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 doesn’t 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.
How Is Chlamydia Tested
Unlike most STD tests that we offer, you may choose to have either your blood or urine screened for chlamydia. Urine testing is standard for chlamydia and suitable for most cases because most infections are local to the urogenital area. That being said, chlamydia tests by urine sample do not detect infections of other sites like the throat, anus, or eye . A chlamydia blood test will be able to detect an infection, wherever it was contracted.
How Long Can You Have Chlamydia Without Knowing
Chlamydia is sometimes called a silent infection because the majority of people who have chlamydia regardless of gender never notice symptoms. People who do notice symptoms often dont recognize the signs that they have chlamydia until a few weeks after theyve been infected. Because chlamydia cases are often asymptomatic, its easy to spread chlamydia to someone else without realizing it. And its easy to miss out on receiving the treatment needed to prevent the serious complications that can result from chlamydia.
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How Did I Get Chlamydia If I Didnt Cheat
You can get chlamydia if your partner had vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who was infected and then had sex with you. People in relationships may have different ideas about what kinds of sexual contact counts as cheating, and this miscommunication can lead to infections. Communicate honestly with your partner about what sex youre having and what sex theyre having. Practice safer sex to reduce your risk of catching chlamydia, and get regularly screened to be sure.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It can be embarrassing to talk about anything sex-related with your healthcare provider, including STI prevention. But your sex life is an important part of your health that your provider needs to know about to care for you. Not getting the treatment you need for chlamydia can pose serious risks to your health. Speak with your provider about getting regularly screened for chlamydia and other STIs to reduce your risks of complications. Practice safer sex to prevent the spread of chlamydia.
Submission And Collection Notes
Unsuitable specimens: Urine and seminal fluid are not acceptable specimen sites for Chlamydia trachomatis culture. Dry swabs and swabs in bacteriological transport media are not acceptable collection kits for Chlamydia trachomatis culture and testing will not be performed.
Do not use expired kits.
Follow the collection instructions in the Chlamydia trachomatis culture or Kit Instruction Sheet.
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What Can Happen If Chlamydia Isnt Treated
Untreated chlamydia can put your health at risk. Make an appointment with your provider immediately if you notice any symptoms of chlamydia, and get regular STI screenings to avoid complications later.
Complications of chlamydia for people with vaginas
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a serious condition that requires hospitalization. It can occur when an untreated STI, like chlamydia, damages your reproductive organs. PID can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain. It can also cause an ectopic pregnancy,which is life-threatening for the fetus and potentially deadly for the mother or gestational parent, too.
- Pregnancy complications. An untreated infection can lead to pre-term delivery. Also, if youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection on to your newborn. Babies born with chlamydia may have pneumonia or conjunctivitis that could lead to blindness if not treated.
Complications of chlamydia for people with penises
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Epididymitis. Infection can spread to the testicles and the tube that carries sperm to your testicles , causing symptoms like pain, swelling and tenderness in your testicles.
- Reduced fertility. Chlamydia can harm your sperm, negatively impacting your ability to conceive.
Complications of chlamydia that can affect all genders
Untreated chlamydia can:
Complications Of Chlamydia In Male Patients
Chlamydia is an infection that is far more prevalent among women, particularly during young adulthood, compared to the prevalence of the condition in men. Still, men do need to understand that the condition can affect them and will often not yield any symptoms. This, however, does not mean the bacterial infection poses no harm.
In cases where symptoms do develop in a male patient, the individual may experience the following signs of chlamydia:
- There may be a discharge from the mans penis
- The testicles may become painful
- There may be pain during urination
- The lower abdominal might also develop pain conditions
Since chlamydia is a bacterial infection in nature, men do need to understand that there are certain complications that can develop. These complications can sometimes be serious and require medical attention.
Urethritis is a common complication of chlamydia in men. The condition causes a bacterial infection to develop in the urethra. This is a tube that runs throughout the patients penis it is used to expel both urine and semen from the body.
Urethritis causes irritation in the tip of the patients penis and can make the inside of the penis feel itchy. There may also be a burning or stinging sensation within the penis this is the urethra showing signs of the infection. A discharge can also occur from the penis.
