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How long does it take to get rid of chlamydia?

This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator Published on: 13/08/2019 Updated on: 13/08/2019

Chlamydia is a highly common sexually transmitted infection (STI) affecting sexually active teenagers and young adults the most.

Data from Public Health England specifies there were around 448,000 cases of sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in 2018. Making it a 5% increase from 2017.

Furthermore, chlamydia was the most commonly diagnosed STI, making up for nearly half of new STI diagnoses with 218,095 cases.

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by chlamydia trachomatis. It is spread through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex with an infected person.

It is relatively easy to treat with oral antibiotics however, if left untreated it can lead to serious, long-term health complications. Such as: pelvic inflammatory disease and fertility problems in women. In men, chlamydia can cause inflammation of the testicles/testicular inflammation and reactive arthritis.

How is chlamydia treated and how long does it take to clear the infection?

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics, which work by preventing the growth of the bacterial infection. The bacteria need to create a protein to grow and spread however, by taking the antibiotics it stops the protein from being made. When the bacteria can no longer multiply the immune system can attack the remaining bacteria and kill off the infection.

You can get rid of chlamydia in 7 days by taking the right antibiotics. The two most commonly prescribed antibiotics for chlamydia are:

If you are pregnant you will need to talk to your doctor to discuss what treatments are safe for you to take. Some antibiotics may not be suitable for you if you are pregnant.

It is also important to tell any current or recent sexual partners if you have tested positive for chlamydia. Do not delay in telling them, as they may need treatment too.

Once you start taking the antibiotics, you should notice a significant improvement in your symptoms quite soon after. Treatment can relieve symptoms, such as:

  • Discharge or pain while urinating – it should improve within a week.
  • Bleeding between your periods or heavier periods – should improve by your next period.
  • Pelvic pain and pain in the testicles – should start improving by two weeks.

If pelvic or genital pain persists then visit your doctor’s surgery to discuss further possible treatment. Remember; do not stop taking the antibiotics if your symptoms ease, always finish the full course prescribed.

What to do during your course of treatment?

While you are treating a chlamydia infection, it is important that you avoid having sex or any type of sexual contact. This is because you could still be contagious and pass the infection onto your partner, whom could pass it back to you.

If you take the one dose treatment you will need to wait one week before you can start having sex again. If you take the seven-day course you can have sex the day after finishing your treatment.

In some cases your doctor may ask you to get tested again a few weeks after you finish your treatment. This is to make sure that the infection has fully cleared up and you are chlamydia free.