Can I Trust At
In general, you can expect an in-office test or a home-to-lab test to be more accurate than a self-collected test. But a 2015 review that looked at the accuracy of self-collected versus physician-collected chlamydia and gonorrhea tests concluded that self-collected tests are a good alternative for those who dont have the option of clinical testing or dont want to undergo clinical examination.
Keep in mind that false negatives and false positives can occur with any STI test. Make sure youre following the at-home specimen collection instructions carefully to ensure you get an adequate sample and avoid potential contamination.
How To Choose The Right Test For You
With dozens of at-home testing kits available, it can be hard to choose the right one. After all, what does a good at-home STD testing kit look like? What should it entail? What do you need?
Theres no one-size-fits-all answer. Your needs will vary depending on your situation and circumstances. Also, they may change over time.
This chart can help you determine which type of test is right for you.
|Reasons to test|
You should talk with a doctor if one of your partners has recently tested positive for an STD or STI or if youre experiencing possible symptoms of an STI.
Also, the recommends STD screenings from a healthcare professional for the following cases:
- You are between 13 and 64 years old and have never been tested for HIV.
- You share needles. Your doctor may recommend annual HIV testing.
- You have sex without a condom or barrier methods. Your doctor may recommend annual HIV testing.
- Sexually active people who were assigned female at birth and under 25 may need annual chlamydia and gonorrhea testing.
- Sexually active people assigned male at birth who have sex with others assigned male at birth may need testing as frequently as every 3 to 6 months.
- You have regular oral or anal sex. Your doctor may recommend throat and rectal testing.
- You are pregnant. Your doctor will test you for hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV and syphilis.
Should I Get A Chlamydia Test
It can be a good idea to screen for chlamydia and other STIs if youâre considering having sexual intercourse with a new partner. If you believe you have been exposed to chlamydia or are experiencing symptoms , consider screening for infection by visiting a local clinicâ âor take a chlamydia test at home.
Also, according to the CDC, if you’re a sexually active woman younger than 25, you should test for chlamydia and gonorrhea at least once a year . You should also get tested yearly if you’re 25 or older and have risk factors like new or multiple sex partners. The CDC also recommends annual gonorrhea and chlamydia testing for gay and bisexual men.
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How Does A Chlamydia Test Work
The most commonly used type of chlamydia test is called a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test . A NAAT detects the DNA of the bacteria that cause the chlamydia infection. You provide a sample of urine. Or your provider collects a sample of secretions from the vagina or urethra . The lab tests the sample for signs of the bacteria.
Less often, providers use a cell culture to test for chlamydia. Your provider swabs your vagina, urethra or anus to collect a sample of fluid and cells. They send the cells to a lab to test. If bacteria are present, they will grow, which indicates an infection. Providers may choose this type of chlamydia test to detect infections in the anus. Or they may use a cell culture to see how chlamydia treatments are working.
How Often Should I Get Tested
The CDC recommends that sexually active women younger than 25 years old get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with a new partner, multiple partners, or a partner who has an STI should also get tested annually.
Sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea annually. In cases of frequent sexual encounters with multiple partners, the CDC recommends testing every 3 to 6 months.
If youre experiencing any symptoms of an STI, you should get tested immediately.
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How Can You Test For Chlamydia At Home
Chlamydia affects millions of people every year and, living up to its nickname of the silent infection, it can often show little to no symptoms at all – making it easy for it to go unnoticed and untreated. Although rates among females tend to be higher than rates among males, chlamydia is so common that it can affect pretty much anyone who is sexually active making regular STD testing crucial to keeping your sexual health healthy.
While chlamydia can sometimes be detected with a physical exam, its not always necessary. The most common form of testing for chlamydia is with a urine test or a swab test. If you would prefer to test from the comfort of home, you can do so with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetCheckeds at-home Simple 2 Test is a simple urine test and checks for two of the most common infections: chlamydia and gonorrhea . Its recommended to wait at least 2 weeks from the time of exposure before testing to ensure accurate results.
The test will arrive in discreet packaging and a return envelope and clear instructions will be provided. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated clinical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process. If you need more information about taking your sample, find out more here.
