What Will The Results Show
The results will state either “detected” or “not detected.” If your results say “not detected,” then you have not been infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea. If your results say “detected,” that means that you had a positive result for the test and will be able to discuss treatment options with one of the physicians that we work with. You will not be charged anything extra to speak with a physician–that consultation is included with test.
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 doctor can swab a womans cervix or a mans urethra for a test sample. A rectal swab is also possible if anal sex has put you at risk. Sometimes, you can take these samples yourself.
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.
How Do I Protect Myself
Chlamydia is common, but theres one cheap, easy, and accessible way to prevent it: Condoms! Because the infection lives in fluids , condoms provide great protection against it. Well even give you some for free!
You can also avoid re-infection by getting treated if you have symptoms and making sure your partner gets treated, too. That way you can avoid passing the infection back and forth.
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Can Chlamydia Go Away And Come Back
If youve had unprotected intercourse, its likely you may not have chlamydia if your partner is not infected. If treated chlamydia can go away and not come back if you abstain or ensure protected sex.
However, dont assume chlamydia will go away without taking medications. You may not have symptoms immediately and may still have chlamydia long-term problems.
How Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia
Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:
- An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
- Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
- Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.
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When Will The Signs And Symptoms Go Away
You should notice an improvement quite quickly after having treatment.
- Discharge or pain when you urinate should improve within a week.
- Bleeding between periods or heavier periods should improve by your next period.
- Pelvic pain and pain in the testicles should start to improve quickly but may take up to two weeks to go away.
If you have pelvic pain or painful sex that doesnt improve, see your doctor or nurse as it may be necessary to have some further treatment or investigate other possible causes of the pain.
What Does A Chlamydia Test Involve
- If you have a vulva, you may be asked to take a swab around the inside of your vagina yourself.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab during an internal examination of your vagina and cervix .
- You may be asked to provide a urine sample. Before having this test, youre advised not to pass urine for 12 hours.
- A doctor or nurse may take a swab from the entrance of the urethra .
- If youve had anal or oral sex, a doctor or nurse may swab your rectum or throat . These swabs arent done routinely on everyone.
- If you have symptoms of conjunctivitis swabs will be used to collect a sample of discharge from your eye.
A swab looks a bit like a cotton bud but is smaller and rounded. It sometimes has a small plastic loop on the end rather than a cotton tip. Its wiped over the parts of the body that could be infected. This only takes a few seconds and isnt painful, though it may be uncomfortable for a moment.
Cervical screening and routine blood tests dont detect chlamydia.
If youre not sure whether youve been tested for chlamydia, just ask.
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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.
Anogenital And Conjunctival Chlamydia
- Erythromycin is associated with significantly higher gastrointestinal side effects than other treatment regimens.Footnote 8Footnote 9Footnote 10Footnote 11Footnote 12
- Equivalent dosages of other formulations may be substituted for erythromycin base.
- Topical therapy for conjunctivitis is inadequate, systemic treatment is sufficient.Footnote 13
Consult with a pediatric specialist or an experienced colleague and relevant clinical guidelines when chlamydia is diagnosed in a child. Perinatally acquired C. trachomatis can persist for up to three years. Consider sexual abuse when a chlamydial infection is diagnosed in any prepubertal child.Footnote 14
Note: Suspected sexual abuse of children must be reported to the local child protection agency.
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Whats Chlamydia And What Are The Symptoms
The bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, is the organism which causes chlamydia infection. It can affect the eyes , the joints, the mouth and the genitals of males and females. Chlamydia discharge with severe discomfort while urinating may be an early sign of illness.
It can also be contacted through the sharing of infected towels. Pregnant women with poorly treated infection may transmit chlamydia to their babies during delivery.
Chlamydia can be a silent disease because you can get infected without showing any signs. About 30 70 percent of infected men and women will not have common symptoms at all.
However, this does not rule out complication of chlamydia infection in the long-term. If left for a long time without treatment, chlamydia may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal pregnancy, and difficulty conceiving.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is the upward spread of chlamydia affecting the womb, abdominal area, and Fallopian tubes. PID could potentially cause permanent damage to the Fallopian tubes ultimately causing infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
Short-term adverse effects of chlamydia in men include inflammation of the epididymis, with testes that are hurtful and swollen. This occurs very early after an infection and can contribute to infertility in men.
If youve had unprotected anal, oral, vaginal intercourse or got in real contact with someone genital fluid, you can have chlamydia.
Just Diagnosed Next Steps After Testing Positive For Gonorrhea Or Chlamydia
If youve just found out that you have gonorrhea or chlamydia, you may be trying to figure out what to do next. Here are the three most important steps that you can take:
WHY?Many people with gonorrhea and chlamydia dont have symptoms. Why does this matter? Because an untreated infection can lead to serious and permanent health problems, even if you never have symptoms. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be cured with the right medicine from your doctor. Just make sure you take all of your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to.
WHERE?Your regular doctor can prescribe antibiotics to cure the STD. But if you dont have insurance or want to see someone else for treatment, there are other low-cost or free options. You can get tested and treated at your local health departments STD clinic, a family planning clinic, a student health center, or an urgent care clinic. You can also find a clinic using GetTested and ask if they offer treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- In women, untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to health problems like ectopic pregnancy or infertility .
- In men, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may prevent him from being able to have children.
- Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV the virus that causes AIDS.
