Chlamydia (kluh-MID-e-uh) trachomatis (truh-KOH-muh-tis) is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria. You may not know you have chlamydia because many people never develop the signs or symptoms, such as genital pain and discharge from the vagina or penis.
Chlamydia trachomatis affects both men and women and occurs in all age groups, though it's most prevalent among young women. Chlamydia isn't difficult to treat once you know you have it. If left untreated, however, it can lead to more-serious health problems.
Early-stage Chlamydia trachomatis infections often cause few or no signs and symptoms. When signs or symptoms occur, they usually start one to two weeks after exposure to chlamydia. Even when signs and symptoms occur, they're often mild and passing, making them easy to overlook.
Signs and symptoms of chlamydia trachomatis infection may include:
Chlamydia trachomatis can also infect the rectum. While these infections often cause no signs or symptoms, you may experience rectal pain, discharge or bleeding.
It's also possible to acquire chlamydial eye infections (conjunctivitis) through contact with infected secretions.
See your doctor if you have a discharge from your vagina, penis or rectum, or if you have pain during urination. Also, see your doctor if your sexual partner reveals that he or she has chlamydia. Your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic even if you have no symptoms.