There are different questions concerning Chlamydia tests like; can blood tests detect chlamydia, can you test for chlamydia with urine, and how do guys and girls get tested for chlamydia? Keep reading to get answers to the above questions and learn the significance of the chlamydia blood test.
What is Chlamydia?Chlamydia is an STI caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. The disease affects all age groups and is transmitted through unprotected anal, oral or, vaginal sex, including mother to child..
Chlamydia is usually asymptomatic in its early stage, but some symptoms may manifest later. However, these symptoms are generally similar to other STDs like Gonorrhea and urinary tract infections (UTIs). As a result, it becomes difficult to diagnose Chlamydia through physical examination only. Thus, the need for a test.
Symptoms of ChlamydiaSymptoms of Chlamydia do not show, especially in the first three weeks of infection. The implication is that the disease spreads as people do not know they are infected. With this in mind, it is essential to get regular tests for Chlamydia and other STDs if you’re sexually active. Chlamydia symptoms vary between male and female patients. For male patients, symptoms include:
- Painful urination
- Swollen testes
- Strange penile and anal discharge
- Itchy anus
- Strange, smelly vaginal and anal discharge
- Painful intercourse
- Frequent and painful urination
- Abdominal pain
- Unusual bleeding outside your period
Chlamydia can also cause fever and conjunctivitis in both men and women. Also, chlamydia in the throat causes sore and itchy throat. It is crucial to take note of these symptoms and act accordingly as untreated chlamydia can lead to complications like pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, etc.
How to Test for Chlamydia?There are various means to test for Chlamydia. Depending on your physician, test samples may be blood, urine, or a genital swab. You can take a chlamydia test whether you’re showing symptoms or for a routine STI screening.
Can chlamydia be tested by blood? The answer is “yes.” Once infected with C.trachomatis, the body develops antibodies in the blood. Although not a bloodborne disease, a chlamydia blood test is an invasive method that helps to identify chlamydia antibodies to confirm a current infection. However, this test is not useful in acute chlamydia cases. The Chlamydia blood test is only significant in diagnosing chlamydia outside the urogenital area, like the eyes
For genital swabs, a cotton stick is used to take samples from the urogenital region to test for C.trachomatis. Swab tests can be invasive for the cervix or urethra or noninvasive for the vagina. Some doctors may consider rectal or oral swabs; however, both methods are not approved for chlamydia diagnosis.
Can you test chlamydia with urine? “Yes.” Urine is one of the most common noninvasive samples collected for the chlamydia test. Your urine is collected in a cup and analysed in the laboratory for the presence of C.trachomatis.
How Do Males Get Tested for Chlamydia?Chlamydia test for guys may require either a urine sample or penile swab. The sample is then analysed in the lab through a nucleic acid amplification test or other appropriate procedures. Generally, the test sample collected depends on your healthcare provider.
How Do Females Get Tested for Chlamydia?Tests for females are usually invasive. For a cervical swab, your healthcare provider will use a speculum to open your vaginal wall to examine your cervix. A cotton swab is then used to collect a sample from your cervix then analysed in the lab. For a vaginal test, although not common, a swab is inserted into the vagina to take a sample and then sent to a lab. Vaginal swabs can be done personally by your healthcare provider.
If your chlamydia test result is positive, ensure your sexual partner(s) get tested. Otherwise, they may continue to spread the disease, and you can be reinfected. Repeated infections can lead to health complications, especially among women.
How to Prepare for a Chlamydia Test?There are precautions to achieve an accurate test depending on the collected sample. For a urine sample, you should not urinate for at least an hour before the test. In addition, a chlamydia test will require you to avoid the use of vaginal creams, douches, and antibiotics.
What Is the Treatment for Chlamydia?Being a bacteria infection, you can treat chlamydia with antibiotics. The principal antibiotic used in treating chlamydia is doxycycline. Other alternative medicines include azithromycin and levofloxacin. You should abstain from sex until you complete your treatment.
SummaryChlamydia is an asymptomatic disease and thus cannot be diagnosed by mere physical examination. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause PID, ectopic pregnancy, and fertility problems. Therefore, if you are sexually active, ensure you and your sexual partner(s) get regular tests for chlamydia and other STDs.
- Chlamydia detailed fact sheet. (2021) https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm
- Which STD Tests Should I Get? https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/screeningreccs.htm#:~:text=All%20sexually%20active%20women%20younger,gonorrhea%20and%20chlamydia%20every%20year
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