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You Really Need to Know
STD testing is one of those responsibilities in life, like taxes are car insurance. You know you should do it but the fear of finding out bad news can be difficult. Well, we are glad you are here, taking a responsible step in knowing and possibly preventing something bad from happening to someone else. Getting tested for an STD doesn't have to be difficult. There are plenty of local STD testing centers standing by to help you take control and empower you to live a healthy lifestyle.
About Chlamydia Testing
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are not new in today’s day and age. About 110 Million people reportedly have or have had STD’s and
most of them are treatable. Also known as a Sexually Transmitted Infection for its ability to be cured, Chlamydia is among the top ten reported, being second most common, and accounts for 3 million cases each year. Learning what Chlamydia is and how to get tested for it is the best way to getting this STD treated and resolved. Use our FREE STD Risk Calculator to gauge your risk of having contracted chlamydia.
What is Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a type of bacterial infection that spreads through the sexual contact of an infected person via penis, vagina, anus, or mouth. Chlamydia can also be spread from a pregnant woman to her child during normal and cesarean childbirth as Chlamydia is carried in bodily fluids. Like most STD’s, Chlamydia can affect both men and women and can be contracted multiple times – even if cured – if the person or persons have regular unprotected sex. People ages 14-24 are most likely to contract this STD, but anyone who has had unprotected sex with an infected person can contract the disease. The use of condoms has been shown to help prevent Chlamydia, however, as with any STD, is not 100% effective.
Unlike some STD’s, persons infected with Chlamydia may not know they have it as not everyone will suffer from the symptoms. The exact percentage of those who have Chlamydia but do not experience symptoms is unknown. Those who do have symptoms will report them occurring after several weeks, some as long as a few months, so initial diagnosis may be difficult. However, once experiencing symptoms, diagnosis is almost immediate.
Symptoms that are associated with Chlamydia include and are not limited to:
- Lower back pain
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding between periods
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Abnormal vaginal and penis discharge burning when urinating
- Genital pain
- Swelling in one or both testicles
- Tenderness and pain in testicles
- Rectal pain
- Rectal discharge
- Rectal bleeding if the rectum is the infected site. (This does not occur in all cases of Chlamydia.)
Children born with Chlamydia may experience eye inflammation leading to redness, discharge, and swelling and may even develop pneumonia. These symptoms will develop anywhere between a week and several months after birth.
Any person displaying the aforementioned symptoms should be tested by a licensed doctor and treated right away to avoid serious health problems. Chlamydia is treatable and curable for everyone. In babies and children, undiagnosed Chlamydia can lead to more serious infections and sometimes cause death. Non-treated cases for women can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, ectopic pregnancies, and infertility. And in men, it can cause painful, recurrent inflammation and infection in the tube carrying sperm from the testicles. Untreated Chlamydia has not been known to cause infertility among men.
Chlamydia can be cured with the right medication. Treatments may vary but often include the use of antibiotics. To get a prescription, a person who thinks they may be infected must first get tested. There are several tests doctors will use to determine infection.
The first and most common is a urine sample. The fancy name being “Nucleic Acid Amplification” test which sources out the DNA of the bacteria. This type of test is fast, low-cost, and extremely accurate. Results will usually come back during a routine visit unless otherwise noted by a healthcare provider.
Another standard test is to sample the infected body fluid. This can be from the eyes, rectum, cervix, penis, or mouth and throat. Often these samples are taken on a cotton swab or other medium and tested with a cellular mixture to help grow the bacteria. If nothing happens to the cells, the result is considered negative. If chlamydia bacteria is present in the cells the culture is seen as positive. This test is secondary because of the amount of time it takes, usually five to seven days and can have false positives, although it is unlikely.
Additional STD’s can be tested for at this time as well.
To prepare for a Chlamydia test or STD panel, an office visit should be scheduled, and any specific directions followed. Patients are generally told not to urinate for two hours before the visit and sample is collected. If the second method is preferred, also called a direct sample, vaginal douching, creams, and medicines should be avoided for up to 24 hours before going in.
Aside from the side-effects, all testing is painless. Cervix and rectal samples may cause slight discomfort but usually only for a few moments. There are no risks associated with any of these tests.
Testing for Chlamydia helps to prevent further health issues and the spreading of the infection to other people. While medication will almost always clear up the infection, any person treated for Chlamydia should be tested again after three months even if both partners finished all treatment regimens. Treatments for Chlamydia can be in a single dose or prescribed for up to two weeks with a reported twenty-six percent of cases getting chlamydia a second time resulting in further treatment. Even if the infection doesn’t come back, a second testing can be beneficial for easing any anxiety the diagnosis may have brought up for each person and their partner.
Sexual activity is not recommended for at least seven days after the start of the treatment. After all such treatment courses, sexual activity may regain. The same guidance goes for any additional testing and treatments.