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How To See If You Have Chlamydia

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis Vs Trachoma

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Trachoma is a severe eye infection caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis the same bacteria that causes chlamydial conjunctivitis. Though it is more prominent in developing countries, trachoma is the leading cause of infectious blindness around the world.

Trachoma infects the inner eyelid, causing it to scar. The infected and scarred eyelid then turns inward, and eyelashes begin to brush against the cornea and destroy corneal tissue. This friction essentially causes irreversible blindness.

Trachoma can be spread through contact with an infected person, through contaminated clothing or towels, or through insects such as flies that can carry the disease.

How Long Does It Take To Show Up On A Test

There are several tests that you doctor might use to diagnose chlamydia:

  • Urine test. Youll pee in a cup thats sent off to a laboratory testing facility to see if any chlamydia bacteria are present in your urine.
  • Blood test. Your doctor will use a sterile needle to draw some of your blood and send it to a lab to see if antibodies to the chlamydia bacteria are present in your bloodstream.
  • Swab. Your doctor will use a cotton round or stick to take a small sample of tissue or fluid that carries the infection, which is then sent to a lab to be cultured so that lab technicians can see what bacteria grows from the sample.

How long it takes for the results to show up depends on the test and on your specific health insurance plan.

  • Urine tests take about 2 to 5 days to show a positive or negative result.
  • Blood tests can come back with results in a few minutes if the blood is analyzed on site. But they can take a week or more if sent to an off-site lab.
  • Swab results take about 2 to 3 days to show a positive or negative.

1 to 3 weeks to show up in people with vulvas.

Symptoms may take up a few months to show up. This is because bacteria are living creatures and have an incubation period that affects how long it takes them to cluster together and become infectious.

This incubation period is dependent on a variety of factors, including:

  • how much of the bacteria you were exposed to
  • how quickly the bacteria reproduce
  • how strong your immune system is against the bacteria

What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. The recommended antibiotic treatment is doxycycline taken twice a day for seven days or azrithromycin taken in one single dose. Other alternative medications may be used but are not as effective as azrithromycin and doxycycline. Persons being treated for chlamydia should not have sexual intercourse for seven days after single dose therapy or until completion of all seven days of antibiotics . Patients can be re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.

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What Do The Results Mean

  • A negative test result means that you did not have a chlamydia infection when the sample was collected.
  • A positive test result means you have been infected with chlamydia.

If your test result is positive, you will need antibiotics to treat your infection. Your provider will give you instructions on how to take your medicine. To make sure your infection is cured, follow the instructions carefully and finish all the medicine.

You will also need to let your sexual partner/s know you tested positive for chlamydia so that they can be tested and treated if necessary. Three months after you finish treatment, you will need to be tested for chlamydia again to check for a new infection. That’s because repeat infections are very common. Ask your provider to tell you how often to get tested after that.

Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

What Does Chlamydia Look Like In The Mouth

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Chlamydia in the throat may take on a similar appearance to a throat infection. The throat may simply look red and swollen.

Sometimes chlamydia in the throat will have no appearance at all, especially where no symptoms are present.

If you have been experiencing a sore throat that doesnt seem to be going away, or you have had oral sex with a partner recently who has tested positive for chlamydia, you need to get tested as soon as possible.

Chlamydia in the throat is tested using a swab. You will need to visit a medical professional in person for a diagnosis. A doctor will send a swab sample to a laboratory, which tests the specimen for the presence of DNA from the bacteria that cause chlamydia.

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When To Seek Medical Advice

If you have any symptoms of chlamydia, visit your GP, community contraceptive service or local genitourinary medicine clinic as soon as possible.

Find a sexual health clinic.

You should also get tested if you don’t have any symptoms but are concerned you could have a sexually transmitted infection .

If you’re a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.

If you’re a man, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.

Read more about chlamydia diagnosis.

Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024

When Should I Call My Doctor About A Chlamydia Test

A note from Cleveland Clinic

A chlamydia test is essential to limiting the spread of this sexually transmitted infection. Its especially important to get screened for chlamydia regularly if youre at a higher risk of this STI. Untreated, the infection can cause health problems and you can spread it to your partner. While youre waiting for results and during treatment, avoid having sex. Wait until your provider says its safe to have sex again. Be sure to use a condom and practice safe sex to avoid getting an STI.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/28/2022.

