Chlamydia symptoms are similar to those of gonorrhea, so testing for the disease is fairly easy. However, in some cases, Chlamydia symptoms can be much more severe. These include vaginal discharge, pain during intercourse, and inflammation of the reproductive organs. Because this condition often re-occurs over time, it is important to get tested as soon as possible. Here is what you need to know about Chlamydia testing in the United States.
Newer tests, known as NAATs (nucleic acid amplification studies), are quick and simple to take. Your health care provider will explain what additional testing options are available (or generally, if you live in DC, Maryland or Alaska, you can take a free at home test). For a positive result, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic for treatment. If you also have an infection in your testicle, which is often caused by Chlamydia, there is a chance that a test could reveal the presence of gonorrhea infection, as well.
If you think you might be positively infected with Chlamydia, you should take a single test that is simple to perform. This type of Chlamydia test is called a swab test, and it will look for the tell-tale presence of a black, oval area on the inside of your vagina. This is the result of the gonorrhea bacteria infecting the wall of the uterus. Because you won’t get tested for Chlamydia by having a close physical look, the test can not confirm you as positively infected unless you also have a blood test result showing a high level of the infection-carried by the sweat glands of your skin. Getting tested for Chlamydia requires having multiple partners, as this is where the infection is most likely to spread.
A positive answer to the question “have you had sexual intercourse,” confirms your status as positively infected with Chlamydia. However, just because you have a positive test result does not necessarily mean that you have actual Chlamydia. If you have multiple partners or have recently been tested, your health care provider will advise you of the best course of action for getting the infection treated. Chlamydia, unlike some STDs, does not require regular screening for the best chance of cure.
The tell-tale symptoms of Chlamydia are similar to those of gonorrhea. However, since women may not show symptoms of Chlamydia as frequently as men, it is not as easy to detect. Symptoms of Chlamydia include burning or itching around the vaginal area, vaginal discharge, and a foul odor coming from the vagina. Unlike gonorrhea, Chlamydia does not cause actual sores inside the vagina or in the mouth, so doctors can’t confirm that a woman is infected until she shows symptoms.
The easiest way to get a test is to take a home urine sample without a condom. Urine tests have become widely available since the development of a quick and reliable kit for direct sample delivery to a doctor. A negative result from a home test indicates that you don’t have active Chlamydia but rather some other STD. Most home tests require only a small amount of urine to be collected from the private part, which will be sent along with a prescription for a Chlamydia test to the testing laboratory. Get your STD test here.