Can Chlamydia Come Back? 4 Ways Reinfection Is Possible

can chlamydia come back

Last updated on July 27th, 2018 at 05:21 pm

Question: Can Chlamydia come back?

Chlamydia, like other sexually transmitted infection – gonorrhea, trichomonas, syphilis, is contacted primarily from sexual intercourse. If you’ve had intercourse or got in contact with the contaminated fluid from an infected person, it’s possible you’ll have chlamydia infection without knowing.


What’s chlamydia and what are the symptoms?

The bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, is the organism which causes chlamydia infection. It can affect the eyes (resulting in conjunctivitis), the joints, the mouth and the genitals of males and females. Chlamydia discharge with severe discomfort while urinating may be an early sign of illness.

It can also be contacted through the sharing of infected towels. Pregnant women with poorly treated infection may transmit chlamydia to their babies during delivery.

Chlamydia can be a silent disease because you can get infected without showing any signs. About 30 – 70 percent of infected men and women will not have common symptoms at all.

However, this does not rule out complication of chlamydia infection in the long-term. If left for a long time without treatment, chlamydia may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal pregnancy, and difficulty conceiving.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the upward spread of chlamydia affecting the womb, abdominal area, and Fallopian tubes. PID could potentially cause permanent damage to the Fallopian tubes ultimately causing infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

Short-term adverse effects of chlamydia in men include inflammation of the epididymis, with testes that are hurtful and swollen. This occurs very early after an infection and can contribute to infertility in men.

If you’ve had unprotected anal, oral, vaginal intercourse or got in real contact with someone genital fluid, you can have chlamydia.

With or without chlamydia symptoms, it is advised that both males and females get tested each year for all sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia infection.

Read More: How Long Before Chlamydia Symptoms Will Appear


Can chlamydia come back?Chlamydia reinfection after treatment

Yes. If you’ve had chlamydia symptoms and treated it by taking some antibiotics, either prescribed by your healthcare provider or you got on your own, you may still get chlamydia infection again.

Getting rid of chlamydia will not confer protection against possible future infections.


What’re the symptoms to expect if I get reinfected with chlamydia?

If you are male, symptoms of chlamydia can be

  • Pain while urinating
  • Chlamydia urethral discharge that is cloudy and watery
  • Infertility
  • Chlamydia conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Swollen testes
  • Very painful testes
  • Fever
  • Sometimes pus-like urethral discharge

If you are female with a history of unprotected sexual intercourse, these are symptoms you will have

  • Chlamydia discharge from vagina that is yellowish, whitish or sometimes may be greenish
  • Low abdomen pain
  • Fever
  • Pain while urinating
  • Spotting between your period
  • Infertility
  • History of ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases

Why does chlamydia keeps coming back?sex white discharge

If you start showing symptoms of chlamydia months after treatment, these are the possible causes of reinfection

1.  Your chlamydia was poorly treated or left untreated

It’s possible to have chlamydia infection with no symptoms of the disease. In some women and men, it could take weeks for chlamydia signs to appear. If you just started having symptoms, purchase chlamydia kit to know if it’s chlamydia or not.

Poorly treated chlamydia, either due to wrong antibiotics or not completing your doctor’s prescribed medications, may cause chlamydia to persist with resistance.

If you have chlamydia symptoms months after treatment, it is advisable to let your doctor know ASAP.

2.  Having multiple sexual partners after treatment

After treatment, did you engage in unprotected intercourse with multiple sexual partners?

If you did, it’s likely your new symptoms are due to chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and trichomonas infection.

After chlamydia treatment, boosting your sexual health and minimizing the number of persons you have unprotected intercourse with, is vital to prevent reinfection.

3.  Not testing your sexual partners if they have chlamydia

Since chlamydia is gotten through sex, if your partner is not tested, you can have chlamydia symptoms in no time. Your partner does not have to be symptomatic to transmit the bacteria to you.


Ways to prevent chlamydia from coming back?

If you’ve treated chlamydia, these are the steps you should take to prevent reinfection


Abstinence from any sexual contact remains one of the safest ways to avoid chlamydia infection. If you should never have intercourse, you are extremely unlikely to have Chlamydia trachomatis infection.

Get your sexual partner (male or female) tested

Don’t just treat for chlamydia alone. You can contact the disease again. Request your partner test for chlamydia. If you have chlamydia, there is a good chance he/she has chlamydia too.

Retest for chlamydia if you have a new partner

Within three months after a new sexual partner, you have to test for chlamydia again. It’s beneficial to enlighten you male or female partners about chlamydia long-term risk and persuade them to get tested.

Use condoms consistently

Frequently, it’s very challenging to stay away from any form of sexual contact entirely. If you should have intercourse, the disciplined use of a condom is the best alternative.

Yearly get tested for chlamydia

It’s important to recheck for chlamydia after treatment or annually as it may lie dormant without any symptoms.


Common chlamydia reinfection questions

If you recently got reinfected with chlamydia, these are some common questions

Can chlamydia come back after testing negative?

