Written on January 3, 2023 by Gillian (Gigi) Singer, MPH, Sexuality Educator & Certified Sexologist. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can occur in the mouth, reproductive organs, urethra, rectum, and/or cervix . It is easily diagnosed, treated, and cured with antibiotics.
Since “most people with the infection have no symptoms and do not seek testing,” the STI spreads, particularly among sexually active people between the ages of 14 and 25 .
The duration of a chlamydial infection depends on whether or not it is diagnosed and treated properly. When treated, “chlamydia should go away within a week or two. It’s important to take all antibiotics to fight the infection. Don’t have sex during treatment, or you could get reinfected” .
According to the CDC, “patients treated with single-dose antibiotics should not have sex for seven days,” and “patients treated with a seven-day course of antibiotics should not have sex until they complete treatment, and their symptoms are gone. This helps prevent spreading the infection to sex partners. It is important to take all medicine prescribed to cure chlamydia” .
The CDC continues to say, “Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. If a person’s symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, [they] should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated” .
If undiagnosed and/or untreated, chlamydia can have short-term and lifelong health consequences, particularly for folks assigned female at birth . Note that untreated chlamydia will stick around for multiple years or longer and have long-term effects on your health.
Here are some effects of undiagnosed and/or untreated chlamydia :
Regardless of your sex assigned at birth, if you have chlamydia that remains undiagnosed and untreated, and you continue to be sexually active (especially without using barrier methods of protection), the infection will continue to be transmitted to your partner(s). Studies additionally show that untreated chlamydia can also increase the risk of contracting HIV .
At-home lab testing and telehealth provides discrete ways for you to be tested and treated for chlamydia.
Everlywell offers a diagnostic Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test that you can take in the comfort of your own home in three easy steps:
The at-home Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test kit uses a urine sample to provide you with a diagnosis — you will urinate in a cup and place that sample in the mail to be tested.
For these at-home lab tests, if your results identify a marker as “detected” or you are “positive,” you will be offered a consultation with a board-certified physician licensed in your state of residence for no additional cost. When appropriate, and in states where it is permitted by law, the physician may prescribe treatment.
For more testing options, look at our website to see all of our sexual health at-home testing kits.
Looking to talk with a healthcare provider before testing or while you wait for results? With Telehealth from Everlywell, you are three easy steps away from talking to a provider: