September 23, 2010 Kim Goldman


Chalamydial infection is a bacterium that is transmitted during vaginal or anal sexual contact with someone who is infected.

While Chlamydia is more common among women, men are very susceptible to the infection. Gone untreated, chlamydia in men typically causes urethral infection, but may also result in complications such as swollen and tender testicles.

How is it spread?

Chlamydia is transmitted through vaginal or anal sexual contact with someone who is infected.

What are the symptoms?

  • Abnormal genital discharge or pain during urination.
  • Symptoms usually occur 1-3 weeks after exposure
  • In males, the infection causes swelling in the scrotal area
  • May cause rectal inflammation
  • Bacteria may be found in the throat as a result of oral sexual contact with an infected partner

How is it diagnosed?

Until recently, the only way to diagnose chlamydia was to take a sample of secretions from a patient’s genital area and attempt to grow the organism in a specialized tissue culture in the lab.

While this method is the most accurate, it is expensive, technically difficult, and results are not available for up to 3 days.

Now, there are rapid tests that use sophisticated techniques and a dye to detect bacterial proteins. These tests are slightly less accurate and can be performed during routine checkups.

What is the treatment?

Chlamydia is treated by a 7-day course of antibiotics such as tetracycline. Penicillin, which is often used for treating STD’s, is not effective against treating chlamydial infections.

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