Yes. Though chlamydia can be cured, treatment does not confer any form of immunity to reinfection. If you’ve treated chlamydia and tested negative, you ought to avoid unsafe intercourse or abstain altogether.

If you don’t, you can get reinfected with chlamydia.

How do you know if chlamydia is gone after treatment?

If you’ve had treatment after testing and taking the right antibiotics, it’s always important to confirm chlamydia cure. You can wait till five weeks after medications and recheck for chlamydia to verify cure.

If you still test positive after five weeks, please let your health professional know right away

Can chlamydia stay in your system after treatment?

If chlamydia is properly treated, within 3 – 5 weeks, you will test negative for chlamydia.

However, if you’ve had intercourse while on treatment, you may still have chlamydia and may test positive.

Can chlamydia go away and come back?

If you’ve had unprotected intercourse, it’s likely you may not have chlamydia if your partner is not infected. If treated chlamydia can go away and not come back if you abstain or ensure protected sex.

However, don’t assume chlamydia will go away without taking medications. You may not have symptoms immediately and may still have chlamydia long-term problems.

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  • aly Reply

    i used to have chlamydia and i did get it treated. however i am very worried and scared that it is going to come back and my partner will end up with it.

    • Dr Dunn A. Reply

      There is no reason you should panic now. Get tested and tell your partner to test too. If you have the infection, take medications as prescribed by your doctor. Just abstain from unprotected intercourse while on treatment and retest to confirm cure after at least 5 weeks. Hope this helps.

  • Linh Reply

    I have been cured of chlamydia, and my partner is waiting for test results, if my partner and I have both chlamydia and negative treatment, it will not come back? If we have intercourse without a condom because we are getting married!

    • Dr Dunn A. Reply

      You are right. If you do not get treated, it will stay in your body resulting in long-term symptoms.
      If you get yourself treated, with your partner, it’s important you confirm cure weeks later.

      For sure, you can’t get chlamydia if you both stay faithful.

  • KatenP Reply

    My spouse and I separated, and I had intercourse with someone else. I immediately (within 2 days) started experiencing symptoms and tested positive for chlamydia. I took 1g of Azithromycin. I retested in 3 weeks Via urine test (APTIMA Combo2 Assay Gen-Probe which I believe is very accurate). Results were negative.
    My husband and I reunited a few weeks later and had intercourse. Being cautious and paranoid, I then retested 8 days after we had intercourse via urine again. Again negative.
    Both times, I had a first catch urine sample taken at a lab.

    2 weeks later I had a routine Pap and they swabbed my cervix and I had a positive Chlamydia result.
    My husband and I will both be treated immediately, of course, our prescriptions are being filled now.
    Obviously, I am baffled by these results and worried. My concerns are 1) could the negative results have been false and the medication did not work even though I took it successfully? 2) could the positive cervical swab be a false positive, and perhaps I should request a repeat?
    3) was I re-exposed? Obviously, a possibility but I feel it’s very unlikely considering our schedules (we were on vacation and together the entire time)

    Perhaps I will never know. I am debating on requesting a repeat cervical swab. I’m sure my GYN will think I’m slightly crazy but the situation is worrisome. Any professional insight or advice? Thank you

  • Bia Reply

    Can one be reinfected with chlamydia after treatment if clothes worn during infection are worn unwashed after treatment?

  • Kate Reply


    A few months ago I found out that I had chlamydia. I was treated and so was my new boyfriend, however we messed it up a bit and had intercourse on the 5th day of the treatment. Before I found out I had chlamydia I had lots of symptoms. Now I have pain in my abdomen when I pee and i’m wondering if it could be the chlamydia or just a UTI. Is it possible to have a lot of symptoms for chlamydia a few months ago and still have it but only have one symptom? 

  • Gino Reply

    I think i got chlamydia grom a massage parlor, lying naked face down on the table/towel. Is this possible?

    • Dr. Dunn A. Reply

      You can’t catch chlamydia through a damp towel. It’s rare.

  • Miss Reply

    hello , last year I had chlamydia infection and I got cured from it . But few days ago was my 3 days of ovulation and i weared naylon underwear which caused me fungal infection with little pain in my right ovary . My question is : Did I got chlamydia back because of this fungal infection? ( maybe tthe little pain in my ovary caused by my ovulation ).

  • Sara Reply

    I recently caught chlamydia at the end of July. I began to feel symptoms 5 days after protected intercourse, but unprotected oral sex. I was diagnosed by my doctor almost 2 weeks after experiencing symptoms, due to the fact that urgent care would not test me
    For stds and only gave me diflucan. I have now finished two doses of diflucan , 4 pills of Azithromycin, a 7 days supply of Metronidozale, and 7 day supply of amoxicillin to treat at UTI. I was tested for chlamydia and all other std’s a week after I finished the medication. All my results came back negative but I still have burning and itching in my vulva, burning in my lower stomach and back and even in my pelvic bone area. I have now been perscribed a 10 day dose of doxycycline and metronidazole. This is my 3rd day on the medication and my symptoms are not subsiding . Am I infected forever ?