What Do I Do If I Test Positive
If you test positive for an STI, its important to talk with a medical professional to discuss your results and potential treatment options. Many at-home testing companies provide consultations with doctors or nurses and even free medication for certain infections, but you can also make an appointment with your doc to create a care plan.
Its also important to reach out to any previous or current partners to let them know they should get tested so they can seek out treatment too.
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How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
You cant tell if you have chlamydia just by the way you feel. The only way to know for sure if you have chlamydia is to get tested whether or not you have symptoms.
If youre showing any signs of chlamydia, you should get tested. Testing is also a good idea if youve had unprotected sex or if a partner has chlamydia . In general, people who are sexually active should get tested for STDs, including chlamydia, about once a year. If youre pregnant, get tested for chlamydia at your first prenatal visit. Want to know if you should be tested for chlamydia? Check out this quiz to find out.
Chlamydia testing is pretty easy and painless. The best part about getting tested for STDs? Once you get it over with, it can really put your mind at ease. And if you DO have chlamydia, its best to know right away so you can take medicine and get better as soon as possible.
What Are Std Symptoms And When Do They Usually Happen
Women usually dont have STD symptoms that prompt them to get tested when an STD is detected its typically because a woman has been screened based on her reporting of sexual activity. If symptoms do appear, they may take a few weeks to develop. In addition, STD symptoms can be difficult to tell apart from those of a urinary tract infection or bacterial vaginosis.
Bleeding from the vagina that is not normal
Pain deep inside during sex
Sores, bumps, or blisters in the vagina, anus, or mouth
Burning and pain with urine or with bowel movements
Having to go to the bathroom often
Until after the pandemic emergency response is over, the CDC has advised that women with symptoms should be prioritized for testing and treatment and that routine screening should be postponed. But women without symptoms still have options for testing and can seek treatment if they test positive for an STD.
STD symptoms for men can vary, and some infections dont cause external symptoms. For STDs like gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia, symptoms can include:
Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
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Are Std Tests Accurate
Most modern STD tests are very accurate. Still, test accuracy varies depending on the type of sample collected and the test detection method.
Traditional in-office tests are more accurate than online-only tests, and home-to-lab tests are more accurate than self-collected ones. But both are highly efficient.
How Do Home Chlamydia Tests Work
Taking a home chlamydia test typically involves collecting a urine or genital swab sample while at home and then sending it to a lab for analysis. Lab technicians then determine whether the bacterium responsible for chlamydia is present in the sample.
Some home testing companies allow a person to discreetly order testing kits while at home but then require the person to take the kit to a specified laboratory where a technician will collect a sample. The lab that analyzed the sample then sends the results directly to the person who ordered the test.
Some home-testing companies have doctors on staff who can write a prescription and send it to a pharmacy if required.
Before the chlamydia test, a person should:
- avoid douching or using vaginal creams for 24 hours before the test
- avoid taking antibiotics for 24 hours before the test
- refrain from urinating for 12 hours before taking the sample
If a test indicates that a person has chlamydia and the company does not offer a follow-up consultation service, they should contact a doctor or healthcare professional. Without treatment, chlamydia can cause serious
gynecological exam or regular health checkup, but this is not always the case. With this in mind, anyone who believes they may have chlamydia should consider a test.
One symptom of chlamydia is a burning sensation when urinating. A person experiencing this issue should contact a doctor, even if a home chlamydia test has returned a negative result.
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Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
You may face an increased risk of chlamydia if you have unprotected sex or have multiple sex partners. However, there are other risk factors besides these, so talk with your healthcare provider if you want to know more about your risk and what it could mean for your sexual health. And donât forget: when it comes to prevention and risk-reduction, regular STI screening can be a great place to start.
What Should I Expect During A Chlamydia Test
Your provider gives you a clean cup and asks you to urinate in it. Follow your providers instructions carefully when collecting a urine sample. Youll need to collect the urine as soon as it starts to come out .
Instead of a urine sample, your provider might collect a sample of secretions from your genitals or anus. They gather this sample by rubbing a cotton swab on the inside of your vagina, penis or anus. If your provider suspects that you have a chlamydia infection in your eye, they will collect a fluid sample from your eye.
If youre using an at-home chlamydia test, you will collect the sample yourself. Be sure to follow the instructions on the test kit carefully.
