Chlamydia Urethritis, Treated (Male)

You have an infection in your urethra. This is the tube in the penis that carries urine. The infection is caused by the bacteria chlamydia. It is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is also called a sexually transmitted disease. It is very contagious. It's spread by having vaginal, anal, or oral sexual contact with someone who is infected.

Symptoms most often start within 1 week after you come in contact with the bacteria. But it may take 3 weeks for symptoms to show up. You may have a watery discharge from the penis. You may also have burning while urinating. 

This infection can be treated and cured. Treatment is with medicines called antibiotics.

Home care

Follow these guidelines when caring for yourself at home:

  • Your sexual partner needs to be treated even if he or she has no symptoms. Your partner should reach out to his or her own healthcare provider. Or your partner can go to an urgent care clinic or your local health department to be examined and treated. Sometimes your own healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics for your partner. This is called expedited partner therapy.

  • Don't have sexual activity until both you and your partner have taken all the antibiotics. You should wait until your provider tells you that you are no longer contagious.

  • Take all medicine as directed until it is gone. If you stop the medicine before you have taken it all, symptoms may come back.

  • Learn about safe sex practices and use these in the future. The safest sex is with a partner who has tested negative and has sex only with you. Condoms can help stop spreading some STIs. These include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV. But condoms are not a guarantee.

Follow-up care

STI testing

  • Follow up with your healthcare provider on any test results, or as advised. Talk with your provider or your local health department to be sure you are having complete STI (including HIV) screening. Also make sure you are lowering your risk for STIs, including HIV, as much as possible. This includes HIV testing. Call the CDC National STI Hotline at 800-232-4636 for more information about STIs.

  • Get tested for HIV now. If negative, get tested again in 3 months. Also talk with your healthcare provider about whether taking anti-HIV medicines would be a good idea. Your provider may advise you take such medicine now for 28 days or on an ongoing basis to prevent you from getting HIV.

Tell you partner

Make sure you talk with your partner about STIs and testing. If you don't feel safe talking face-to-face with your partner about testing, send a text or email. Or make a phone call instead. Ask for help if you’re not safe. Encourage your partner(s) to get treatment. Otherwise, he or she can pass the disease back to you or others.

If you have an STD, talk with your provider about expedited partner therapy (EPT). With EPT, you may be given a prescription or medicines to give to your partner without your partner needing to be seen by a healthcare provider. EPT is available in many states for some STIs (mainly chlamydia and gonorrhea). So check with your provider.

When to seek medical care

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Symptoms not better after 3 days of treatment

  • Unable to urinate because of the pain

  • Rash or joint pain

  • Painful sores on the penis

  • Enlarged painful lumps (lymph nodes) in the groin

  • Testicle pain or swelling of the scrotum

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or above, lasting for 24 to 48 hours

  • Blood in urine 

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