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Sexual Conditions Health Center

Chlamydia - When To Call a Doctor

In women:

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if you have these chlamydia symptoms:

  • Sudden, severe pain in the lower abdomen
  • Lower abdominal pain with vaginal bleeding or discharge and a fever of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher
  • Urinary burning, frequent urination, or inability to urinate and a fever of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher

Call your doctor if you have these symptoms:

  • Vaginal discharge that becomes yellowish, thicker, or bad-smelling
  • Bleeding between periods that occurs more than once when periods are usually regular
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse or douching
  • Sores, bumps, rashes, blisters, or warts on or around the genital or anal areas
  • Burning, pain, or itching with urination or frequent urination lasting longer than 24 hours
  • Pelvic or lower abdominal pain without a known cause, such as diarrhea or menstrual cramps

Also call if you think you may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

In men:

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if you have these chlamydia symptoms:

  • Discharge from the penis and a fever of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher
  • Urinary burning, frequent urination, or inability to urinate and a fever of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher
  • Pain, swelling, or tenderness in the scrotum and a fever of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher

Call your doctor if you have these symptoms:

  • Sores, bumps, rashes, blisters, or warts on or around the genital or anal areas
  • Burning, pain, or itching with urination or frequent urination lasting longer than 24 hours
  • Abnormal discharge from the penis

Also call if you think you may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using medical treatment. Watchful waiting is not appropriate for a chlamydia infection. Chlamydia causes no long-term problems if it is treated before any complications develop. But untreated chlamydia can lead to many complications. Avoid sexual contact until you have been examined by your doctor.

If you know you have been exposed to chlamydia, you and your sex partner (or partners) need to be treated. You need to be treated even if you don't have symptoms. Notify all partners with whom you had sex in the 60 days since your symptoms or diagnosis. If you have not had sex in the last 60 days, contact your last sex partner.

Who to see

Health professionals who can diagnose chlamydia include:

Low-cost diagnosis and treatment of chlamydia are usually available at local health departments and family planning clinics, such as Planned Parenthood.

Some people are not comfortable seeing their usual doctor for an STI. Most counties have confidential clinics for diagnosing and treating chlamydia and other STIs. But for your future care it would be good for your doctor to know of this infection.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 11, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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