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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Chlamydia

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Partner Notification

Treatment for chlamydia involves more than just taking medication. It is important that you notify your partner(s) so they can get tested and treated. It doesn't mean they have chlamydia, but have been exposed to it. Ideally, you should notify any partner with whom you had sexual contact within the past 2 months prior to the onset of your first symptoms. At the very least, the last partner should be notified, even if it has been more than 2 months since your symptoms appeared. If they had sexual contact with others, they also need to notify their partner(s). These conversations may be uncomfortable, but are important for your health, and the health of your partner. Your doctor can provide reading material that can help your partner understand chlamydia and its complications.

If it is unlikely that your partner will seek medical treatment, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has endorsed a form of partner-treating known as expedited partner therapy (EPT). If your state and doctor support EPT, you may be given a prescription to give to your partner. They can then be treated without needing to seek medical attention. Where it is allowed, EPT can help reduce the spread of chlamydia. EPT is generally not recommended for men who have sex with men because of the high risk of coexisting, undiagnosed infections.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: David Horn, MD
  • Review Date: 05/2014 -
  • Update Date: 07/31/2014 -
  • Chlamydia—CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-chlamydia-detailed.htm. Updated January 7, 2014. Accessed July 31, 2014.

  • Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 30, 2014. Accessed July 31, 2014.

  • Golden MR, Whittington WL, Handsfield HH, et al. Effect of expedited treatment of sex partners on recurrent or persistent gonorrhea or chlamydial infection. N Engl J Med. 2005;352:676-685.

  • Mishori R, McClaskey, EL, et al. Chlamydia trachomatis infections: Screening, diagnosis, and management. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(12):1127-1132.

  • Workowski KA, Berman S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.

  • 2/15/2007 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Trelle S, Shang A, Nartey L, Cassell JA, Low N. Improved effectiveness of partner notification for patients with sexually transmitted infections: systematic review. BMJ. 2007;334(7589):354.