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Causes Of A Positive Chlamydia Test
Certain situations can give false positive result on a blood test. Presence of antibodies against the bacteria may not always indicate a current infection. It can indicate a previous infection but cannot determine if the patient has infection at the time of the test. This may give a false positive result on the test.
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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.
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Who Should Get Tested For Chlamydia
We recommend getting tested for chlamydia if you:
- Have had sex with an infected partner
- Have had unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex
- Have new or multiple sex partners
- Show chlamydia symptoms
- Are pregnant
- Want to check your status
- Are entering a new relationship
How Often Should You Get Tested?
If you believe you may have been exposed to chlamydia, you should get tested for chlamydia asap. Because certain people are at higher risk of getting chlamydia, the CDC recommends at least yearly testing for the following groups:
- Sexually active women under 25
- Women with risk factors like new or multiple sex partners
- Men who have sex with men
Pregnant women should test for chlamydia during their first prenatal visit and again during the third trimester if they are under 25 or have risk factors.1
Getting tested regularly for chlamydia and other common sexually transmitted diseases is important. Untreated chlamydia infection can cause serious health complications like:
- Increased risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, if exposed
What Should You Do If You Test Positive?
We understand how stressful testing positive can be. The good news is that chlamydia is curable and, if caught early, it wont cause lasting health problems. You should also discuss your status with your sexual partner so they can get tested and treated.
Read more about our doctor consultation.
When Should You Retest After Treatment For Chlamydia
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 to six months after treatment, preferably along with your partner, so that you can be sure that all of you are chlamydia free. We are here for you during the process. Reach out to one of our helpful STD experts today!
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Can I Mistake The Visible Signs For Another Infection
Yes, with chlamydia, its very easy to find these symptoms misleading. The problem is that the bacteria will take time to affect the system, and until 1 to 3 weeks after youve been exposed, you might start to experience the symptoms. So, there is a high chance that the symptoms you are experiencing are caused by a different infection.
How Do The Symptoms Compare
Both men and women can get chlamydia or gonorrhea and never develop any symptoms.
With chlamydia, symptoms may not appear for a few weeks after youve contracted the infection. And with gonorrhea, women may never experience any symptoms at all or may only show mild symptoms, while men are more likely to have symptoms that are more severe.
A couple of the most telltale symptoms of these STIs overlap between the two , such as:
- burning when you pee
- abnormal, discolored discharge from the penis or vagina
- abnormal discharge from the rectum
- pain in the rectum
- bleeding from the rectum
With both gonorrhea and chlamydia, men may also experience abnormal swelling in their testicles and scrotum, and pain when they ejaculate.
You may also develop symptoms that affect your throat if you engage in oral sex with someone who has one of these conditions. This can cause mouth and throat symptoms, including sore throat and a cough.
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Contacting Any Previous Partners
Youll want to let your current sexual partner know they should get tested for gonorrhea right away.
If a healthcare professional diagnoses gonorrhea, they may also ask for the names and contact information of any previous sexual partners.
The law requires healthcare professionals to report the diagnosis, usually to the county public health department. Public health officials will then contact your partner anonymously and explain that theyll need to get tested for gonorrhea.
The health department takes this step because gonorrhea often doesnt involve symptoms. People who dont know they have the infection may not get tested or treated. As a result, they might transmit it without realizing or go on to develop serious, sometimes permanent, reproductive health concerns.
Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results
It can be helpful to bring questions to your doctor to learn more about your chlamydia test results. Helpful questions may include:
- What is my chlamydia test result?
- Did my test check for any other STDs?
- Do I need any treatment based on my results?
- How can I talk to my sexual partners about chlamydia?
- When should I be tested for STDs and how often?
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What Is The Procedure Of The Chlamydia Test
There are no special preparations required for the chlamydia test. However, it is important to inform your doctor if you are taking any kind of medication. It is also advised not to apply any vaginal creams as it may affect the test results. Normally, Menstruation does not affect the test results. So you can also take the test during your menstrual cycle.
