What Does a Chlamydia Infection Look Like?

In women, chlamydia infection sometimes causes an abnormal vaginal discharge, while in men, small amounts of cloudy or clear discharge may come from the tip of the penis, notes WebMD. Up to 75 percent of women and 50 percent of men experience no symptoms of chlamydia at all, which results in the unknowing passage of the infection to others.

The symptoms of chlamydia are often vague, but when they are present, the usually occur within one to three weeks of exposure, notes WebMD. In women, painful menstruation, bleeding between periods, pain during sexual intercourse and abdominal pain with fever may be present. Pain during urination or burning or itching in or around the vagina are additional symptoms. In men, itching or burning around the penile opening and painful urination are symptoms of chlamydia infection. Swelling or pain around the testicles are additional symptoms.

Doctors diagnose chlamydia by taking a swab sample from a woman’s cervix or a man’s urethra and sending the sample to a lab for analysis, reports WebMD. Urine tests that detect the presence of the chlamydia bacteria are another option for diagnosis. Oral antibiotics generally clear up the infection within two weeks; however, more severe cases of infection may require hospitalization and the administrative of intravenous antibiotics.