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Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics. Your sexual partners need to be treated too. If you don’t treat chlamydia, it can lead to serious problems.

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What’s the treatment for chlamydia?

Chlamydia is usually easy to get rid of. Your nurse or doctor will get you antibiotics to treat the infection. Sometimes you only have to take one dose of medication. Another chlamydia treatment lasts for 7 days. Your doctor will help you figure out which treatment is best for you.

If you’re treated for chlamydia, it’s really important for your sexual partners to get treated also. Otherwise, you can keep passing the infection back and forth, or to other people. Sometimes your doctor will give you medicine for both you and your partner.

What do I need to know if I get treated for chlamydia?

If you’re getting treated for chlamydia:

  • Take all of your medicine the way your nurse or doctor tells you to, even if any symptoms you may be having go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics.
  • Your partner(s) should also get treated for chlamydia so you don’t re-infect each other or anyone else.
  • Don’t have sex for 7 days. If you only have 1 dose of medication, wait for 7 days after you take it before having sex. If you’re taking medicine for 7 days, don’t have sex until you’ve finished all of your pills.
  • Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure your infection is gone.
  • Don’t share your medicine with anyone. Your nurse or doctor may give you a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner. Make sure you both take all of the medicine you get.
  • Even if you finish your treatment and the chlamydia is totally gone, it’s possible to get a new chlamydia infection again if you’re exposed in the future. Chlamydia isn’t a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and get tested regularly.

Does chlamydia treatment have side effects?

An antibiotic called Doxycycline is the most common medicine used to treat chlamydia. Like most medicines, it can cause mild side effects. The most common side effects of Doxycycline are nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, loss of appetite, mild diarrhea, skin rash or itching, change in skin color, vaginal itching, or discharge. These side effects should go away after you finish taking the medicine. Talk to your nurse or doctor about any medicines you’re already taking and any medical issues you already have before taking Doxycycline.

What happens if you don’t get treated for chlamydia?

Even though chlamydia is common and doesn’t usually cause any symptoms, it can become a big deal if it’s not caught and treated early. 

Chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes if it goes untreated for a long time. This can cause you to have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause permanent damage that leads to pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. So getting tested regularly for chlamydia really lowers your chances of getting PID.

If you have a penis, a chlamydia infection can spread to your epididymis (a tube that carries sperm from your testicles) if it’s left untreated, and can cause chronic joint pain. Rarely, it can make you infertile.

Having chlamydia may increase your chances of getting or spreading HIV.

If you have chlamydia during your pregnancy and don’t treat it, you can pass it to your baby when you’re giving birth. Chlamydia can also cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and it also increases the risk of delivering your baby too early. 

Testing and treatment for chlamydia is quick, easy, and the best way to avoid all of these problems.

More questions from patients:

How long will I test positive for chlamydia after getting treatment?

If your nurse or doctor gives you a single dose of medicine, you have to wait 7 days before you’re no longer infected and can have sex again. If you’re taking medicine for 7 days, you won’t test negative until you’ve finished all of your pills. Either way, you need to wait 7 days until you should be cleared from the chlamydia infection.

After that 7 day mark, you can have sex again without spreading the infection. If you were given pills to take, it’s important to take ALL of your medicine, even if the symptoms go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotic pills.

Getting chlamydia again is common. Even if you finish your treatment and the chlamydia is totally gone, it’s possible to get a new chlamydia infection again if you’re exposed in the future. Chlamydia isn’t a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure your infection is gone.

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