How Can Doctors Tell If I Have Chlamydia
Doctors suspect chlamydia based on your symptoms
If youre pregnant or are at higher risk of having chlamydia, your doctor may do a urine test for chlamydia when you dont have any symptoms. Women are at higher risk if they:
Are having sex and are under age 25
Have ever had an STI
Do risky sexual activities
Have a partner who does risky sexual activities
Men are at higher risk if they:
Have had sex with a man in the past year
Doctors may also test your blood or urine for other STIs because many people have more than one STI.
Do I Need To Have A Test To Check That The Chlamydia Has Gone
If you take the treatment according to the instructions, you wont usually need a test to check the chlamydia has gone.
If youre aged under 25, you should be offered a repeat test 3 months after finishing the treatment. This is because youre at a higher risk of getting chlamydia again.
Whatever your age, you may need a repeat test or more treatment if:
- you think youve come into contact with chlamydia again
- you had sex without a condom with a partner before the treatment for both of you was finished
- you didnt complete the treatment or didnt take it according to the instructions
- the signs and symptoms dont go away
- your test was negative but you develop signs or symptoms of chlamydia
- youre pregnant.
A repeat test can be done 56 weeks after the first test.
If the chlamydia was in your rectum , you may need another test around 3 weeks after finishing the treatment. Your doctor, nurse or clinic will let you know if you need another test.
You can go back to the doctor, nurse or clinic if you have any questions or need advice on how to protect yourself from infection in the future.
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.
Also Check: Is There A Cure For Gonorrhea And Chlamydia
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 youre 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 youre 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.
Chlamydia Symptoms In Women:
- testicular pain and/or swelling
Depending on the localization of the infection, women, men and children may experience inflamed rectum, urethra or eyelids. The symptoms of mouth and throat infections are rare although a person can suffer a sore throat. Eyes infected with chlamydia can be itchy, swelled, cause painful sensations or produce discharge similar to conjunctivitis. Infection in the rectum results in bleeding, chlamydia discharge and pain.
Recommended Reading: Where To Buy A Chlamydia Test
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.
You May Like: Side Effects To Chlamydia Medication
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.
Don’t Miss: Does Rpr Test For Chlamydia
What Happens During A Chlamydia Test
To do a chlamydia test, you will need to provide a sample of fluid from the part of your body that may be infected. There are two ways to gather the sample:
- A first-catch urine sample. You use a sterile cup to a collect urine from the very first part of your urine stream. To get an accurate test result, you will need to stop urinating for two hours before the test.
- A swab sample. Your provider will use a special swab or brush to gather cells, usually from the genital area . This may cause some brief discomfort. In certain cases, the rectum, cervix, throat, or eyes may be swabbed. Your provider may give you the option to swab yourself following special instructions.
Test results are usually ready in a day. There are some rapid chlamydia tests that can provide results in 90 minutes or less.
You can also buy at-home collection kits to test for chlamydia and other STDs. With these kits, you collect a swab or urine sample at home and send it to a lab for testing. It’s important to follow all the instructions carefully.
You should not use an at-home test if you have symptoms of chlamydia or if your partner has chlamydia. In that case, it’s important to talk with your provider right away so you don’t delay treatment.
Ask your provider whether at-home chlamydia testing is right for you.
What Can Be Done To Prevent The Spread Of Chlamydia
- Limit your number of sex partners
- Use a male or female condom
- If you think you are infected or have been exposed, avoid any sexual contact and visit a local sexually transmitted disease clinic, a hospital or your doctor. Either bring your sex partners with you when you are treated or notify them immediately so they can obtain examination and treatment.
Also Check: 1 Day Treatment For Chlamydia
What Happens If I Get Chlamydia When I’m Pregnant
- Chlamydia during pregnancy has been associated in very rare cases with problems such as premature birth, and infection of the uterus lining after the birth.
- It can be passed to the baby during the birth and before the baby is born. This can cause inflammation and discharge in the babys eye and/or pneumonia.
- You may be offered a chlamydia test as part of your antenatal care.
- Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics when youre pregnant and when youre breastfeeding. The antibiotics wont harm the baby, but do tell the doctor or nurse that youre pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Youll be advised to have another test after you complete your treatment.
What Are The Signs Of Chlamydia
According to Hilary Reno, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, chlamydia symptoms usually start a week after you contract the infection, but really there is no set timeline. Adding to the confusion, when you do get chlamydia symptoms, they can often be mild or reminiscent of other common ailments like a urinary tract infection or a yeast infection, or even another sneaky STI, gonorrhea.
You know your body best, so if you feel like something isnt quite right, its best to see a doctor. If something has changed, and you know what your sexual activity has been, and you are having symptoms, that is an alert that you better get checked, James Grifo, M.D, Ph.D., program director at NYU Langone Fertility Center and chief executive physician at Inception Fertility, tells SELF. In the meantime, here are some prominent chlamydia symptoms to be on the lookout for:
Now, changes outside of what is normal for your bodyvaginal discharge color, smell, and feelcould signal a larger issue. And there are a lot of things that can account for this outside of chlamydia, according to the Cleveland Clinic, including a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. If your discharge is smelly or white, yellow, or gray in color, though, that may be chlamydia.
