What Does The Chlamydia Test Involve
The recommended tests for chlamydia are simple, painless and generally very reliable.
They involve sending a sample of cells to a laboratory for analysis. You donât necessarily have to be examined by a doctor or nurse first and can often collect the sample yourself.
There are two main ways the sample can be collected:
- using a swab a small cotton bud is gently wiped over the area that might be infected, such as inside the vagina or inside the anus
- urinating into a container this should ideally be done at least 1 hour after you last urinated
Men will usually be asked to provide a urine sample, while women will usually be asked to either swab inside their vagina or provide a urine sample.
The results will normally be available in 7 to 10 days. If thereâs a high chance you have chlamydia for example, you have symptoms of the infection or your partner has been diagnosed with it and youâve had unprotected sex with them you might start treatment before you get your results.
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What Happens If Chlamydia Isn’t Treated
Only some people who have chlamydia will have complications. If chlamydia is treated early, its unlikely to cause any long-term problems. But, without proper treatment, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. The more times you have chlamydia the more likely you are to get complications.
- If you have a vulva, chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease . This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy .
- In people with a vulva, chlamydia can also cause pain and inflammation around the liver, though this is rare. This usually gets better with the correct antibiotic treatment.
- If you have a penis, chlamydia can lead to infection in the testicles. If this isnt treated, theres a possibility it could affect your fertility but more research is needed to understand how likely this is.
- Rarely, chlamydia can lead to inflammation of the joints. This is known as Sexually Acquired Reactive Arthritis and is sometimes accompanied by inflammation of the urethra and the eye. This is more likely to occur in people with a penis than people with a vulva.
How To Help Partners Get Treatment
If you are not sure whether your sexual partner will seek treatment, ask your doctor for extra chlamydia medication . You can give it to them so they can be treated as soon as possible.
This is known as patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia. Talk to your doctor to see if PDPT is right for you and your sexual partner.
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Use An Anonymous Notification Program
Can Chlamydia Turn Into Gonorrhea
No, chlamydia on its own cannot turn into gonorrhea as they are caused by two different bacteria.
It does happen that people contract and carry both chlamydia and gonorrhea bacteria, so you can have them at the same time. Also, having one increases your likelihood of contracting another thus, it is always important to be treated for both.
Can A Treated Std Come Back
Monique Rainford, MD, is board-certified in obstetrics-gynecology, and currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Medicine. She is the former chief of obstetrics-gynecology at Yale Health.
This article explains why an STD can return, why taking the wrong medication can hurt you, and the risk of reinfection if you are not careful about safe sex practices.
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Who Should Be Tested For Chlamydia
You should go to your health provider for a test if you have symptoms of chlamydia, or if you have a partner who has a sexually transmitted disease. Pregnant women should get a test when they go to their first prenatal visit.
People at higher risk should get checked for chlamydia every year:
- Sexually active women 25 and younger
- Older women who have new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted disease
- Men who have sex with men
Stds With Few Or No Symptoms
Itâs important to keep in mind, though, that symptoms arenât always a good measure of determining whether you or your partner has an STD. Many sexually transmitted diseases can remain asymptomatic for years. In other words, there are no noticeable signs of infection.
Furthermore, it is possible for someone to have no STD symptoms at all and still be contagiousthis includes STDs from gonorrhea and chlamydia to herpes and HIV. Thatâs why thereâs no substitute for regular screening.
A lack of symptoms is no guarantee that you donât have an STD. You may be infected and able to transmit the disease to any partners.
What Does A Chlamydia Infection Look Like
Although few, some of the visible signs of chlamydia in females include:
- Cervical inflammation and bleeding: the infection can cause inflammation at the cervix and make the outer portion of the cervix look red, a condition called cervicitis. This would only be visible if a health care provider examines you.
- Discharge: some of the signs you have chlamydia also includes a change in vaginal discharge. Youll notice more discharge than usual, and it may be yellowish or even bloodstained, that may have an odor.
- Swelling during a pelvic exam: sometimes, during your pelvic exam, your doctor might discover tenderness within the pelvis, especially on touching the cervix. They may also detect swelling of the tubes and ovaries.
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What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of a womans reproductive organs, including the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. PID occurs when bacteria travel up through the vagina and into the reproductive organs.
PID typically occurs when an STI is left untreated. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common STIs that lead to PID.
Bacteria from an STI move up from the vagina or cervix and into the reproductive organs. PID is considered a serious complication of an STI.
What Increases Your Risk
Risk factors for getting chlamydia include:
- Having unprotected sex .
- Having more than one sex partner.
- Having a high-risk partner or partners. This includes people who have more than one sex partner or sex partners who have chlamydia.
- Starting sexual activity before age 18.
Any child with chlamydia needs to be seen by a doctor to determine the cause and to assess for possible sexual abuse. For more information, see the topic Child Abuse and Neglect.
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How Do You Get Oral Chlamydia
A person can get oral chlamydia by giving vaginal, penile, or anal oral sex to another person already infected with the bacteria.
Chlamydia trachomatis can also be spread from an infected persons throat to the penis. Research has not shown that the infection can spread from an infected persons throat to the vagina or rectum during oral sex.
Chlamydia does not seem to spread through kissing.
When To See A Doctor
If a person has symptoms of chlamydia after testing and treatment or thinks that they have come into contact with chlamydia again, they should see their doctor.
Females are less likely than males to have symptoms of chlamydia, so testing is especially important for them.