References

Read Also: How You Know You Have Chlamydia

What Happens If Chlamydia Goes Untreated

If a person is not treated for chlamydia, complications may occur. Women frequently develop pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause infertility , chronic pelvic pain, tubal pregnancies, and the continued spread of the disease. In men, untreated chlamydia can cause urethral infection and complications such as swollen and tender testicles. Chlamydia infection during pregnancy may result in premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery and possible tubal pregnancy in a small percent of women. In addition, chlamydia can cause conjunctival and pneumonic infection in the newborn. Persons with a chlamydia infection have an increased chance of getting other infections such as gonorrhea or HIV.

What If My Results Are Positive

Sneaky Chlamydia | Do You Have It & Not Know It?

The Everlywell Chlamydia & Gonorrhea test includes an easy-to-understand lab report. But if you’re not sure how to read your chlamydia test results, your healthcare provider can help.

A positive STI test result can be unsettling, but you arenât alone: with the Everlywell Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test, you have the opportunity to speak with a physician in our network to discuss your results further if you test positiveâand you may be prescribed medication.

If your chlamydia test is positive, STI testing is recommended for your sex partner . If they are infected and don’t receive treatment, they can pass the chlamydial infection back to you.

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How Is The Test Used

Chlamydia testing is used to screen for and diagnose sexually transmitted infections caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis.

Testing for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae is often done at the same time since the infections caused by these two bacteria can have similar signs and symptoms. These bacteria may be acquired at the same time, and you may have infections with both. A definitive diagnosis is important since the two infections require different antibiotic treatment.

Repeat testing is recommended to ensure that treatment has been effective. This is done about three months after you have completed treatment.

Female Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia

Some women develop PID, an infection that can damage the uterus, cervix, and ovaries. PID is a painful disease that often requires hospital treatment.

Infertility is also possible if chlamydia is left untreated because the fallopian tubes may become scarred.

During pregnancy, the infection can to babies during birth, which can cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns.

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Who Does Chlamydia Affect

Anyone whos sexually active can get chlamydia. The bacteria that causes chlamydia gets transmitted through vaginal fluid and semen, which means that people of all genders who have sex can become infected with chlamydia and infect their partners, too. If youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass it on to your newborn.

Nucleic Acid Amplification Test

Chlamydia

The most common test for chlamydia, this is a simple, non-invasive test during which you collect a swab or urine sample yourself . A doctor can assist in taking a swab if you prefer.

The sample is then sent to be tested to see if there is genetic material that indicates the presence of chlamydia bacteria. Results come back quicker than the traditional culture test.

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Where Can I Get A Test

There are a number of services you can go to. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.

A chlamydia test can be done at:

  • a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic
  • your general practice
  • contraception and young peoples clinics
  • some pharmacies.

Abortion clinics, antenatal services and some gynaecology services may also offer a chlamydia test.

In England, if youre a woman aged under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme when you visit some service for other reasons, for example at a pharmacy or your GP.

The NCSP aims to identify people without symptoms to reduce the complications of untreated infection. If chlamydia is not treated, it can cause health complications, especially in women. Untreated chlamydia in women can cause pain in the pelvis, ectopic pregnancy and infertility .

If you are a woman aged under 25 years old and you are offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP you should consider taking it.

In many areas, free home self-sampling tests for chlamydia are available to order online. This is where you take your own sample and send it to be tested. See www.nhs.uk

Its also possible to buy a chlamydia test to do at home. The accuracy of these tests varies. Some types are very accurate when carried out according to the instructions, others can be less reliable. If you buy a testing kit make sure you get advice from a pharmacist or your doctor.

How Will I Know If I Have Chlamydia

You can only be certain you have chlamydia if you have a test.

Anyone can get chlamydia. Youre more likely to have it if youre under 25, have a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner in the last year, and if you havent used condoms.

You should have a test if:

  • you, or a partner, have or think you might have symptoms
  • youve recently had sex without a condom with a new partner
  • you, or a partner, have had sex without a condom with other partners
  • during a vaginal examination, your doctor or nurse says that the cervix is inflamed and/or theres an unusual discharge
  • a sexual partner tells you they have a sexually transmitted infection
  • you have another STI.

If you live in England, and youre a woman who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test when you change sexual partner and once a year.

If youre a man who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.

You could still have chlamydia even if a partner has tested negative. The only way to make sure you dont have chlamydia is to get tested yourself.

If you have chlamydia, youll be encouraged to be tested for other STIs as you can have more than one STI at the same time.

