Chlamydia in men: Everything you need to know

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Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection. Anyone can have chlamydia, but it may affect males and females differently.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is the most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States.

In this article, learn about the symptoms of chlamydia in males, as well as its transmission, treatments, and possible complications.

Symptoms of chlamydia in males

Most people with chlamydia do not experience any symptoms. If a person does have symptoms, these may not develop for several weeks after the initial infection.

The CDC note that if a male experiences chlamydia symptoms, they will typically arise from one of two complications: urethritis or epididymitis.


Unusual discharge from the penis or pain while urinating are potential symptoms of chlamydia in men.

Urethritis is an infection of the urethra, the tube that runs through the penis.

The typical symptoms of urethritis in men include:

  • discharge from the penis
  • dysuria, or pain while urinating
  • stinging or itching in the urethra
  • irritation at the tip of the penis


Epididymitis is an infection of a tube at the back of the testicles that stores and carries sperm.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, a person with epididymitis will experience pain in the testicle, and it may spread to the groin.

Other symptoms

Chlamydia can also affect the rectum. If a person experiences rectal symptoms, these may include:

  • rectal pain
  • discharge
  • bleeding

Chlamydia can cause conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the eye, but this is rare.

Chlamydia can also infect the throat, but most people will not experience this or other symptoms. If they do, they may have a sore throat.


According to the CDC, chlamydia is typically transmitted through sexual contact, but it can occur whenever the bacteria enters another person’s body.

Transmission usually takes place during penetrative sex, whether vaginal or anal. However, it can also spread through oral sex or the sharing of sex toys.

Even if a person has received treatment for chlamydia, it is still possible for them to become infected again.


A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat chlamydia in men.

In the vast majority of cases, antibiotics can successfully treat chlamydia. Typical antibiotics for chlamydia include azithromycin and doxycycline. Chlamydia treatment is the same for males and females.

A doctor may prescribe antibiotics as a single larger dose or as a series of smaller doses over 7 days.

To make sure that they do not transmit the infection, a person should avoid having sex for 7 days after a single dose of antibiotics, or until the completion of a 7-day course of antibiotics.

It is vital for a person with chlamydia to inform any sexual partners, as they may also need testing and treatment. Some health services offer to contact previous sexual partners anonymously.

Taking antibiotics exactly as prescribed will help prevent side effects. It may also help reduce antibiotic resistance in the general population.

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