You May Like: Can You Get A False Positive For Chlamydia
How Soon Do Sti Symptoms Appear
If symptoms of a sexually transmitted infectiondo appear, they usually appear anywhere between three and ten days after yourexposure. However, some STIs may not show any symptoms until months afterinitial infection so it is always recommended to get tested regularly or assoon as possible following unprotected sex.
Frequently, an STI infection will not show any symptoms at all until its later stages when the infection has already done irreparable damage to your body. Tubal factor infertility is often a direct consequence of Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea infections accounting for up to 30% of all cases of female infertility in the USA and up to 85% in Africa. The message here is dont wait until you have a problem, just get tested now. These infections are easy to treat, and a simple tablet today will solve untold problems tomorrow!
Mike Asher, Co-Founder of Better2Know
What Are The Treatments For Chlamydia
Antibiotics will cure the infection. You may get a one-time dose of the antibiotics, or you may need to take medicine every day for 7 days. Antibiotics cannot repair any permanent damage that the disease has caused.
To prevent spreading the disease to your partner, you should not have sex until the infection has cleared up. If you got a one-time dose of antibiotics, you should wait 7 days after taking the medicine to have sex again. If you have to take medicine every day for 7 days, you should not have sex again until you have finished taking all of the doses of your medicine.
It is common to get a repeat infection, so you should get tested again about three months after treatment.
Don’t Miss: How Common Is It For Chlamydia To Come Back
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.
Also Check: How Do You Test For Chlamydia
Does Chlamydia Cause Cervical Cancer
No, chlamydia doesnt cause cervical cancer.
Its possible to get a sexually transmitted infection by having sex with someone who has an STI, even if they have no symptoms.
If you have an STI, theyll 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.
You May Like: Chlamydia How Long Does It Last
You Can Catch Chlamydia If Youve Only Had Sex Once
You may have heard that its not possible to get chlamydia from a single sex act. If youve had sex with someone who has the infection, you could get it, too. One encounter is all it takes to pass on the bacteria, so get tested.
In up to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia, the infection spreads to the uterus and uterine tubes, leading to symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease.
If youve had unprotected sex and are worried that you might have chlamydia, get tested. The test is easy and painless. Your doctor could take a sample of your cells with a cotton swab or ask you to pee in a cup. The sample is tested for chlamydia bacteria. If your doctor says you have chlamydia, dont worry. Its treatable.
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.
How Gonorrhea And Chlamydia Are Tested
Both gonorrhea and chlamydia can be diagnosed with similar methods. A healthcare provider might do a physical examination to look for symptoms, and they may do a urine test to check for the bacteria that cause chlamydia or gonorrhea.
But screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea doesnÃ¢t have to take place at a clinic. With the Everlywell at-home Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test, you can easily check for these STIs from the comfort and privacy of your home.
The kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions and everything you need to collect your sample at home, and your physician-reviewed results can be conveniently and securely viewed online on your device. Plus, if you receive a positive result after you get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea with the Everlywell at-home test, youÃ¢ll have the opportunity to connect with our independent physician networkÃ¢and may be prescribed medication to treat the infection.
How Is It Spread
Sometimes a person with chlamydia will have no symptoms. Even without symptoms, the infection passes easily to another person.
If you have a chlamydia infection you will be able to pass the infection on to others until you complete antibiotic treatment.
If you are pregnant, you may pass the infection to you babys eyes during childbirth. This may lead to blindness if the baby is not treated. If you have chlamydia during pregnancy, the baby may develop pneumonia.
Chlamydia treatment does not protect you from getting it again. If you are treated and your sex partners are not, the bacteria could pass back to you again.
You May Like: Can I Go To Urgent Care For Chlamydia
Burning Sensation When Urinating
Chlamydia can cause a burning sensation when you urinate. Its easy to mistake this for a symptom of a urinary tract infection.
You might also feel like you have the urge to urinate more often than usual. And when you do go to urinate, only a little bit comes out. Your urine might also smell unusual or look cloudy.
If you have chalmydia, you might also feel some pain during sex, especially intercourse.
You may also some bleeding and lingering irritation after any type of sexual activity involving penetration.
How Long After Treatment Can I Have Sex Again
You should avoid being sexually active during treatment for chlamydia because you can still pass the infection to your sex partner during this time, even if you have no symptoms.
How long you should wait to have sex depends on the antibiotic you take.
If your doctor prescribes a single dose of antibiotics, wait until seven days after taking it. If you take a multi-dose antibiotic, wait until youve taken the full course of medication .
Because it is somewhat common to get a repeat infection of chlamydia, its a good idea to be tested for it again about three months after treatment.
You May Like: What Does Chlamydia In The Throat Look Like
Read Also: How To Know If You Have Oral Chlamydia