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How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed And Treated

If you have chlamydia symptoms or had intercourse with someone without protection, you should inform your doctor about testing or take a home chlamydia test.

Chlamydia can be detected at home. You should get a chlamydia test kit and use urine for your test.

However, if you have oral chlamydia symptoms, you may need to see your doctor for throat swab culture. The culture of chlamydia takes about 3 7 days.

If diagnosed with chlamydia, you can easily be treated and cured with azithromycin or doxycycline tablets.

During pregnancy, chlamydia infection can be treated safely with azithromycin.

Signs And Symptoms Of Chlamydia

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Chlamydia is known as one of the silent diseases which can produce no symptoms for a long period of time. Approximately 7095 percent of women and 50 percent of men with chlamydia do not observe chlamydia symptoms at all. The symptoms can also be mild and almost unnoticeable.

Another reason why symptoms are not the best way to determine the infection is that it is often confused with gonorrhea as the symptoms are very much alike. Asymptomatic nature of chlamydia makes it difficult to estimate how long a person remains infectious and this period is commonly believed to last until full recovery.

Chlamydia symptoms show up between 1 and 3 weeks after the contraction.

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How Can I Protect Myself From Chlamydia

Its not always possible to know if a current or potential partner has chlamydia, though, especially since many people with chlamydia never notice symptoms. With prevention in mind, its a good idea to make safer sex practices a regular part of your sex life:

  • Dont share sex toys, but if you do, wash them after each use and cover toys used for penetration with a condom.
  • Have sex with only one partner, who only has sex with you.

Best For Lab Choice: Personalabs

  • Sample type: blood and/or urine
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  • A person can choose either a specific test for chlamydia and gonorrhea or a comprehensive or 11-panel test that both involve submitting a blood and urine sample.

    After buying a test, the person takes a form to a nearby lab, where a technician collects the samples. The lab posts the results to the individuals online account. The customer may then speak with a doctor regarding any required prescriptions.

    This company does not have BBB accreditation but has an A+ rating on the platform. No customers have filed a complaint or left a review with the BBB regarding PersonaLabs since its 2006 launch.

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    When Is It Ordered

    Screening

    Because many infected people do not have any noticeable symptoms, a number of health organizations recommend regular chlamydia screening for certain people:

    Women

    All sexually active women younger than age 25 and sexually active women age 25 and older who are at increased risk should get yearly screening for chlamydia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommend routine screening for these women .

    Examples of risk factors for chlamydia infection include:

  • Previous chlamydia infections, even if you have been treated
  • Having STDs, especially HIV
  • Having new or multiple sex partners
  • Having a sex partner diagnosed with an STD
  • Using condoms inconsistently
  • Exchanging sex for money or drugs
  • Using illegal drugs
  • Living in a detention facility
  • For pregnant women, the CDC recommends screening for chlamydia during the first trimester or first prenatal visit. For women younger than age 25 or at increased risk of infection, testing is repeated in the third trimester. Pregnant women diagnosed with chlamydia should be retested about 3 months after completing treatment.

    Diagnosis

    Chlamydia testing may also be done when your sex partner has been diagnosed with chlamydia or when you have signs and symptoms of chlamydia.

    For women, if symptoms occur, they may include:

    For men, symptoms may include:

    Treatment Of Chlamydia Is There A Cure For Chlamydia

    Chlamydia may spread through the gut to infect new parts of the body ...

    Chlamydia can be cured easily and effectively with simple antibiotics once it has been diagnosed. The treatment can consist of a single dose or last up to 2 weeks depending on the type of chlamydia. The infected person should not have penetrative sex until receiving a negative Chlamydia test at an after-treatment check-up. Both partners must be treated for chlamydia and undergo re-testing after 34 months.

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    Does Chlamydia Cause Cervical Cancer

    No, chlamydia doesn’t cause cervical cancer.

    It’s possible to get a sexually transmitted infection by having sex with someone who has an STI, even if they have no symptoms.

    The following measures will help protect you from most STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV.

    If you have an STI, they’ll also help prevent you from passing it on to someone:

    • Avoid sharing sex toys. If you do share them, wash them or cover them with a new condom before anyone else uses them.

    When Can I Have Sex Again

    If you were diagnosed with chlamydia, wait to have sex again until you have finished your treatment.

    For some antibiotics, such as doxycycline, this means may need to wait 1 week to have sex, or until you have completed your prescribed course of treatment.

    If you were prescribed a single dose of medication, like azithromycin, wait 7 days after taking the medication before having sex.

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