Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, with about 1.7 million cases newly diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Rates of chlamydia are on the rise, but many people who have it are unaware because their bodies do not show any obvious symptoms. The good news is chlamydia is an easily treatable condition, which is good because untreated chlamydia can be very serious, particularly for women.

Many people may have questions about chlamydia, such as how it’s transmitted and how it’s treated. Here’s a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about this common STD:

In This Section

  • How serious is chlamydia?
  • How do you get chlamydia without being sexually active?
  • Does chlamydia have discharge?
  • How do you know if a guy has chlamydia?
  • Can chlamydia kill you?
  • How long does it take for chlamydia to show up?
  • How bad is chlamydia?
  • What happens if you have chlamydia for too long?
  • Is chlamydia a STD?
  • Can a guy have chlamydia and not know it?
  • Can you have chlamydia for 5 years without knowing?
  • Can you catch chlamydia from a toilet seat?
  • Does chlamydia have a fishy odor?
  • Does chlamydia feel like a UTI?
  • What happens if chlamydia goes untreated?
  • Does chlamydia make your pee smell?
  • How easy is it to catch chlamydia?
  • How do u know if u have chlamydia?
  • How long does it take for chlamydia to clear up?
  • Can chlamydia make you tired?
  • Why should you be worried about chlamydia?
  • Can chlamydia be detected right away?

How serious is chlamydia?

In addition to the uncomfortable symptoms chlamydia can cause, untreated chlamydia can lead to serious health problems. For both men and women, untreated chlamydia can elevate the chance of getting or transmitting HIV. For women, untreated chlamydia can lead to a serious infection of the reproductive organs called pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, which can impact a woman’s fertility.

How do you get chlamydia without being sexually active?

It’s not necessary to have intercourse to contract chlamydia, so even if you are engaging in non-intercourse activities, it still may be possible to get chlamydia. However, it is not spread through casual contact like sharing food or kissing. Chlamydia is transmitted through semen, vaginal fluids and pre-cum, so contacting any of those fluids could give you chlamydia.

Does chlamydia have discharge?

Yes, in many infected patients whose bodies are showing symptoms, discharge is present from their genitals. However, most people who have chlamydia are unaware they’re infected because they have no symptoms.

How do you know if a guy has chlamydia?

For men who show symptoms (which is the minority of people who have chlamydia), the most common symptoms are discharge from their penis and a burning sensation during urination. A less common symptom is swelling and pain in one or both testicles.

Can chlamydia kill you?

While chlamydia on its own is extremely unlikely to cause a dangerous infection, untreated chlamydia can lead to serious health complications, especially for women. Untreated chlamydia in women is connected to the development of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to major reproductive complications, such as ectopic pregnancies, which can be fatal. On its own, though, chlamydia is a bacterial infection and should be treated.

How long does it take for chlamydia to show up?

There is no one set incubation period for chlamydia, and patients may develop symptoms within days of exposure. However, since most patients do not develop symptoms at all, it’s often difficult to gauge how long the infection requires to take hold. But most patients who develop chlamydia do so within 3 weeks after contact with an infected person.

How bad is chlamydia?

On its own, chlamydia can cause discharge and discomfort. But untreated chlamydia can lead to serious medical issues, particularly for women, who may develop a major reproductive condition called pelvic inflammatory disease. PID can cause infertility in many women.

What happens if you have chlamydia for too long?

Not getting treated for chlamydia can lead to serious health complications for both men and women, whose fertility can be compromised. Women, particularly, are at risk for a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause pelvic pain, infertility and other major health complications. For both men and women, untreated chlamydia can raise their risk of getting or transmitting HIV.

Is chlamydia a STD?

Yes, chlamydia is one of the most common, and most treatable, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs). About 1.7 million new cases of chlamydia are reported in the U.S. every year.

Can a guy have chlamydia and not know it?

Definitely. In fact, most people who have chlamydia are unaware that they have it, which is one reason the disease is so common, since so many people continue having sex even after becoming infected.

Can you have chlamydia for 5 years without knowing?

Yes; in fact, most people who have chlamydia are not aware of their infection. However, going without treatment can cause serious health implications, as both men and women who have untreated chlamydia are at elevated risk for contracting and transmitting HIV. Chlamydia also can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, which can impact a woman’s ability to have children.

Can you catch chlamydia from a toilet seat?

No, chlamydia can only be transmitted through sexual contact or from a mother to an unborn child.

Does chlamydia have a fishy odor?

The genital discharge caused by chlamydia usually does not have an odor, though another common STI, trichomoniasis, can lead to a vaginal odor.

Does chlamydia feel like a UTI?

Both men and women can experience a burning sensation when urinating, which can be confused for a urinary tract infection.

What happens if chlamydia goes untreated?

Untreated chlamydia can be very dangerous, as it can elevate a person’s chances of contracting and transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Additionally, women with untreated chlamydia are at a higher risk of developing PID, or pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious reproductive health problem that can cause scar tissue in the reproductive organs.

Does chlamydia make your pee smell?

No, chlamydia does not typically cause any odors, though some people who have chlamydia do experience discharge from their genitals.

How easy is it to catch chlamydia?

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections and is readily spread through vaginal fluids, semen and pre-cum. Because most people who have chlamydia do not show symptoms, it’s possible to pass it to someone else without even knowing.

How do u know if u have chlamydia?

Getting tested for chlamydia is the best way to know whether you have it, as most people who are infected show no symptoms. If you’ve recently had unprotected sex, it’s best to get tested for this very common and easily transmitted STI. Signs of chlamydia include burning while urinating and discharge from the penis or vagina.

How long does it take for chlamydia to clear up?

If you test positive for chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics, which will clear up your infection in 7 days. However, if you have unprotected sex during that 7 days, you still could pass chlamydia to your partner even if you show no obvious symptoms. Be sure that you take all the medication your doctor prescribes even if you have no symptoms.

Can chlamydia make you tired?

The most common symptoms of chlamydia are discharge and pain while urinating. In women, it is possible for chlamydia, which is a bacteria, to spread beyond the vagina and cervix, and in those cases, a low-grade fever, which could lead to tired.

Why should you be worried about chlamydia?

Chlamydia is an incredibly common sexually transmitted infection, meaning it’s easy to get it because it’s spread readily through vaginal fluids, semen and pre-cum. And because most people don’t know they have it, many people will continue having unprotected sex and unknowingly transmit it to their partners. In addition to being easy to spread, untreated chlamydia can cause serious complications, particularly for women, who are at risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, a condition that can permanently impact a woman’s fertility.

Can chlamydia be detected right away?

While there is no standard incubation period for chlamydia, it’s possible to detect it within just a few days of exposure. But in most cases, it can take as much as 3 weeks for the disease to show up.