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Naat Testing For C Trachomatis
Samples for the RNA-based NAAT were tested using the Aptima Combo 2 assay for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae . Test sensitivity is 9398 % and specificity is > 99 % . Equivocal results were retested using the Aptima CT assay . We considered repeatedly equivocal results as positive and excluded samples with repeatedly invalid results.
Samples for DNA-based NAAT were tested using the Cobas 4800 CT/NG assay for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae , and reported as either negative or positive with corresponding cycle threshold value. Test sensitivity is 8797 % and specificity is > 99 % . Pre-treatment samples with discrepant RNA and DNA results were retested, using the Aptima CT assay for RNA samples, and the Abbott RealTime CT/NG assay for DNA samples.
Are Test Results Accurate
Although chlamydia testing is an important method of finding and treating this common STD, test results could be impacted by the following:
- The use of antibiotics within several days before testing
- Urinating within one hour of sample collection
- Vaginal douching within 24 hours of testing
- Improper sample collection
- Contamination of rectal samples with fecal matter
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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 don’t 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 there’s a high chance you have chlamydia for example, you have symptoms of the infection or your partner has been diagnosed with it and you’ve had unprotected sex with them you might start treatment before you get your results.
Read more about treating chlamydia.
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 Do You Prevent Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be passed on by sharing sex toys. Always cover sex toys with a new condom and wash them after use to reduce your risk of getting chlamydia and other STIs.
Its important to regularly test for chlamydia, even if you dont have any symptoms, especially if youve had multiple sexual partners.
The contraceptive pill and other types of contraception wont prevent you getting chlamydia, and neither will PrEP.
Can I Take The Test At Home
Tests are available to detect chlamydia at home. Most at-home chlamydia tests are self-collection kits, which allow you to obtain a swab or sample of urine at home and return it to a laboratory by mail. If an at-home chlamydia test returns positive results, a doctor may suggest confirmation testing with a laboratory-based method.
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Maarten F Schim Van Der Loeff
From the *Department of Infectious Diseases, Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam Centre for Environmental Safety and Security, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven Amsterdam Infection & Immunity Institute , §Department of Dermatology Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam and ¶ Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
What Does A Positive Result Mean
A positive result means you probably have a chlamydia infection .
The test cannot show how long you’ve had an infection. It is thought that you can have chlamydia for weeks, months or even years, without knowing.
You will need treatment as soon as possible.
It’s possible that your partner’s test result may be different from yours.
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Will I Need To Go Back To The Clinic
If you take your antibiotics correctly, you may not need to return to the clinic.
However, you will be advised to go back for another chlamydia test if:
- you had sex before you and your partner finished treatment
- you forgot to take your medication or didn’t take it properly
- your symptoms don’t go away
- you’re pregnant
If you’re under 25 years of age, you should be offered a repeat test for chlamydia 3 to 6 months after finishing your treatment because you’re at a higher risk of catching it again.
What Does The Test Measure
Chlamydia testing looks for evidence of infection with the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. There are several types of tests that can be used to detect chlamydia, including molecular testing, also called Nucleic Acid Amplification Test , and cell culture.
NAAT is the preferred method for detecting a chlamydia infection. This type of test detects the genetic material of Chlamydia trachomatis. It can be performed using a urine sample or swab of fluid taken from a site of potential infection such as the urethra, vagina, rectum, or eye.
Traditionally, NAAT takes a day or more to provide results, but there have also been rapid chlamydia tests developed using NAAT methods. Rapid chlamydia tests can often provide a result within 30 to 90 minutes. Rapid chlamydia tests are typically performed on urine samples or swabs of fluid taken from the vagina or cervix.
Although much less commonly used, cell cultures can help diagnose a chlamydia infection. Chlamydia cell cultures may be used in children with a suspected chlamydia infection, when evaluating potential infections in the anus or rectum, and when initial treatment for chlamydia is unsuccessful. In these cases of treatment failure, doctors may use a cell culture to help understand which treatments may be most effective for an individuals infection.
Other types of chlamydia tests are available but are rarely used given the accuracy and availability of NAAT.
What Can You Do To Relieve Your Symptoms
No home remedy for chlamydia can replace antibiotics. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection, so you need to take antibiotics to cure it.
However, there are a few ways you can soothe symptoms while you wait for the antibiotics to get to work. For example:
- Use pain medications, such as ibuprofen to reduce pain
- Use a cold pack to soothe inflammation.
- A herb called goldenseal might reduce inflammation and other symptoms.
- Use an echinacea supplement aid your immune system.
Remember that these home remedies might soothe the symptoms of chlamydia, but they dont actually cure chlamydia in itself. The best way to soothe the symptoms is to use antibiotics.
When Should I Get Tested
Don’t delay getting tested if you think you might have chlamydia. Being diagnosed and treated as soon as possible will reduce your risk of developing any serious complications of chlamydia.
You can get a chlamydia test at any time although you might be advised to repeat the test later on if you have it less than 2 weeks since you had sex because the infection might not always be found in the early stages.
You should consider getting tested for chlamydia if:
- you think you could have a sexually transmitted infection
- a sexual partner tells you they have an STI
- you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy
- you’re offered a chlamydia test as part of the NCSP
If you live in England, you’re a woman under 25 and sexually active, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
If you live in England, you’re a man under 25 and sexually active, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.
If you have chlamydia, you may be offered another test 3 to 6 months after being treated. This is because young adults who test positive for chlamydia are at increased risk of catching it again.
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