For Teens: Understanding Chlamydia

July 27, 2018

For Teens: Understanding Chlamydia

Man holding box of condoms.Chlamydia is an STD (sexually transmitted disease) that spreads when body fluids are passed during sex. Signs of chlamydia are sometimes hard to notice. So get checked if you think you might have it. Chlamydia can be cured. But if it’s not treated soon enough, it can cause sterility. This can prevent you from being able to have kids.

What to look for

Chlamydia symptoms may appear within a few days or weeks after you catch it. The symptoms can also change over time. Early on, common signs include:

  • Discharge from the penis or vagina

  • Pain or burning during urination

  • Pain and discharge from the rectum if chlamydia was caught during anal sex


Chlamydia can be treated and cured with medicine. A single dose is often all that’s needed. Your partner also needs to be treated. Otherwise they can pass the disease back to you. And don’t have sex until you’re told it’s OK.

If you don’t get treated

Chlamydia can spread and cause damage that keeps you from being able to have kids. Here are some warning signs of that damage:

  • Men can have continued discharge, pain and swelling in the testicles, and fever.

  • Women can get an infection that leads to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

What is PID?

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection in women. It can cause mild or severe symptoms. These include pain in the lower belly, fever, vaginal discharge, and pain during sex. Over time, PID can damage the reproductive organs and cause sterility.


July 27, 2018


Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Chlamydia trachomatis infections. UpToDate., Treatment of chlamydia trachomatis infection. UpToDate.

Reviewed By:  

Adler, Liora C., MD,Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN,Image reviewed by StayWell art team.