Chlamydia (1730)

Key points below

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a germ. It is a very common infection in Wisconsin. Chlamydia can be cured by taking medicine. Women who are not treated may never be able to get pregnant.

How did I get it?

During sex a person with chlamydia gives the infection to their partner through body fluids. The infection can be given to other people during oral, vaginal, or anal sex. 

What are the symptoms?

Often people do not have any symptoms and feel fine.  Men and women may have different symptoms. 
Men may have: 
Fluid dripping from their penis.  This fluid is not urine.
Pain while peeing.
Swelling or pain in their testicles.
Women may have:
Bleeding or fluid from their vagina.  This is not part of their monthly cycle.
A need to pee more often.
Pain during sex.
Pain in their hips or pelvis.

What tests might need to be done?

Testing for chlamydia is most often done by a urine test.  Rarely, testing fluid from inside the genitals is done. 

After you finish the medicine, you should be tested again. This is to make sure the disease is gone. Being tested every year for STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, is important. Testing should also be done if changing sex partners.  

How is it treated?

Chlamydia is most often treated with a medicine called azithromycin.  It is also called Zithromax.  
The medicine is taken one time to treat the disease.
Both you and your partner need to take the medicine to be treated. 
Do not have sex until 7 days after taking the medicine.
You and your partner need to be tested before having sex again to make sure the disease is gone. 
Even if you use a condom you can still give the infection to someone else.

Special information

If chlamydia is not treated it can cause more serious problems. Problems may be Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Women may not ever be able to get pregnant. 
Pregnant women with chlamydia may give it to their baby during birth. 
People can have more than one STD at the same time.  This medicine will not cure other STDs.  Having STDs can increase your risk of getting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  You may also want to get tested for HIV. 
You may ask for treatment for your partner. This is called “Expedited Partner Therapy” (EPT). Your provider can give you a prescription for the medicine. Talk to your provider about EPT.  

How do I tell my partners about this?

You can get help from the local health department to let your sex partners know they may have the infection. This is important so that they can be tested and treated.  
The health department can also answer any questions you have about Chlamydia or the treatment.  For a list of health departments in Wisconsin, visit 
In Milwaukee, call the Keenan STD Clinic:  414-286-3631 or TTY 414-286-2025
In Madison, call WI STD Control Section:  608-266-7365
There is a website where you can send an anonymous and confidential email to your sex partners about the infection:

Other teaching sheets that may be helpful

Chlamydia Treatment (Partner Directions) 1731
Pelvic Exam 1004


Call your doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any concerns.