The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends chlamydia screening for anyone with chlamydia symptoms. In addition, talk to your health care team to find out how often you should be screened for chlamydia. In general, some groups are screened more often than others, such as:

  • Sexually active women age 25 or younger. The rate of chlamydia infection is highest in this group, so a yearly screening test is recommended. Even if you've been tested in the past year, get tested when you have a new sex partner.
  • Pregnant women. Pregnant people are often tested for chlamydia during the first prenatal exam. If you have a high risk of infection, get tested again later in your pregnancy. You are at high risk if you are younger than age 25, have a new sex partner or have a sex partner who might be infected.
  • Women and men at high risk. People who have new or multiple sex partners or men who have sex with men should consider more frequent chlamydia screening. Other markers of high risk are current infection with another sexually transmitted infection and possible exposure to an STI through an infected partner.

Screening and diagnosis of chlamydia is relatively simple. Tests include:

  • A urine test. A sample of urine is analyzed in the laboratory for presence of this infection. This can be done for males and females.
  • A swab. A sample from the cervix, vagina, throat or anus is collected on a swab for testing. From the cervix, a member of your health care team collects a sample of the discharge from the cervix on a swab for testing. This can be done during a routine Pap test. For a swab from the vagina, either you or the doctor can do the swab. For males and females, depending on sexual history, your doctor may take a swab of the throat or the anus.

If you've been treated for an initial chlamydia infection, you should be retested in about three months.

More Information


Chlamydia trachomatis is treated with antibiotics. You might receive a one-time dose, or you might need to take the medication daily or multiple times a day for seven days.

In most cases, the infection clears up within 1 to 2 weeks after you take the antibiotic. But you can still spread the infection at first. So avoid sexual activity from when you start treatment until all your symptoms are gone.

Your sexual partner or partners from the last 60 days also need screening and treatment even if they don't have symptoms. Otherwise, the infection can be passed back and forth between sexual partners. Make sure to avoid sexual contact until all exposed partners are treated.

Having chlamydia or having been treated for it in the past doesn't prevent you from getting it again.

Preparing for your appointment

If you think you have a sexually transmitted infection, such as Chlamydia trachomatis, see your family doctor.

What you can do

Before your appointment, prepare to answer the following questions:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Does anything make them better or worse?
  • What medications and supplements do you take regularly?

You also might want to prepare a list of questions to ask your doctor. Sample questions include:

  • Should I be tested for other sexually transmitted infections?
  • Should my partner be tested or treated for chlamydia infection?
  • Should I avoid sex during treatment? How long should I wait?
  • How can I prevent chlamydia infection in the future?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • Do you have a new sexual partner or multiple partners?
  • Do you use condoms consistently?
  • Do you have pelvic pain?
  • Do you have pain while urinating?
  • Do you have sores or unusual discharge?
April 14, 2023
  1. WHO guidelines for the treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/rtis/chlamydia-treatment-guidelines/en/. Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
  2. Cohen J, et al., eds. Chlamydia trachomatis infection. In: Infectious Diseases. 4th ed. Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.
  3. AskMayoExpert. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and nongonococcal urethritis. Mayo Clinic; 2019.
  4. Chlamydia: CDC fact sheet (detailed). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm. Accessed Jan. 4, 2020.
  5. Chlamydial infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment-guidelines/chlamydia.htm. Accessed March 31, 2023.


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Chlamydia trachomatis