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Chlamydia tests use a sample of body fluid or urine to see whether
chlamydia bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis) are present
and causing an infection.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial
sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United
Several types of tests can be used to find a chlamydia
infection. Most tests use a sample of body fluid from the affected area.
A test for chlamydia is done to:
A chlamydia test is done on either a urine sample or fluid
(direct sample) collected from the area of the body that is most likely to be
infected. If your chlamydia test is being done on
If a urine sample is collected for
nucleic acid amplification testing (such as PCR testing), do not urinate for 2
hours before the test. Do not wipe the genital area clean before urinating.
Collect the first part of your urine stream, immediately as you begin
In a direct sample, a sample of body
fluid is taken from the affected area. In adults, these areas may include the
urethra, vagina, rectum, or eye.
There is also a self-test for women to collect a sample from their vagina and bring it to the lab for testing.
In rare cases, a throat culture may be done.
There is no discomfort in collecting a urine sample.
Collecting a sample of fluid from the
urethra, anus, or rectum may cause mild discomfort or pain.
Collecting a sample from the cervix may cause mild discomfort. Most women
find that the procedure feels like a Pap test or pelvic exam. Some women feel
some cramping when the speculum is inside the vagina.
sample from the eye is painless unless the eyelids have sores on them.
There is no chance for problems in collecting a urine sample.
There is very little chance of problems when
collecting a sample of fluid from the cervix, urethra, rectum, eyes, or
In rare cases, a person may suddenly get dizzy or feel
vasovagal syncope) because of fear or pain when the
swab is inserted into the urethra.
Chlamydia tests use a sample of body fluid
or urine to see whether chlamydia bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis) are present and causing an infection.
DNA are found. If a culture is done, no chlamydia
bacteria grow in the culture. More tests for other sexually transmitted
infections (STIs) may be needed to find the cause of symptoms.
Chlamydia antigens or DNA are
found. If a culture is done, chlamydia bacteria grow in the
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis:
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
December 11, 2012
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Devika Singh, MD, MPH - Infectious Disease
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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