The chlamydia test is normally done on the urine samples of the patient. It is the most effective technique to detect the infection if any. You should not urinate at least 2 hours prior to the test. Only the initial urine stream should be collected in the tube. The sample will be then sent to the laboratory for further testing.
Sometimes a swab may be used to collect the samples, such as a vaginal swab, rectal swab, urethral swab, endocervical swab, etc.
Chlamydia tests can also be done on the blood samples. But is not widely used as the results may not show the presence of chlamydia at the time of the test.
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This Test Will Tell You Whether Or Not Your Reproductive Or Urinary System Has Been Infected With Chlamydia Or Gonorrhea
Like any Everlywell STI test, our at-home Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test is delivered in discreet packaging and taken in the privacy of your own home. Once you return your test sample to our lab and your sample is processed, youâll be notified via email when your results are ready. You will then be able to access your results through an easy-to-understand report on our secure online platform.
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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.
Can I Test Myself For Chlamydia At Home
Home testing kits for chlamydia are widely available and can be purchased at many pharmacies or online.
These kits typically require a urine sample or tissue swab, which you can collect at home and securely ship back to the lab to receive your results.
Some companies also include a free medical consultation with a doctor if your test results are positive to review your treatment options.
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When Should I Test Again For Chlamydia
Reinfection is possible, and most cases that are found after treatment are because of this possibility, rather than the failure of the treatment itself.
Pregnant individuals should be retested three weeks after treatment is completed. Pregnant individuals at high risk should also get tested again in the third trimester.
How Is Chlamydia Diagnosed
The most common test for chlamydia is called a nucleic acid amplification test . Your provider takes a sample of fluid by doing a vaginal/cervical swab or collecting a urine sample. Then, they send the sample off to a lab to check for the bacteria that causes chlamydia. Your provider may do the test in an office, or they may ask you to do an at-home chlamydia test. Follow your providers instructions carefully to ensure you get accurate test results.
Because most chlamydia cases are asymptomatic, its important to get screened for chlamydia even if you dont notice any signs of infection. The CDC recommends that sexually active cisgender women who are high-risk for chlamydia get screened regularly. Women, more so than men, experience the most severe complications from chlamydia. Transgender men and nonbinary individuals with vaginas should be screened regularly, too, as they can experience the same complications of chlamydia.
Youre considered high-risk if you:
- Are under 25.
- Have had chlamydia infections previously.
Cisgender men, or trans and nonbinary individuals with penises, should be screened for chlamydia if:
- They live in a setting where chlamydia spreads frequently, like correctional facilities, adolescent clinics and sexual health clinics.
- They have sex with other men.
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How Much Does The Test Cost
The cost of chlamydia testing varies based on many factors. Chlamydia testing may be paid for by health insurance when ordered by a doctor. Because health plans vary, its important for patients to discuss the cost of testing, including any copays or deductibles, with their health plan.
For patients without health insurance coverage, the cost of testing may include the cost of the office visit and sample collection as well as technician fees. Testing may also be available for free or at low cost through community-based organizations and local health departments.
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.
Learn more:How to test for gonorrhea
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Prcautions Prendre Durant Le Traitement
Le traitement prend un certain temps à agir pour guérir linfection. Pendant ce temps, la personne demeure contagieuse.
Pour ne pas transmettre la chlamydia ou lattraper de nouveau, la personne infectée et ses partenaires doivent donc éviter davoir des relations sexuelles tant quils ne sont pas guéris.
Avant davoir des relations sexuelles, la personne infectée et ses partenaires doivent donc attendre :
- jusquà la fin de leur traitement, sils doivent prendre des comprimés pendant plusieurs jours
- 7 jours après leur traitement, sils ont un traitement à dose unique.
De plus, sils ont des symptômes, ils doivent attendre jusquà ce que ceux-ci aient complètement disparu.
Sils ne peuvent attendre, la personne infectée et ses partenaires peuvent se protéger avec un condom. Ils peuvent aussi utiliser un carré de latex pour couvrir la vulve ou lanus pendant les relations orales. Ainsi, la bouche nentre pas en contact direct avec les organes génitaux. Pour fabriquer un carré de latex, déroulez un condom, coupez-en lextrémité et découpez-le dans le sens de la longueur.