What is Chlamydia Test
Chlamydia is a type of sexually transmitted disease. It is bacterial in nature and is highly contagious.
An infected person can spread the infection through unprotected sexual intercourse (oral, vaginal, and anal). What’s alarming is that some people have it without any symptoms at all. Therefore, someone can unknowingly spread it.
To find out if you have a Chlamydia, you need to undergo a chlamydia test. It is important to detect the presence of chlamydia infection so as to treat the infection right away.
Chlamydia can be easily treated with antibiotics but if not treated could lead to serious complications. (1, 2, and 3)
Picture 1: A chlamydia test kit which enables you to check if you have a chlamydia infection right in the comfort of home.
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Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease and a urine test or cell sample are needed to check for the presence of bacteria causing chlamydia.
Why is it important to undergo a chlamydia test?
A chlamydia test is the best way to detect if you have a chlamydia infection or not. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly three million Americans are infected with chlamydia every year.
It is a must to undergo a chlamydia test because the disease can go on without symptoms and someone who has it may unknowingly transfer the infection to other people.
A regular screening is a must for people who are:
- Sexually active and aged 15 to 24 years old
- Those who have multiple sex partners
- Those who have previous chlamydia infections
- Those people whose sex partner has an active sexually transmitted disease
- Men who have sex with the same gender
- Those people who are HIV positive
- Pregnant women below 25 years old (4)
Picture 3: A urine test is one of the procedures used to detect the presence of infection such as chlamydia.
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What are the cardinal signs and symptoms of chlamydia?
- Pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Pain when urinating
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding
- Frequent urination
- Abnormal discharges from the penis
- Swollen scrotum
- Pain in the testicles (5)
How is chlamydia test performed?
A small brush or swab is used to take a cell sample from the vagina. It is done in a healthcare setting. However, many women want to test privately. Thankfully, there are chlamydia home test kits.
Just make sure you carefully follow the instructions in the home kit so as to achieve an accurate result. (3, and 4)
A cell sample is taken from the urethra using a swab. A urine test can also help detect the presence of chlamydia infection. Just make sure that you provide a clean-catch sample to achieve accurate results.
The clean-catch method includes the following steps:
- Wash your hands.
- Make sure you clean your genital area with a cleansing pad. Make sure that the cleansing pad is unscented. For men, the tip of the penis should be wiped properly. For women, their labia should be cleaned starting from the front part of the vagina to the back.
- Urinate and make sure that the collection container can catch the stream of urine.
- Collect at least an ounce of urine and do not forget to label the container.
- Give the urine sample to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. (4, 5, 6, and 7)
How to prepare for the test?
- Women should avoid using vaginal creams or douches 24 hours (one day) before the test.
- Do not take antibiotics 24 hours before chlamydia testing. (7)
The sample will be thoroughly checked by a medical technologist or a pathologist. If they found out that your result for chlamydia test is positive, your doctor will start you with a course of antibiotics. It is important to address the infection right away before the infection will reach its advanced stage.
Make sure you finish the course of antibiotics and take it as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to inform your sexual partner about your condition so that he/she can get tested too and be treated the soonest time possible. (7, 8, and 9)
What to keep in mind?
A chlamydia test is one of the important procedures and every sexually active person, especially those who have multiple partners should have themselves tested. Chlamydia can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
There are various types of sexually transmitted disease and chlamydia is one of the most common not only in the United States but in other parts of the world. Through chlamydia testing, chlamydia trachomatis; a bacterium responsible for causing chlamydia can be identified.
If you test positive for chlamydia, it is not only important to begin the course of treatment but it is also important to take measures to prevent the spread of infection to other people. Avoid having a sexual contact until such time that you clear from the infection. Chlamydia can be spread through oral, vaginal, and anal sex. If you are going to make love with your partner, make sure you wear a condom so as not to spread the infection to your partner.
Be very vigilant with the signs and symptoms of chlamydia. Take extra measures to prevent contracting the infection. Unfortunately, not all people who have chlamydia exhibits the signs and symptoms. Some people confused chlamydia with other types of sexually transmitted diseases.
Which is why it is important to have yourself tested, especially if you are sexually active and has multiple partners. Being tested as soon as possible can help detect the presence of infection.
The sooner the infection is identified the earlier the treatment will be, which increases the chances of getting rid of the infection. Failure to treat the infection the soonest time possible can lead to severe reproductive health conditions, which can be extremely challenging to treat. (2, 6, 9, and 10)