    • Dr. Dunn A. Reply

      You probably have a Pelvic inflammatory disease. In most cases, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, and metronidazole do a good job. Just take your medications as prescribed (sometimes up to 2 weeks) and be positive.

      Hope this helps

      • Miss Reply

        Dr. how about me? can u answer me?

  • Sara Reply

    Oddly, while still on medication, my symptoms aren’t subsiding, but now my buttox has been feeling odd. I’m not sure if it’s nerve or muscle pain … can antibiotics cause std test to have false results ? I’ve read that some people have butt pain with herpes.

  • Linnn Reply

    If I was on a course on chlamydia antibiotics, doxycycline for ten days, and i suspect I do have it again 5 days after finished the course of the antibiotics, can I take doxycycline again?

    • Dr. Dunn A. Reply

      No, take a culture test to be sure what’s the best antibiotics for you. Just simply talk to a doctor for more advice.

      • Linnn Reply

        Can a symptom of frequent urination without any pain or discharge be regarded as chlamydia ?

  • Mary Reply

    I,very had vaginal problems for along time. My ob/gynecology has never diagnosed me with chlamydia. I still have a lot of itching, and have the urge to pee. My husband was just diagnosed with this and Dr. says this could be from years past. What’s going on?

  • Reply

    hi dr. Duna A.

    I had chlamydia last year and got treated at Planned Parenthood and got retested again there and it was negative
    And been with the same person. Because i dont cheat and only have one person. Because i be scared to get it again. But he knows my routine. When we found out we are pregnant. I got my pap done and they are telling me i got it again. Could i had it but now know because he got tested to and got 2 pills and a shot before the test results came in the mail but they say negative???

    I just dont understand please help me?????

  • Richard Reply

    I was infected with chlamydia over a year ago. I got treated and was cured of the disease and haven’t had intercourse with anyone since then. But recently I had unprotected sex, and my partner came back positive for chlamydia. She has had multiple check ups before me and each came back clear. But after me she came back positive. What are the possibility’s that I infected her? Cause she’s the first and only person I’ve slept with an in over a year. How would it come back to me in this case?

    • Dr. Dunn A. Reply

      Sorry, you feel this way. But the truth is, it could be you, or she got the infection from someone else.

      Why could it be you? If you treated chlamydia, its important a re-test is carried out in 5 weeks time to be sure its completely out of your body. However, if you didn’t complete your medications, it’s possible that it can stay dormant and inactive without any symptoms.

      If you did a retest, and yet, she is positive, it’s important that you ask if she is seeing anyone else.

      And very rarely, chlamydia transmission could be from other routes apart from sexual intercourse

  • anonymous Reply

    My boy’s ex gave him chlamydia while they were dating. I found out I had it, we got treated on Friday. Is it okay if we have s*x (with a condom) this saturday? that’s about 8 days. My Gyn said to wait 2 weeks, but everyone else is saying, even his doctor, wait only a week. Is 8 days enough? If I’m still discharging should we wait? I stopped discharging for about a month, and after taking the pills i started discharging again.

  • MsBoudreaux Reply

    Sooooo… was just told i have chlamydia. Like wtf? I am almost positive that my boyfriend is NOT cheating. I totally trust him! And I know I haven’t been! Had a miscarriage 9/11. Dr didn’t have any answers regarding reason why. I had absolutely no pain, bleeding or anything out of the norm. He said the ONLY thing he could think of was that I may have had some type of infection in the lining of my placenta. but he did a complete workup on me and he checked the fetus (16wks) and the placenta. Said all was well with both of us. WIas just diagnosed with chlamydia. I didn’t have any issues with pain itching burning whatever. I went to Dr because I had 2 regular cycles after my miscarriage. In that 3rd month I didn’t have a cycle. A week after my cycle was supposed to come, I started spotting. Thought my cycle was just late, but it lasted 2- 3wks so went to dr. He did pelvic exam and all seemed to be well. But he did a culture because i told him I had a foul smell. He said most probably just because it’s old blood. Why am I bleeding, he says maybe stress threw my hormones off. And i really have been more stressed in the last few months than in my whole life. Guess depression after the baby. Anyway.. now chlamydia ? Is it true stress can wake that dormant std up.. jeez it’s been 20yrs?

  • I'm pregnant and scared Reply

    hi. I was treated for Chlamydia and i didn’t have s*x for 8 days but my husband had m*sturbated me. And im just worried that i got reinfected. Me and him didn’t have sex. And our genitals did not touch. Could i be reinfected by doing that?

  • John Reply

    If me and my partner had chlamydia two years ago and got treated and I’ve only been having un protected s*x with her and occasionally protected s*x wth a forginer .. does that affect any possibilities every time it was someone besides my special someone I was protected. And only had s*x not protected with the mother of my child … she recently got told she had chlamydia again and I’m wondering if it came back on it own from having repeated un prorctected s*x with me and we both had it in the past and comeback because it lied dormant in our stomachs or was it really my infidelity even though I always wore protection

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