Everything to Know About Chlamydia Tests- Types, Risks, and More

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Chlamydial infections are one of the most common STDs. This infection is caused by a bacteria known as Chlamydia Trachomatis and is spread through oral, vaginal, or anal sex with a partner that already has it. A chlamydia test examines a fluid sample from your body to determine if you have the chlamydia bacteria.

Typically, doctors may take a sample of your:

  • Urine
  • Vagina fluid
  • Fluid from your urethra
  • Rectum (anal)

Chlamydia doesn’t usually show symptoms, so infected people can spread the infection without even knowing they have it.

In addition, if a pregnant woman has a chlamydial disease, she can pass the infection to her newborn baby during childbirth.

You can cure chlamydia quickly with antibiotics, but if not treated, it can lead to severe reproductive health complications in the body.

Chlamydia can cause infertility in women if it spreads to the female reproductive system.

Taking a chlamydia test is vital for sexually active people. A test can examine your sample and diagnose the infection so you can get treated before it causes irreversible damage to your system.

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Who needs to do chlamydia tests?

If you’re between the ages of 15 to 24 and sexually active, you have a higher risk of getting infected with chlamydia. However, chlamydia doesn’t usually cause symptoms even when the bacteria are present in the body.

Nevertheless, the CDC recommends that sexually active people get regularly screened because the risk of getting the infection is high.

Important points to note for women. You should get tested at least once annually if you are:

  • Between the ages of 14-24 and sexually active
  • Having sex with a new partner
  • Having sex with multiple partners
  • Having sex with partners who have multiple partners
  • Having sex with a partner who has an STI
  • Having sex without a condom
  • A man having sex with a man
  • Pregnant

You should also test for chlamydia at least once annually if you have HIV.

However, if you and your partner have sex with other people, you should consider getting chlamydia tested every 3-6 months instead of once a year.

Again, your healthcare specialist can offer valuable insight into your best time to get tested.

If you exhibit any chlamydia symptoms or your partner has been diagnosed with the infection, your healthcare specialist will order a test for you.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Inflammation or itching around your genitals
  • Pain during urination
  • Abnormal genital discharge
  • Anal discharge
  • Anal bleeding or pain

What do you need a test for?

You should take a test to know if you have chlamydia. In addition, you should also take another test three months after you complete treatment for the infection to make sure it hasn’t reoccured.

When should I do a chlamydia test?

Because of the asymptomatic nature of chlamydia, you may have sexual contact with someone who is already infected without knowing.

It is vital to get regularly tested if you’re sexually active. It would be best if you considered going for a test when:

  • Your genitals come in contact with chlamydia-infected genital fluid
  • You suspect your partner has chlamydia or other STIs
  • You experience pain during urination
  • You have unusual discharge from your vagina or penis
  • You feel pain in your anus
  • You experience anal bleeding
  • You’ve recently completed chlamydia treatment

People can usually test for STIs within a few weeks of exposure.

However, if you’ve come in contact with chlamydia-infected fluids, you can test for the infection within one to two weeks of exposure.

In addition, you would need to check for recurrent chlamydial infection after completing your treatment therapy.

If you’re at risk of a certain infection, you should ask your healthcare specialist for a retest, even if your initial test is negative.

What should I do before a chlamydial test?

It’s usually best to ask your healthcare specialist how you should get ready for a chlamydia test. Before you take the test, you may be required to:

  • Stay away from douching or using vaginal creams
  • Stay away from medications like antibiotics
  • Avoid peeing for some hours before getting tested

Who Should Get a Chlamydia Test

What happens during a test?

To test for chlamydia, you must submit a fluid sample from the body part that may be infected with the disease. There are two primary ways to collect samples.

Your healthcare specialist can give you a clean cup to deposit your urine sample. You should ensure you follow your doctor’s instructions in submitting the samples. You’ll be required to collect the first urine as soon as it comes out (first-catch sample).

As an alternative to taking a sample of your urine, your doctor might collect a sample of your genital or anal fluids. This method requires collecting the sample by rubbing a cotton swab on the inner walls of your vagina, penis, or anus.

Your doctor can also take a sample of the fluid from your eyes if they suspect that you have an infection in your eyes.

You can also get at-home chlamydia test kits to test to do a chlamydia test at home. You can collect a sample of your urine or swab and send it to a lab for testing with these kits. However, ensure you follow the instructions strictly.

It would be best if you also talked to your healthcare specialist to be sure at-home kits are appropriate for you.

What happens after a test?

After your doctor has collected a sample, they will send it to a lab to be tested. You can mail your sample to the lab using an at-home kit. First, the lab will examine your sample for bacterial DNA. Then, your doctor will contact you with the test result and directions for the next steps.

Avoid having sex while waiting for your result, so you don’t pass it on to others if you have the infection.

Testing For Chlamydia

The type of chlamydia test most commonly used is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). This test detects the DNA of the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria from the fluid sample you’ve provided.

Less frequently, your healthcare specialist can choose a cell culture to check for chlamydia in a sample. With this method, your doctor sends your sample to the lab, where it is tested for the growth of the chlamydial bacteria. If the bacteria do grow, it indicates an infection.

Benefits Of Chlamydia Testing

Carrying out a test for chlamydia is the most reliable way to know if you have the disease Knowing if you have the infection is the first step to getting the proper treatment.

Treating chlamydia is vital to avoid complications that may cause long-term damage. Knowing your chlamydia status also helps you protect your partner from getting the infection.

Risks Of Testing For Chlamydia

There are no associated risks involved in getting tested for chlamydia. Sometimes, but rarely, the result may be unclear or inconclusive, and you may be required to submit another sample.

How Can I Get A Chlamydia Test Near Me?

If you’re looking for where to get tested for chlamydia near you, DrAlexa has the right solution. With DrAlexa, you can easily order chlamydia and STI tests online and from the comfort of your home.

At DrAlexa, our expert doctors are eager to provide world-class healthcare services to you from your place of comfort or convenience.

How Long Do Chlamydia Results Take?

If you’re doing a chlamydia test for men, you will most likely be required to provide a sample of your urine, while women will be required to submit a swab of their vagina walls or a chlamydia test urine sample.

The results will typically be available in seven to ten days. Make sure you get treatment as soon as possible if you get a positive chlamydia result.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Fortunately, chlamydia is an infection that antibiotics can cure quickly. Your healthcare provider will most likely prescribe antibiotics to treat chlamydia.

Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions religiously to give yourself the best chance of recovery.

Most times, when men test for chlamydia, they’re required to provide a sample of their urine to be sent for testing.

Typically, your healthcare specialist would advise you to submit the first stream of urine that comes out when you pee as your sample.

So, chlamydia can be found in a urine test if the person getting tested is chlamydia positive.

Chlamydia doesn’t usually show symptoms in most cases. However, quite rarely, some symptoms might occur.

Some of these symptoms can include:

  • Anal discharge
  • Pain during urination
  • Anal bleeding or pain
  • Abnormal genital discharge
  • Inflammation or itching around your genitals

There are essentially two primary methods of testing for chlamydia in a lab. One of the methods, the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), can check for chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria in your urine sample.

Because chlamydia can reoccur even after treatment, it is essential that you re-test for the infection even after you’ve been treated.

Ideally, it would be best if you considered re-testing three to six months after completing your treatment therapy to be sure that the infection has not returned.

Fortunately, some county health departments and cities offer accessible or affordable STD tests because of federal and state funding.

So you should be able to get a chlamydia or gonorrhea test at a local health department near you.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

You shouldn’t wait to see the doctor for simple health needs.