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Chlamydia

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Symptoms

Chlamydia bacteria can live in vaginal fluid and in semen. About 70 percent of chlamydial infections have no symptoms, thereby naming it the "silent" disease. Symptoms usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after you are infected. Those who do have symptoms may have an abnormal discharge (mucus or pus) from the vagina or penis or experience pain while urinating. These early symptoms may be very mild.

The bacterial infection may move inside your body if it is not treated.

  • In women, bacteria can infect the cervix and urinary tract. If the bacteria move into the fallopian tubes, they can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  • In men, bacteria can infect the urinary tract and the epididymis, causing epididymitis (inflammation of the reproductive area near the testicles).

PID and epididymitis are both very serious illnesses.

C. trachomatis also can cause inflammation of your rectum and lining of your eye (conjunctivitis or "pink eye"). The bacteria can infect your throat if you have oral sexual contact with an infected partner.

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Last Updated April 16, 2009

Last Reviewed August 10, 2010