The recommend chlamydia testing every year for the following groups of people:
- sexually active females under the age of 25 years
- females over the age of 25 years who have new or multiple sexual partners
- anyone with a sexual partner who has an STI
- sexually active gay and bisexual males
Pregnant women should have a chlamydia test early on in their pregnancy.
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How Accurate Are The Tests
The accuracy of a chlamydia test depends on the kind of test used and the type of sample thats collected. The recommended tests are over 95% accurate in picking up chlamydia. As no test is 100% accurate theres a small chance that the test will give a negative result when you do have chlamydia. This is known as a false negative result. This can sometimes explain why you might get a different result from another test or why you and a partner might get a different test result.
Its possible for the test to be positive if you havent got chlamydia, but this is rare.
Chlamydia Is Common But Many People Dont Realize They Have It
About 1.7 million chlamydia infections were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017, but the real number is likely higher because chlamydia is considered an underreported infection.
“The number of reported cases is substantially lower than the true estimated incidence,” says Bradley Stoner, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and former president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.
The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System relies on state and local public health departments to collect and report data on chlamydia to the CDC. Those public health departments depend on individual physicians, hospitals, and laboratories to report cases of chlamydia to them. Accurate statistics require all parties to routinely comply with disease-reporting mandates.
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How Can You Get Treatment
The YorSexualHealth team can arrange treatment for you .
- Postal treatments can often be arranged â one of our nurses can discuss this with you.
If you have symptoms, are pregnant or want a full check up, you will need to go to a sexual health clinic â we can help to arrange this.
These treatments are free of charge and confidential.
If you would prefer to go to your GP for treatment, you may need to pay a prescription charge.
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How Soon Can I Have Sex Again
Dont have oral, vaginal or anal sex, or use sex toys, until you and your partner have both finished the treatment and any symptoms have gone. This is to help prevent you being re-infected or passing the infection on to someone else.
If youre given antibiotic treatment called azithromycin, youll still need to avoid sex for seven days after starting the treatment as thats how long it takes to work.
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Knowing Other Bodily Symptoms Of Chlamydia
Rules For Successful Treatment
The patient should make sure that the doctor is informed if the patient is pregnant or has any allergies. These conditions influence the choice of the medicine prescribed. No matter which antibiotic the patient takes treating chlamydia the following points should be remembered:
- The treatment of all partners on the infected person is obligatory
- Abstain from sex contacts during the treatment and until the negative result on chlamydia test is received
- It is unadvisable to interrupt the course of antibiotics treatment as it will result in the necessity to start again from the beginning. Although the symptoms may disappear, the infection may still remain in the body
- It is necessary to get tested after 34 months after the end of the treatment to make sure the infection is no longer in the body.
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How Long Does It Take To Show Up In People With Penises
Theres no significant difference in the amount of time it takes for chlamydia symptoms to show up for people with penises as compared to people with vulvas.
The only major difference in the time it takes for symptoms to show up among people of various sexes may be related to how often symptoms show up.
According to the Childrens National Health System, 90 percent of people with vulvas dont ever experience any physical symptoms, while 70 percent of people with penises never notice any symptoms.
This difference in who actually experiences symptoms between these two groups may have some effect on how long it takes for symptoms show up. But theres never been any definitive link between your sex and when your symptoms appear.
How Do People Get Chlamydia
Chlamydia can spread when you have unprotected sexual contact with someone who already has the infection. This means vaginal, oral or anal sex without using a condom.
Transmission occurs because the bacteria that cause chlamydia live and grow in the fluids that are secreted during sexual activity. If you have chlamydia, there is a 30% to 50% chance of your partner catching it every time you have unprotected sex.
Since chlamydia often has no symptoms, you probably wont know whether your partner has it.
Chlamydia cant spread from toilets, swimming pools or usual contact with people. It only spreads through the sharing of genital fluids.
Newborn babies, however, can get chlamydia through their mother during childbirth.
Chlamydia infections can live in the nose, genitals or rectum for more than 2 years.
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Who Is At Risk For Chlamydia
This STD is particularly common in young people. According to a CDC report, chlamydia prevalence among sexually active persons aged 14-24 years is nearly three times the prevalence among those aged 25-39 years. It is more prevalent among young women because at that age the cervix is still developing and is much more susceptible to the bacteria. Additionally, the vagina and cervix provide more surface area than the penis, which makes it easier for women to contract the bacteria.
Whether chlamydia symptoms are present or not, untreated chlamydia can travel to the upper genital tract and cause serious health problems. In women, chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and cause permanent damage leading to infertility or potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy. In men, untreated cases can lead to epididymitis, which can, but very rarely does, cause sterility.
How Soon Can You Retest After Chlamydia Treatment
igmg87 over a year ago
I was diagnosed with Chlamydia a week ago, I had not had sex with anyone for over a month prior to that. Doctor prescribed me Azithromycin 500mg 2 tablets as a one time dose. My doctor told me I needed to retest after 3 months to make sure that I didnât have it or have been reinfected. Iâm very paranoid because Iâve never had an std, & I donât want to have sex with anyone unless I test first & its negative. Can I retest a week after I finish the antibiotic treatment or will it still show positive? I donât want to get back with my ex boyfriend unless both of our results are negative. I still plan on retesting in 3 months
Biomajor10over a year ago
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Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
Anyone who has sex can get chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.
Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman younger than 25 years, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as pregnant women should also get tested for chlamydia.