How To Swab For Gonorrhea And Chlamydia
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , a record 2 million-plus cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States in 2016. According to the annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report released in September 2017, most of these new diagnoses were cases of chlamydia.
There were also 470,000 gonorrhea cases and almost 28,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis the most infectious stages of the disease.
All three of these STDs can be cured with antibiotics. But if left undiagnosed and untreated, they can have serious health consequences, including infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased risk for HIV transmission.
*Please note: When collecting samples,it is recommended to wear appropriate personal protective equipment .
How Long Should I Wait Before I Test
Some infections do not show up immediately after sex and you may need to wait in order to get accurate test results.
We usually say to wait:
- 2 weeks for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
- 4 weeks for syphilis and HIV
If you have symptoms of infection, contact us for a telephone consultation we will probably offer testing sooner.
For other infections, the timings can vary. Please book a telephone consultation to discuss.
Why It Is Done
A test for chlamydia is done to:
- See if your symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection are caused by a chlamydia infection.
- Check people who are at high risk for being infected with chlamydia. A chlamydia infection doesnât always cause symptoms.
- Retest people several months after they have been treated for chlamydia.
- Check for infection in your newborn if you had a chlamydia infection at the time of delivery.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Chlamydia
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting chlamydia:
- Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results
- Use latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
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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.
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How To Collect A Rectal Swab
Gonorrhea and chlamydia often occur simultaneously because the risk factors are very similar. Patients who are suspected of having one of these sexually transmitted bacterial infections are usually tested for the other as well.
Allow swab to remain 10-30 seconds for absorption of organisms onto the swab
Remove swab and insert into a vial containing 1-3 ml of viral transport media
Label the vial with appropriate patient information
Waiting Times And Test Result Accuracy
Answering how long it would take for someone to definitively test positive or negative on an STD test after a risky sexual encounter requires knowing a number of things, including:
- What STDs the person had been exposed to
- What tests were being used to detect the infection
There are also other, more nebulous factors that could play a role. Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to give someone a definitive answer on how long they should wait to go get a test.
Its a difficult question even from a research standpoint. How do you ethically and practically expose someone to an STD and then repeatedly test them to determine how long it takes for them to test positive? Because of this, there is little to no solid data about how long after an exposure people should wait to get tested for many STDs.
Common practice suggests that people could go in for basic testing for bacterial STDs as soon as two to three weeks after an exposure. However, they would need to be retested again at least three to six months out in order to feel relatively certain of their results.
At a month out, some tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea would be reasonably accurate. Still, tests for other diseases such as herpes and HIV take longer to become conclusive.
If you had a particularly high-risk encounter, six months is a pretty conclusive follow-up period for most STDs. That doesnt mean you dont want to get tested sooner. It just says when you might want to go back to a standard screening schedule.
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When Do Stis Show In Tests
The window period is the length of time it can take between catching an infection and when it will show in a test. The window period for the most common STI tests are:
- Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea Up to 2 weeks
- HIV 45 days or 90 days, depending on the type of test. Your test provider will be able to give you this information.
- Syphilis 12 weeks
If you are in any doubt about when to test you should do a test now and another test at a later date. The nurse or doctor will discuss this with you.Following an assessment you will be asked to provide:
- a urine sample or a vaginal swab for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea
- a blood test for HIV and Syphilis
- a blood test for Hepatitis B and C, for people in higher risk groups
If you have symptoms you will require an examination.
We can diagnose some conditions at the clinic, but most tests need to be sent to the laboratory so you may receive results at a later date. If this is the case we will inform you if either you or your partner need to arrange treatment.
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Treating Chlamydia During Pregnancy
If a pregnant woman is infected with chlamydia, it is important to treat it due to complications it can cause during pregnancy. According to the CDC, chlamydia has been associated with preterm delivery.4 You can give chlamydia to your baby during childbirth, which can cause the baby to be born with pneumonia and conjunctivitis.
Talk to your prescribing physician about antibiotics you can take while pregnant.
Should You Retest After Treatment?
If you have been recently treated and want to retest to be sure the treatment worked, wait at least 3-4 weeks after completing your treatment. The CDC recommends retesting three months after treatment, preferably along with your partner, so that you can be sure that all of you are chlamydia free.
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Should My Partners Be Tested For Chlamydia
If you receive a chlamydia diagnosis, your partners need to be tested, too. Since this bacterial infection is highly contagious, it spreads easily through sexual contact.
You and your partners may need regular testing until the infection fully disappears. In the meantime, its a good idea to use barrier methods during sexual contact, such as using condoms.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
When it comes to chlamydia, its a good idea to be proactive. Speak with your healthcare provider about your risks of infection. Make a plan to get screened regularly for STIs based on your providers recommendations for how often you should be tested. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if your partner tests positive for chlamydia or if you notice any signs or symptoms that you may be infected.
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How Do You Test For Chlamydia
You can get tested for chlamydia and other STDs at one of our local, CLIA-certified testing centers. Our FDA-cleared NAA chlamydia test is a simple urine test and can be taken as early as 1-5 days after potential exposure to chlamydia. This test can detect the bacteria in your urine sample, whether you are experiencing symptoms or not.
When you visit the lab, you will be provided a cup to pee into, and you can urinate in a private room. Its simple, so you can be in and out quickly. Results are typically available within 1-2 business days and are posted to your online account.
