Cline JS. Sexually transmitted diseases: will this problem ever go away? N C Med J. 2006 Sep-Oct;67(5):353-8.
Enders M, Regnath T, Tewald F, et al. Syphilis. Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2007 Jan 19;132(3):77-8.
Flipp E, Raczynski P, El Midaoui A, et al. Chlamydia trachomatis infection in sexually active adolescents and young women. Med Wieku Rozwoj. 2005 Jan-Mar;9(1):57-64.
Rupp RE, Stanberry LR, Rosenthal SL. Vaccines for sexually transmitted infections. Pediatr Ann. 2005 Oct;34(10):818-20, 822-4.