Chlamydia Basics - Minnesota Dept. of Health

About Chlamydia

On this page:
Signs and Symptoms
Testing and Treatment
For More Information

Signs and Symptoms

  • Most people have no symptoms
  • Develop 7-21 days after exposure, or not at all

For women:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Anal discomfort

For men:

  • Watery or thin white discharge from penis
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Anal discomfort 


Chlamydia is spread by:

  • Vaginal sex
  • Oral sex
  • Anal sex
  • Infected mother to newborn


If left untreated, chlamydia can:

  • Spread to sex partners
  • Lead to ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
  • Lead to pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Lead to infertility in men and women
  • Make it easier to transmit or acquire HIV during sex

During pregnancy, chlamydia infection:

  • Can be passed to newborn during childbirth and cause serious eye infection or pneumonia
  • Can lead to premature delivery and low birth weight


  • Avoiding vaginal, oral or anal sex is the best way to prevent STDs.
  • Condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of chlamydia.
  • Always use condoms during vaginal and anal sex.
  • Use a condom for oral sex on a penis.
  • Use a barrier (dental dam or condom cut in half) for oral sex on a vagina or anus.
  • Limit the number of sex partners.
  • Notify sex partners immediately if infected.
  • Make sure partners are tested and treated at the same time to prevent re-infection.
  • CDC Condom Locator
    Search by zip code to find free or low-cost condoms near you.

Testing and Treatment

  • Get a test from a medical provider if infection is suspected.
  • Chlamydia can be cured using medication prescribed by a medical provider.
  • Partners should be treated at the same time.
  • STD Testing
    Find free or low-cost testing near you.

NOTE: A person can be re-infected after treatment.

For more Information

  • STD Basics
    Signs and symptoms, transmission, complications, prevention and treatment for STDs.

Updated Thursday, 21-Feb-2019 14:36:42 CST