Genital tract chlamydia infection is the most frequently reported notifiable disease in the US.
Many infected individuals are asymptomatic.
In women, there may be cervical inflammation or yellow, cloudy discharge from the cervical os.
In men, there may be a discharge from the penis.
Nonculture techniques such as the nucleic acid amplification test are available. Tests in men are performed on urine or urethral samples. Tests in women are performed on urine, cervical, or self-collected vaginal samples.
Untreated or inadequately treated patients risk possible ascending infection and further complications. Patients also risk spreading the infection to sexual partners.
Urogenital chlamydia infection is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI; also known as sexually transmitted disease, STD) worldwide. The causative organism is Chlamydia trachomatis. Infection is usually asymptomatic in both men and women.
In women, chlamydia infection tends to occur in the endocervical canal. Some women who have uncomplicated cervical chlamydia infection already have subclinical upper reproductive tract infections upon diagnosis. Symptoms may include intermenstrual or postcoital bleeding; an odorless, mucoid vaginal discharge; pelvic pain; or dysuria. In men, chlamydia infection can occur in the urethra, causing a penile discharge.
Untreated or inadequately treated chlamydia infections can lead to more serious problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, and infertility in women, and epididymitis and prostatitis in men.
History and exam
Professor of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
AR declares that she has no competing interests.
Dr Anne Rompalo would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Christopher K. Fairley, a previous contributor to this topic.
American Family Physician
Clinical Assistant Professor
GUSOM Medical Officer
US Preventive Services Task Force
KL declares that he has no competing interests.
Department of Infectious Diseases
Aarhus University Hospital
LJO has been funded by Pfizer to write a leaflet on Chlamydia infections.
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