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How Do You Test For Chlamydia
Nucleic Acid Amplification The three NAA tests described below work by finding the DNA of chlamydia bacteria. Because NAA tests search for the bacterias genetic material, it is very unlikely that a false-positive test result will occur. The incubation period for chlamydia is 1-5 days, so wait at least five days after potential chlamydia exposure before getting tested to ensure the most accurate results possible.
- Testing via urine samples needs to consist of first-catch urine . Patients should not include more than the first-catch in the collection cup to avoid diluting the sample.
- Patients should not urinate for at least one hour prior to providing a sample.
- Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.
Why shouldnt you get tested for chlamydia via a blood test?
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay Antibodies, IgM
- IgM antibodies are found mainly in the blood and lymph fluid they are the first antibody to be made by the body to fight a new infection.
- This blood samples results should not be used as a diagnostic procedure without confirmation of the diagnosis by another medically established diagnostic product or procedure.
Enzyme immunoassay Antibodies, IgG
- IgG antibodies are the most abundant type of antibody they are found in all body fluids and protect against bacterial and viral infections.
When Should I Test And Retest
Even if you suspect recent sexual activity might have exposed you to infection, these diseases have different incubation periods and window periods. Timing your test with these in mind will help you get the most accurate results.
- An incubation period is the time between infection and when symptoms begin.
- Window periods are the time between the initial infection and when a test will produce a positive result.
Window periods are the most important consideration when it comes to testing and transmission to others. You can get an accurate test result for some STDs if you take the test a week after a particular sexual encounter, but other STDs require more time before your test will be useful.
Its also important for some STDs to perform confirmation tests and retest after treatment to make sure your course of treatment successfully clears away the infection.
The chart below outlines minimum window periods for common STDs and indicates which ones require a retest after treatment. Some testing methods may detect infections before others, but that increased speed often comes at the expense of accuracy. You should follow these guidelines and take the best test you can find.
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How Often Should I Get Tested For Stis
Breneman recommends getting tested once a year as a baseline for sexually active peeps. If you have more than one partner, share needles, dont always use a condom, arent monogamous, or have reason to believe your partner isnt monogamous, its a good idea to get tested every 3 to 6 months.
But keep in mind that if youre ever experiencing symptoms, you should get tested right away. The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can start treatment.
Chlamydia And Gonorrhea: How To Know The Difference
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are arguably some of the most common, and well known, sexually transmitted infections worldwide. As a matter of fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refer to both of these infections as two nationally notifiable STIs .
Occasionally mistaken for one another, chlamydia and gonorrhea have similar symptoms and signs, and can even cause some similar side effects when left untreated. In saying that, both chlamydia and gonorrhea are individual infections, with a variety of distinct differences â each of which is worth knowing more about.
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How Is It Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and your sexual history. You may also have a physical exam to look for signs of infection.
Several types of tests can diagnose chlamydia. Most tests use a sample of urine or a swab from the cervix, vagina, or rectum.
Chlamydia can cause serious problems but may not cause symptoms. Thats why its a good idea to get tested once a year if you are at higher risk for getting chlamydia. Talk to your doctor about what testing is right for you.
Causes And Risk Factors
Chlamydia is an STI caused by a specific strain of bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.
It is transmitted through vaginal discharge or semen, and can be transmitted through genital contact or oral, vaginal, or anal sex without a barrier method, like a condom.
Chlamydia is more common in women than in men. In fact, its estimated that the overall rate of infection is for women than men in the United States.
Some of the other risk factors for infection include:
- not using barrier methods like condoms consistently with new sexual partners
- having a sexual partner who is having sex with other people
- having a history of chlamydia or other STIs
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What Does A Positive Chlamydia Test Result Mean
If the test is positive, the lab detected the bacteria that cause chlamydia. This means you have a chlamydia infection and will need treatment . You will also need to notify your sexual partners, so they can get tested, too.
After finishing treatment, you will need additional follow-up chlamydia tests. You may need another test three weeks after treatment and possibly another test three months later. Ask your provider when you should get a follow-up test.
How Does A Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Test Work
Screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea can be done at home or at a clinic. A sample of urine is typically sent to a laboratory, which checks the urine for chlamydia and gonorrhea DNA. If you are using the Everlywell at-home test, youâll receive secure, online results just a few days after the lab receives your sample.
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