Is Chlamydia Curable?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium. It is the most common STI in the United States and is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

While a chlamydia diagnosis may be concerning and difficult to receive, the right antibiotics can treat and cure it.

In this article, learn more about chlamydia and how it is cured.

Woman taking antibiotics.

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Chlamydia Treatment

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. The types of antibiotics most often used to treat chlamydia include:

  • Doxycycline: Seven-day course of twice-daily 100 milligrams (mg) oral tablets
  • Azithromycin: Single dose of 1,000 mg (1 gram) oral tablet
  • Levofloxacin: Seven-day course of once-daily 500 mg oral tablets

It is essential to take all medication exactly as prescribed for optimal effectiveness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people of all genders and sexual orientations be retested three months after treatment.

Where to Get Free Treatment

You will need a prescription from a healthcare provider to treat chlamydia. If you feel uncomfortable going to your primary healthcare provider or have concerns about cost or insurance coverage, you may be able to get free treatment for chlamydia and other STIs.

Possible sources for free chlamydia treatment include:

  • Local health department STI clinics
  • Family planning clinics, such as Planned Parenthood
  • Urgent care
  • Student health centers

You can also find a clinic using GetTested and ask if they offer treatment for STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Chlamydia Prognosis

Overall, antibiotic treatment for chlamydia has a 95% cure rate for the first course.

Recently, however, researchers have become more concerned about antibiotic resistance (when bacteria develop a way to survive medications meant to kill them). There is increasing research on azithromycin treatment failure, particularly for rectal (anal) infections.

In several reviews, rectal chlamydia infection was common (33% to 83%) in women with urogenital chlamydia infection (infection in the female genital tract) who had no symptoms of rectal chlamydia and didn't report having had anal sex. Because of azithromycin's potential failure to treat rectal infections, doxycycline continues to be the first-line treatment option for chlamydia.

Chlamydia Reinfection

A chlamydia "relapse" is rare, but it is common to get reinfected with chlamydia. Transmission usually is from a sexual partner who did not get the appropriate treatment or from a new sexual partner with chlamydia.


Chlamydia infection can lead to reproductive health complications if left untreated or infected multiple times. Since most people with chlamydia do not have symptoms, it is vital to get tested if you are at risk of infection. The CDC also recommends that women under age 25 get screened for chlamydia annually, even if they have no symptoms or risk factors.

Some chlamydia complications include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy (a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus), and female infertility.

A baby may also get chlamydia as they pass through the birth canal if the birthing parent has a chlamydia infection. Complications of infant chlamydia can include conjunctivitis (pink eye) and pneumonia.

When Can You Have Sex Again?

The CDC recommends abstaining from sex during chlamydia treatment. The time you can't have sex depends on which antibiotic you take. Recommendations include the following:

  • Single-dose antibiotics: No sex for seven days after the dose
  • Seven-day course of antibiotics: No sex throughout the entire course

Discuss with your healthcare provider which dose would be best for you.

How to Talk to Your Partner(s) About Chlamydia

If you test positive for chlamydia, you must inform your sexual partner(s). Understandably, this can be a sensitive and awkward conversation. Try to be open, honest, and calm.

Some monogamous partners may be worried about being accused of cheating. This is a normal concern. However, you can inform your partner that because chlamydia is so often asymptomatic (without symptoms), you could have had the infection for months or years before your relationship began; it does not necessarily indicate infidelity.


Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs and is highly curable. A course of the right antibiotics, taken exactly as prescribed, generally has a 95% effectiveness rate. It is important to treat chlamydia to prevent further infections or serious health complications and prevent spreading it to others.

A Word From Verywell

If you test positive for chlamydia, you probably have dozens of questions and concerns running through your mind, including whether it's curable. As long as you receive the proper antibiotic treatment and take all your medication as prescribed, chlamydia is highly curable. To ensure you are cured, you should retest for chlamydia three months after treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does chlamydia last?

    Once chlamydia is treated with antibiotics, it can go away in one to three weeks. However, because chlamydia is often asymptomatic, if a person does not know they have chlamydia and does not receive treatment, they could have the infection for years.

  • Can chlamydia come back?

    Yes, it is common to get reinfected with chlamydia. If you have unprotected sex with someone infected with chlamydia—even if you've had chlamydia before—you can get it again.

  • Will chlamydia go away on its own without treatment?

    No, chlamydia will not go away on its own without treatment. Even if you had symptoms that then went away, you likely still have the infection if you have not been treated. Chlamydia is easily treated and cured with a course of antibiotics.

7 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chlamydia: CDC detailed fact sheet.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. STI treatment guidelines, 2021: chlamydial infections.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chlamydia treatment and care.

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just diagnosed? Next steps after testing positive for gonorrhea or chlamydia.

  5. National Health Service United Kingdom. Treatment chlamydia.

  6. Kang-Birken SL. Challenges in treating Chlamydia trachomatis , including rectal infections: is it time to go back to doxycycline? Ann Pharmacother. 2022;56(3):330-338. doi:10.1177/10600280211029945

  7. American Sexual Health Association. Why do I need to retest after treatment?

By Sarah Bence
Sarah Bence, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and freelance writer. She specializes in a variety of health topics including mental health, dementia, celiac disease, and endometriosis.