The Signs and Symptoms of Chlamydia: What To Do


Knowing about your sexual health is really important, and it means you need to keep an eye out for any unusual changes in your body. Sometimes, these changes can be easy to miss, which is why it’s so important to know what to look out for with infections like Chlamydia.

Learning about these signs can help you catch them early, which is really important for staying healthy. Whether it’s strange discharge or pain when you pee, recognizing these symptoms early means you can act fast to stop any bigger problems.

What’s the Difference Between Chlamydia and Chlamydia pneumoniae?

Before we delve into the symptoms of Chlamydia, you may have encountered the term Chlamydia pneumoniae and wondered if it’s just another term for Chlamydia.

Chlamydia and Chlamydia pneumoniae are two separate species found within the Chlamydia genus, each with its own unique characteristics and impact on human health.

  • Chlamydia trachomatis: This species is the cause of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) commonly known as Chlamydia. It predominantly affects the genital tract but can also infect the eyes (leading to trachoma) and the respiratory tract. 
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae: This species is a bacterium that primarily targets the respiratory tract, causing a form of chest infection (pneumonia) referred to as “atypical pneumonia” or “walking pneumonia.” In contrast to Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia pneumoniae is usually not transmitted through sexual contact but through respiratory secretions like coughing or sneezing. 

In essence, although both Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae share the same bacterial genus, but they bring about distinct types of infections. 

Understanding the Symptoms

Testicular Pain, Swelling, or Discomfort for Men

Testicular pain, swelling, or discomfort may occur in men due to a Chlamydia infection causing inflammation of the epididymis, a tube near the testicles responsible for sperm transportation. 

This inflammation, termed epididymitis, can result in varying degrees of testicular discomfort, swelling, or pain, potentially affecting one or both sides of the scrotum.

Dr Mohammad Mohseyni explains, “If a man experiences persistent testicular discomfort, it’s crucial to seek medical help promptly. Timely identification and treatment of epididymitis, frequently triggered by Chlamydia infection, are vital to prevent possible complications and maintain reproductive health”. 

Medical help for individuals who experience symptoms can be found through a private STD testing facility.

Pain or Burning Sensation During Sexual Intercourse

Experiencing pain or a burning sensation during sexual intercourse can be indicative of a Chlamydia infection. This discomfort may arise due to inflammation or irritation of the genital tract caused by the infection. 

Both men and women may experience this symptom, which can vary in intensity. For men, the discomfort may be felt around the urethra or genital area, while women may experience it internally or around the vaginal opening. This discomfort can significantly impact sexual pleasure and intimacy.

Unusual Vaginal Discharge

Chlamydia infection in women can lead to changes in vaginal discharge. Normally, vaginal discharge helps maintain vaginal health by flushing out bacteria and dead cells. However, when infected with Chlamydia, the discharge may become abnormal in consistency, colour, or odour. 

The discharge might be thicker or more pronounced than usual and may have a different colour, such as yellow or green. Additionally, it may be accompanied by other symptoms like vaginal itching, irritation, or discomfort. These changes in vaginal discharge can be concerning and may indicate a Chlamydia infection that requires prompt medical attention.

Consulting a healthcare provider for assessment and appropriate management is crucial to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment of Chlamydia, thereby preventing potential complications and promoting overall reproductive health.

Burning Sensation When You’re Urinating

Experiencing a burning sensation during urination can be a distressing symptom and is often a clear indication of an underlying infection. This uncomfortable sensation is frequently described as a sharp or stinging pain that occurs while passing urine.

It can range in intensity from mild discomfort to severe pain, depending on the severity of the infection. When infected, the urinary tract becomes inflamed, leading to this distinctive burning sensation. 

While various infections can cause this symptom, including urinary tract infections (UTIs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like Chlamydia, it’s crucial not to ignore this symptom. Seeking prompt medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment is essential to address the underlying cause and alleviate discomfort.

Rectal pain, Discharge, or Bleeding

Chlamydia can also infect the rectum, particularly in individuals who engage in anal intercourse. Symptoms of rectal Chlamydia infection may include pain, discomfort, or itching in the anal region, as well as rectal discharge or bleeding. 

These symptoms can be mistaken for other conditions like haemorrhoids or anal fissures, so it’s important to consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment if you experience any unusual symptoms in the rectal area, especially after engaging in anal intercourse.

Taking Action: What To Do

If you recognize any of the symptoms mentioned, the first step is to reach out to a healthcare provider. It’s essential to get tested as soon as possible. Testing for Chlamydia is usually straightforward and involves a urine test or a swab sample.

  • Seek Medical Advice: Don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare provider or a sexual health clinic if you notice any symptoms. Early detection and treatment with antibiotics can prevent the infection from leading to more serious health problems.
  • Testing: If you’re sexually active, regular screenings for STIs, including Chlamydia, are recommended. This is particularly important if you have new or multiple partners.
  • Inform Your Partner(s): If you test positive, it’s important to inform your sexual partners so they can also get tested and treated if necessary. This can help stop the spread of the infection.
  • Prevention: Always use protection during sexual activities. Condoms are effective in reducing the risk of transmitting Chlamydia and other STIs.


Increasing awareness about sexual health and the signs and symptoms of infections like Chlamydia is key to early detection and treatment. By taking action when symptoms arise, consulting healthcare professionals, and practicing safe sex, we can protect ourselves and our partners from potential health risks.