Medically reviewed on November 22, 2022 by Karen Janson, MS, MD. 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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Roughly three million Americans contract chlamydia each year . Without medical intervention, a chlamydia infection can persist for years if gone unnoticed . Fortunately, once diagnosed, a healthcare provider can provide patients with the right medication to treat the sexually transmitted infection (STI).
That said, how long chlamydia persists will depend on how quickly the infection is diagnosed and treated.
While chlamydia is common, it often has no symptoms. In fact, around 70% of females and 90% of males don’t experience any symptoms . As a result, someone could have chlamydia for several years without realizing it.
That said, people who develop chlamydia symptoms typically start experiencing them one week to three months after the initial bacterial infection .
With or without symptoms, an untreated chlamydia infection can cause long-lasting health effects. For instance, it may lead to the development of:
Due to these health concerns, it’s important to get screened for chlamydia regularly. People under 25 years of age should get screened at least once a year . If you have multiple sex partners or have unprotected sexual intercourse, you may want to get screened even more often (in fact, in some cases chlamydia can come back even after treatment, making it even more important to get tested regularly). Early diagnosis and treatment of chlamydia can prevent potentially serious health issues and reduce your chances of spreading the chlamydial infection to others.
Regular STI or chlamydia testing can keep your body safe and healthy. Chlamydia can be detected using any of the following tests:
You can usually discover if you have chlamydia within a week of taking a test, which enables you to pursue prompt chlamydia treatment once you receive your results.
So, how to treat chlamydia? Once you’ve received a positive test result, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe a round of antibiotics. If you take your antibiotics properly, chlamydia has a 95% cure rate .
Some antibiotics for chlamydia must be taken multiple times a day for several days. Others can be administered in a single dose. Either way, it can take around one week for a chlamydia infection to go away . During this treatment period, it’s important to abstain from having sex.
If you continue experiencing chlamydia symptoms after treatment, you should get re-evaluated by your healthcare provider to find out if:
If you suspect that you may have chlamydia or you simply want to get screened to be on the safe side, you can do so from home using an Everlywell at-home lab test. Our Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test screens for both chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Here’s how it works:
With Everlywell, it’s that easy to be proactive about your sexual health.
How to prevent chlamydia: key steps to take
Untreated chlamydia in men and women