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All about chlamydia and chlamydia testing

Chlamydia is a bacterial STI that is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. This is one of the most common STDs that can be contracted by anal, oral, or vaginal sex. Using or sharing unclean sex toys can help the spread of chlamydia.

Estimates from the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 2.8 million cases of chlamydia infections yearly, which makes it the most frequently reported bacterial STD in the US.

People with chlamydia may not have visible signs of the infection. This makes the spread of chlamydia very easy. Which is why testing for chlamydia is very vital. When symptoms appear, they do so within 2 – 21 days after exposure.

Chlamydia commonly infects the rectum, urethra, and the cervix. It can also infect the throat during oral sex. The infection can spread to the eyes if an infected area is touched, and then the eye is touched. Babies can contract chlamydia from their infected mothers at childbirth. Chlamydia can cause complications in infants that can lead to pneumonia and blindness.

Men and women sometimes have different symptoms of chlamydia.

Symptoms in men include:

  • Burning/itching sensation during urination
  • Rectal pain or bleeding (especially when the rectum is infected)
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Pain or swollen testicles (less common)

Symptoms in women include:

  • Abdominal pain (less common)
  • Rectal pain or bleeding (especially when contracted in the rectum)
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Itching sensation during urination
  • Bleeding between periods (less common)

Men and women infected with chlamydia may be asymptomatic, meaning that they may have zero symptoms.

Who is at risk for chlamydia?

Chlamydia is highly common in young people. According to a CDC report, ‘chlamydia prevalence among sexually active persons aged 14 – 24 years is nearly thrice the prevalence among those aged 25 – 39 years’. It commonly affects young women because the cervix is still developing and is prone to bacteria. Also, the mucosal surfaces of the vagina and cervix make it easier for women to contract the bacteria.

Untreated chlamydia with zero or visible symptoms can spread to the upper genital tract and cause severe health issues. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women and permanent damage can be caused by chlamydia, which can lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Untreated cases of chlamydia in men can lead to epididymitis, which very rarely causes sterility.


People who are diagnosed with chlamydia should not have sex till after 1 week of finishing antibioticTake note that gettingreinfected after treatment is high. Hence, it is very important that people with chlamydia-infected partners get tested and treated if found positive.

Chlamydia is often associated with gonorrhoea, which is why if you have one, you can have the other because they share similar risks and symptoms. It is very vital that you get tested for both.

With or without symptoms, getting tested for chlamydia can be done 24 hours after exposure. The incubation time varies with individuals. So, for accurate results, get tested two weeks after the initial exposure. If you are diagnosed to be infected with chlamydia, it is advised to do the test again two weeks after completing treatment to be sure that all the bacteria is cleared from your system.


Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAA)

This test searches for the bacteria’s genetic material, hence it is not common that a false-positive test result will occur. Chlamydia incubation period is commonly 1 – 5 days, so get retested five days after exposure to get the most accurate result.

Three NAA tests work by finding the DNA of chlamydia bacteria. They are:

Urine Sample

  • Testing with urine samples should consist mainly and only of first-catch urine (about 20 – 30ml of the initial urine stream). This is to avoid diluting the sample.
  • Patients should not urine for at least an hour before providing a sample
  • Female patients should not wipe the labial area before providing the specimen

Swab Culture

  • Rectal swab
  • Endocervical swab
  • Vaginal swab
  • Throat swab
  • Male urethral swab

Direct Fluorescent Antibody (DFA)

  • Neonates conjunctival swab
  • Rectal swab
  • Endocervical swab
  • Male urethral swab
  • Swab cultures


Chlamydia is not a blood-borne disease, however the body creates antibodies to respond to different diseases, which can be found in the blood. Blood tests for chlamydia require that a small blood sample is drawn and then tested for antibodies to the chlamydia bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis). This test can show the presence of antibodies to chlamydia, but these antibodies could be the result of a previous chlamydia infection. This would bring about a false-positive result.

Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

  • IgM antibodies are mainly found in the lymph and blood fluid. They are the first kind of antibodies that fight a new infection
  • This blood sample result should be confirmed by another medically established diagnostic procedure before being used as a diagnostic procedure

Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA); Antibodies, IgG

  • IgG antibodies are the most copious type of antibodies. They are in all body fluids and prevent viral and bacterial infections

Cell  Culture and Subsequent Detection of Chlamydia by Fluorescent Antibody Test Method

  • A culture permits the chlamydia bacteria to grow; both results usually take 5 – 7 days longer than the other tests and must be performed in a laboratory
  • Culture is the legal standard but not the gold standard for checking out chlamydia trachomatis
  • Women should abstain from douching or using vaginal cream/medicines for 24 hours before having a chlamydia test

Test options for cell culture include:

  • Urethral swab
  • Rectal swab
  • Throat swab
  • Cervical swab
  • Conjunctival swab


  • Chlamydia is one of the most common bacterial infection
  • Chlamydia can be treated, although it usually shows no signs or symptoms
  • Chlamydia if left untreated can cause infertility in women and sterility in men
  • Chlamydia is prevalent among young people aged 14 – 24 years, especially young women.
  • Newborns can contract chlamydia during delivery, and it can cause serious complications like pneumonia and blindness
  • Chlamydia can infect the rectum, eyes, throat, and the genitals
  • It is very common to get infected with chlamydia and gonorrhoea
  • Get tested for chlamydia at a blood test London clinic

We offer private blood testing services for diagnosis of chlamydia.

Your sexual health is very important and should not be neglected. Testing for infections like chlamydia is crucial because you may be unaware that you have the infection since it can be asymptomatic. Get tested today.