This website has moved to a new location. Please visit our sister website for next day delivery.
  • Prescription included
  • Genuine medication
  • All-inclusive service - No hidden fees
  • Free next-day delivery
Home / STIs / Chlamydia / How chlamydia affects men and women differently

How chlamydia affects men and women differently

Learn more about chlamydia symptoms in men and women

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) across the globe. In 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Trusted source World Health Organization (WHO) Government Source International Public Health Information Go to source estimated that there were over 128.5 million new cases of chlamydia in young adults all over the world.

The STI causes uncomfortable symptoms in both genders. However, chlamydia can present differently in men and women.

Woman and man sitting side by side with doctor.

Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of chlamydia in men and women and what you can do to treat them.

Are women more likely to get chlamydia than men?

Women are more likely to contract chlamydia and other STIs because the vaginal surfer is larger and more vulnerable to sexual fluids.

In 2022 there were 68,882 recorded cases of chlamydia in women.

Statistics from Public Health England Trusted source UK Government Services and Information Government Source Go to source from 2022 show that there were 68,882 cases of chlamydia in women compared to 37,404 in men.

Research Trusted source BMJ Sexually Transmitted Infections Peer-reviewed Journals Go to source shows that men who have sex with men are at a greater risk of developing chlamydia, however. This is because the infection can be spread through anal and oral sex.

What are chlamydia symptoms in men and women?

Chlamydia is often known as a silent STI, as it often presents few or no symptoms. However, when you develop symptoms, men and women are affected differently.

Chlamydia symptoms in women Chlamydia symptoms in men
  • pain whilst peeing
  • white, cloudy or watery discharge from the tip of the penis
  • burning or itching sensation in the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body)
  • pain in the testicles

What are the complications of chlamydia in women and men?

Chlamydia rarely goes away on its own. If left untreated, it can cause complications in both men and women.

Chlamydia complications in women

The chlamydia bacteria can infect the cervix (cervicitis).

The bacteria can also travel further up to the reproductive tract. It can affect the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries. This condition is known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause chronic pain, ectopic pregnancies and fertility problems if not treated.

Having chlamydia whilst pregnant may cause complications for the baby. The most common complication in babies is chlamydial conjunctivitis (an eye infection). It may also cause premature labour and birth.

Chlamydia complications in men

Rarely, the bacteria can spread to the testicles and the tubes that carry sperm to the testicles. This causes a condition called epididymitis.

Chlamydia is also one of the most common causes of sexually acquired reactive arthritis (SARA). Women do experience SARA, but it is more common in men.

It’s a condition that causes inflammation in the joints, eyes or urethra. While there is no cure for SARA, most people get better within a few months.

How is it diagnosed?

If you have had unprotected sex or you have any usual symptoms, you should get an STI test. It’s a good idea to get tested regularly, even if you have no symptoms if you change sexual partners.

You can go to any sexual health clinic and be offered a chlamydia test. Some areas will offer test kits that can be posted to your home.

Close-up of a medical swab test on a blue background.

Men and women may require different tests depending on their sexual history.

Women and men who have sex with men will require a swab test. This will test for bacteria in the vagina, throat or anus.

Men, and some women, will require a urine test.

How is chlamydia treated?

If you receive a positive test result for chlamydia, you will need a short course of antibiotics to treat the infection.

The treatment for chlamydia infection is the same for men and women.

The first-line treatment for chlamydia is Doxycycline capsules. If you can’t take Doxycycline, you will be offered the second-line treatment Azithromycin.

Pregnant women cannot take Doxycycline due to the potential risks it can cause in an unborn baby. They will generally be offered Azithromycin. However, you should consult your doctor.

Discreet chlamydia treatment

Find out more here

You can order treatment online at euroClinix. Our registered doctors will approve your prescription and it will be delivered discreetly to your address.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 06-12-2023

Our service - only on euroClinix
  • Private & confidential serviceDiscreet packaging and encrypted data
  • Genuine & branded medicationFrom UK registered pharmacies
  • No doctor visit neededOur doctors assess you online
  • Free next day deliveryOrder by 4:30 to receive tomorrow
View Treatments

Further reading

Chlamydia symptoms: what to look out for

Chlamydia symptoms: what to look out for

Reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana
Can I get chlamydia in the eye?

Can I get chlamydia in the eye?

Reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana
Chlamydia awareness: why chlamydia rarely goes away on its own

Chlamydia awareness: why chlamydia rarely goes away on it...

Reviewed by Dr. Plauto Filho
Can you get chlamydia in your mouth and throat?

Can you get chlamydia in your mouth and throat?

Reviewed by Dr. Plauto Filho
What‌ ‌are‌ ‌the‌ ‌complications‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌sexually‌ ‌transmitted‌ ‌disease‌ ‌chlamydia...?‌

What are the complications of the sexually transmitted di...

Reviewed by Dr. Plauto Filho
  • Select

  • Fill out a short
    medical form

  • Doctor issues

  • Medication sent
    from pharmacy