What is a Chlamydia Test?
Chlamydia is one of the most frequent sexually transmitted illnesses (STDs). It is caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria that is transmitted through vaginal, oral, or anal contact with a patient. A chlamydia test checks for chlamydia germs in a fluid sample from the body. A sample could be:
- Urine (pee)
- The fluid that's usually swabbed from the:
- Rectum (the last part of the intestine that connects to the anus).
Chlamydia frequently causes no symptoms, making it possible for individuals to spread the virus without even being aware that they are infected. An unborn child is also at risk of getting an infection from his/her infected mother.
Antibiotic medications make the condition easily treatable. However, if it is left untreated, it may lead to infertility and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women.
What is it used for?
This test is done to determine whether you are infected with chlamydia infection. The test is also performed three months after chlamydia treatment to look for re-infection.
Why do I need a chlamydia test?
Chlamydia is a very prevalent STD, especially in sexually active individuals between the ages of 15 to 24. The health providers advise routine screening tests if the risk of contracting chlamydia is high, but chlamydia usually doesn't cause symptoms.
It is recommended to get tested for chlamydia if you are:
- Younger than 25 and engaging in sexual activity
- Have more than 1 sexual partner
- If you are pregnant, you should get tested for Chlamydia.
Individuals should also get tested for chlamydia at least once a year if you:
- Have HIV
- Have intercourse with men (MSM) or a transgender person who is gender diverse and is sexually active. If you or your partner have multiple sexual partners or engage in other sexual behaviors that may increase the chance of contracting chlamydia.
The recommended testing schedule might not be the ideal one for you. Find out from the doctor how frequently you should get checked.
If you have symptoms or your partner is chlamydia positive, the doctor will prescribe a test. Chlamydia symptoms can include:
- Unusual genital or vaginal fluid discharge
- Itching or irritation near the genitals
- Urination may cause patients pain or burn
- If chlamydia attacks the rectum, there may be pain or bleeding.
What happens during a chlamydia test?
The fluid sample can be taken in two different ways:
A first-catch urine sample
Urine from the beginning of the urine stream is collected in a sterile cup. Individuals must refrain from urinating two hours before the test to acquire an accurate test result.
A swab sample
The doctor will collect cells with a special brush or swab, usually from the vaginal area (the urethra or the vagina). The rectum, cervix, mouth, or eyes may be swabbed in some situations. Individuals might be given a choice to self-swab if they follow specific guidelines, depending on the provider.
Usually, test results are available within a day. Some quick tests for chlamydia can deliver results in 90 minutes or less. To test for chlamydia and other STDs, at-home collection kits are also available. These kits allow individuals to collect a urine or swab sample at home and submit it to a lab for analysis. It's crucial to carefully follow all of the directions.
If you or your partner have chlamydia symptoms, you shouldn't use an at-home test. Ask your doctor if at-home chlamydia testing is appropriate for you.
How to prepare for the test?
Depending on the type of sample you will be submitting, there are different chlamydia test preparations. The day before the test, you might need to abstain from using vaginal creams and douches and antibiotic medications. If your test requires any additional instructions, ask your provider.
Are there any risks to the test?
Chlamydia tests are not known to have any risks.
What do the results mean?
- A negative test result indicates that you were free of chlamydia when the sample was taken.
- A positive test result indicates that patients have contracted chlamydia.
Individuals will require antibiotics to treat the disease if the test is positive. You'll receive instructions on how to take your medication from the doctor. Follow the directions closely and take the entire dose of medication to ensure that the infection is treated.
In order for them to be diagnosed and, if necessary, treated, you must also inform your sexual partner(s) that you have chlamydia. You must undergo another chlamydia test three months after finishing treatment to check for the formation of a new infection. This is due to the high prevalence of recurring infections. After that, ask your provider how frequently you should get tested.
Additional information about a Chlamydia test?
Testing for chlamydia can help you prevent long-term health issues and reduce the spread of this disease. You can also take precautions to avoid contracting chlamydia.
Avoiding vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse is the most effective strategy to avoid contracting chlamydia or any STD. Individuals can lessen the chance of infection if they engage in sexual activity by:
- Having intercourse with only one partner who has tested negative for STDs and has sex with you only (mutual monogamy)
- Using protection properly every time
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is chlamydia detected in a blood test?
While chlamydia is not a bloodborne disease, blood testing can detect chlamydia antibodies, which can indicate current or previous chlamydia infections. The healthcare professional may also use a penile or vaginal swab to test for STIs.
2. Is a chlamydia test painful?
The urine can be tested for chlamydia by a doctor or nurse. Instead, the doctor may collect a sample from the vagina, penis, rectum, or throat. The examination is simple and painless.
3. Why is the chlamydia test important?
Limiting the spread of this sexually transmitted infection requires a chlamydia test. If you are at a higher risk of contracting an STI, it is very vital to get screened for it on a frequent basis. If left untreated, the infection might cause health concerns and spread to the partner.
4. What is another name for the chlamydia test?
Other names of chlamydia tests are Chlamydia NAAT or NAT, Chlamydia/GC STD panel.
5. Can pregnant women go for a chlamydia test?
Yes, in order to prevent infection-related risks to the mother's and the unborn child's serious health, it is essential to test for and treat STDs in pregnant women. The earlier you begin prenatal care, the better the outcomes will be for your health and the health of your unborn child.
6. What does a positive chlamydia test mean?
If the test results are positive, the lab has found the bacteria that causes chlamydia. This indicates that you have a chlamydia infection and will require treatment (antibiotic medications).
7. What are the risks of a chlamydia test?
There are no risks associated with this test. In rare cases, the test results may be inconclusive or unclear. Individuals may be required to provide another sample.
8. What is the cost of the Chlamydia test?
Right now, the cost of the chlamydia test is approximately Rs. 2200.