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Chlamydia doesn’t always cause any noticeable symptoms. For this reason, you shouldn’t wait for them to appear before seeing a doctor.

Of course, it’s still important that you know what to look out for if symptoms do happen.

There are a number of symptoms that could indicate you have chlamydia. Like any sexually transmitted infection, it affects men and women differently.

We’ve broken the information into clear sections, so that you can quickly find what’s relevant for you.

Chlamydia symptoms in women

Up to 80% of women who have chlamydia do not notice any symptoms.

However, when symptoms do occur, they include:

  • Pain or a burning sensation when urinating
  • Heavier periods than normal
  • Bleeding between normal period cycles
  • Yellow or white vaginal discharge
  • Stomach or pelvic pain
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Bleeding during or after sex

What happens if it’s left untreated?

If left untreated, chlamydia can also cause fertility problems for women, particularly if the infection spreads to the womb or fallopian tubes.

This causes a serious condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) , which increases the chance of an ectopic pregnancy. This is when a fertilised egg becomes embedded outside the womb. If this happens, it’s not possible to save the pregnancy and you may need an operation..

Symptoms of PID include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Bleeding between normal period cycles

In some cases, chlamydia can even lead to infertility, so it’s really important to get the right treatment as quickly as possible.

 

Chlamydia and pregnancy

If you get chlamydia while you’re pregnant, there’s a chance the infection could be passed to your baby if it isn’t treated as quickly as possible.

This can lead to serious complications with your pregnancy. Fortunately, our doctors can provide the reassurance and treatment you need.

Find out more about what to do if you get chlamydia during pregnancy here.

Chlamydia symptoms in men

Up to 50% of men who have chlamydia do not notice any symptoms.

When symptoms are present, the most common ones include:

  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Yellow, white or watery discharge from the penis
  • Pain in the testicles

What happens if it’s left untreated?

If left untreated, chlamydia can spread to other parts of your body.

It can lead to a condition known as epididymitis, which causes painful swelling of the testicles and the tubes that carry sperm. Over time, this can lead to fertility problems and even infertility.

Another problem you might face is sexually acquired reactive arthritis (SARA). This causes swelling and discomfort around your joints, urethra and even eyes. Our doctors can prescribe anti-inflammatories to treat SARA and it’s unlikely to cause any lasting damage.

Chlamydia in the throat

This can happen if you have unprotected oral sex. While it’s rare to see any symptoms as a result of this, you may notice a cough, sore throat or fever.

Of course, these are symptoms of many conditions, so if you’re worried about chlamydia, you should see a doctor.

Chlamydia in the rectum

This can happen if you have unprotected anal sex. Signs of chlamydia include pain, discharge or bleeding from your rectum, but many people don’t get any symptoms.

Chlamydia in the eyes

This can happen if you get infected semen or vaginal fluid in your eye. This can cause symptoms similar to conjunctivitis, such as pain, redness or a discharge from your eye.

How long does it take to show signs of chlamydia?

As we’ve already mentioned, some people with chlamydia don’t have any symptoms at all.

If you get them, they’ll usually appear between one and three weeks after you’ve had unprotected sex. However, in some cases they won’t appear until many months later. For some people, symptoms of chlamydia will come and go over time.

Everyone’s experience is different, so if you think you may have chlamydia, it’s much safer to see a doctor as soon as possible, rather than wait for symptoms to appear.

When to see a doctor

Whether you’ve noticed symptoms or not, if you’ve had unprotected sex, it’s very important to see a doctor and get the necessary tests and treatment.

As you can see, leaving things to chance could lead to very serious complications for your fertility and overall health.

If you need a discreet chat with a doctor, our experienced GPs are online every day.