How Do You Test For Gonorrhea And Chlamydia
HealthLabs.com uses the FDA-approved / cleared nucleic acid amplification test . This test is recommended as the most accurate test for detecting both chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacterium that causes chlamydia. Our NAAT chlamydia test looks for the presence of the bacteria in your urine. If it is found, this means that you have an active chlamydia infection. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the bacterium that causes gonorrhea. Our NAAT gonorrhea test can detect the presence of this bacteria in your urine. If the bacteria is found, you have an active gonorrhea infection.
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Can Chlamydia Be Cured
Yes, chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. You should not share medication for chlamydia with anyone.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner was treated.
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How Will I Know If The Chlamydia Has Affected My Fertility
Chlamydia is just one of many factors that can affect your fertility. Most people whove had chlamydia wont become infertile or have an ectopic pregnancy . If youve had chlamydia you wont normally be offered any routine tests to see if youre fertile unless you or a partner are having difficulty getting pregnant. If youre concerned, talk to your doctor or practice nurse.
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How Do People Get Chlamydia
Pregnant people can give chlamydia to their baby during childbirth. This can cause ophthalmia neonatorum or pneumonia in some infants.9-12 Rectal or genital infection can persist one year or longer in infants infected at birth.13 However, sexual abuse should be a consideration among young children with vaginal, urethral, or rectal infection beyond the neonatal period.
People treated for chlamydia can get the infection again if they have sex with a person with chlamydia.14
Are There Any Benefits To Fully Online Or Online
There are several benefits to fully online or online-to-lab testing, including:
- More private. If you dont want anyone to know youre getting tested for an STI or STD, online options tend to offer more privacy.
- Specific testing options. You can choose to test for a single STI or STD, or do a full panel.
- More accessible. If its difficult to access a doctor or other healthcare professional, fully online and online-to-lab tests are often a more accessible alternative.
- Added convenience. Online options tend to take less time than visiting a doctors office or clinic.
- Less stigma. If youre worried about being judged, or having to talk about your sexual history, online options can help you avoid stigma.
- less costly. Depending on where you live and the healthcare options available to you, using an online test might cost less than making an appointment with your doctor.
- Side-step insurance. Some online test providers dont accept health insurance as a form of payment. As a result, your test results wont be reported to your insurance provider or added to your medical records.
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What Does The Test Result Mean
A positive test indicates you have an active chlamydia infection that requires treatment with antibiotics.
A negative test means only that there is no evidence of infection at the time of the test. If you are at an increased risk, it is important that you have screening tests performed yearly to check for possible infection, especially since re-infection is common, particularly among teenagers.
If you are infected, your sexual partner should be tested and treated as well.
Hiv Hepatitis And Syphilis
HIV testing should occur as a part of your regular annual gynecological examination, especially between the ages of 13 and 64. Yearly testing for HIV should happen if you are sexually active or have had multiple sexual partners. You might need to specially request an HIV test if youre unsure whether your doctor provides it automatically or not. Testing for HIV requires a blood test.
Hepatitis C screenings should also be requested during your annual doctors visit, especially if you were born between 1945 and 1965 since the rate of Hepatitis C remains higher in this age group. Hepatitis C frequently shows no symptoms until it reaches advanced stages. You can also receive vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B if you get screened and dont have these viruses. Testing for Hepatitis C requires a blood test.
Syphilis tests require a swab from your genital area or any sores you have in that area. You may also get tested for this STD using a blood sample.
You should get tested for hepatitis, HIV, and syphilis if youre a woman who:
- Tested positive for any other STD
- Have more than one sexual partner
- Have a partner who has had more than one sexual partner since your last test
Several sexually transmitted diseases can be detected using urine testing, which is becoming more and more available. Urine chlamydia tests and gonorrhea tests are a lot more pleasant than having to have your cervix or urethra swabbed and are quickly becoming standard practice.
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When Is It Ordered
Because many infected people do not have any noticeable symptoms, a number of health organizations recommend regular chlamydia screening for certain people:
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:
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.
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:
Can Chlamydia Affect My Fertility
A chlamydia or gonorrhea infection may cause inflammation or scarring of the reproductive organs. Sometimes, this may lead to infertility . Both men and women can experience fertility problems after a chlamydia infection. Your risk of infertility increases if you delay treatment.
Women with untreated gonorrhea or chlamydia can also develop a condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease . PID sometimes causes your reproductive organs to swell, triggering chronic pelvic pain and making it difficult to conceive.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea can also trigger early laborÃ¢and pregnant women with chlamydia can spread the infection to their babies during delivery .
Prompt treatment reduces your risk of complications, as undiagnosed chlamydia may put your health at risk. Regular STI testing can help with early diagnosis of the infection, and most people who receive treatment for chlamydia make a full recovery.
Learning more about the different types of STDs someone can getÃ¢like chlamydiaÃ¢can help you care for your sexual health. To easily check for chlamydia from the comfort of home, simply collect a urine sample and send it to a lab with prepaid shipping using the Everlywell at-home Gonorrhea and Chlamydia test kit.
How Long Does It Take For Chlamydia To Go Away With Antibiotics
If your test results are positive for chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Chlamydia typically goes away within 1 to 2 weeks. You should avoid sex during this time to prevent transmitting the disease. Your doctor may prescribe a one-dose medication or a medication youll take daily for about a week.
How Is Chlamydia Tested
Chlamydia tests involve a simple urine test or swab. Routine urine tests can screen for gonorrhea and chlamydia at the same time. However, a swab test gives a more accurate result.
A swab test is usually better than a urine test. Swab results tell doctors if the infection is from chlamydia or gonorrhea. Knowing which helps your doctor choose the right antibiotic. This is important since gonorrhea is becoming resistant to most antibiotics.
Still, the standard test is urine for a male and a swab for a female patient.
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