Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Nearly 3 million Americans, typically between the ages of 14 and 24, contract the infection every year. If you’re sexually active, it’s important to recognize your risk of sexually transmitted infections and diseases and make sure you’re practicing safe sex and getting tested regularly.
Why Should I Order a Chlamydia Test?
The thought of getting tested for chlamydia can be scary, but the possibility of letting the infection go untreated and unknowingly passing it to others is even scarier. Getting tested regularly is part of being a responsible, sexually active adult, and it ensures that you are taking care of both your health and your partners’. Chlamydia is curable with antibiotic treatment, so there’s no reason not to get tested and treated as soon as possible if you think you might have contracted the infection.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force especially recommends testing for sexually active people under the age of 24, people over the age of 24 who participate in sexual behaviors that are thought to be “high risk,” and pregnant people while in their first trimester (and again in the third trimester). Even if you see a doctor or gynecologist regularly, STD testing isn’t always a part of regular wellness exams. You typically have to ask your doctor or nurse for STD screening, so don’t assume you’ve been tested if you’ve been to the doctor recently.
It’s important to get tested and find out whether or not you have chlamydia as soon as you suspect you might have it. The sooner you know, the sooner you can begin treatment. Living with chlamydia for an extended period of time can lead to the development of other, more serious health issues.
What Are the Symptoms of Chlamydia?
Most people infected with chlamydia are asymptomatic, meaning there’s no way to physically tell that they have the infection. Sometimes, symptoms are present, but are so mild that most people don’t notice them. Symptoms can also sometimes develop several weeks after initially contracting the infection. When chlamydia is symptomatic, it can often look like other common STDs like gonorrhea, so testing is the only way to know which infection you have and how to properly treat it.
While the symptoms of chlamydia can be painful and harmful to anyone infected with the disease, chlamydia can be particularly serious for those with uteruses, as the infection can be particularly damaging to the reproductive system. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to infertility and increase risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the womb).
Though they aren’t common, when symptoms do present, they typically involve the genitalia and can include:
- No symptoms
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Painful urination
- Pain, discharge, or bleeding from rectum
- Eye inflammation
- Abnormal penile discharge (thick, yellow-white, milky or watery)
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles
- Pain during sex
- Pain in pelvis or lower stomach
- Pain in lower back
- Sore throat
- Burning or itching around the tip of the penis
- Testicular pain and swelling
How is Chlamydia Spread?
Chlamydia is spread through any type of sexual activity involving two or more people; this includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. This is because chlamydia trachomatis, the bacterium that causes chlamydia, is transmitted through sexual fluids. This includes semen (cum), pre-ejaculate (pre-cum), and vaginal fluids. Because chlamydia is transmitted through both semen and pre-cum, you can still catch chlamydia even if your partner does not ejaculate. That is why safe sex methods, such as condoms and dental dams, are recommended to help prevent infection.
If you have had chlamydia before and have been treated and cured, you are still at risk of contracting it again. If you are aware that your partner has chlamydia and is currently being treated for it, avoid sexual contact with your partner until they are finished with their prescribed antibiotics (between seven and 14 days).
What Can I Expect When I Get Tested for Chlamydia?
One of the most daunting parts of getting tested is not knowing what to expect. Thankfully, when it comes to getting tested for STDs, you have nothing to fear. Getting tested for this particular STD involves a simple urine test, which screens for the presence of the chlamydia bacteria.
When you are tested, your doctor may suggest you also get tested for gonorrhea at the same time. While not everyone with chlamydia symptoms tests positive for gonorrhea as well, it is not uncommon for this to happen. As a result, it can be easier to complete both tests at once in order to receive the best possible care.
Your doctor may choose to treat you with antibiotics before you even get your results back, as a precautionary measure. Because, even if you don’t have chlamydia, you could still have another type of infection that will require treatment, such as a UTI. Be sure to take your entire course of antibiotics, regardless of your STD test results. If your doctor prescribed you medication, it is because they felt it was necessary for your health.
How Long Should I Wait Before Getting Tested?
Chlamydia can take up to three days to incubate after initial contact with the bacteria occurs, so we recommend that you wait five days before getting tested. Testing before the infection’s incubation phase is complete can result in an inaccurate test outcome. We also recommend that, in the event that your test result is positive, you get tested again two weeks after completing treatment to make sure that infection has been cured. If you become pregnant, we recommend getting tested in your first and third trimesters.
What Are the Benefits of a Chlamydia Test?
Getting tested for chlamydia is the only way to know if you have the infection or not, and without knowing if you have the infection, you can’t begin treatment. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to damage of the fallopian tubes or infertility. It can also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy and premature births, and the infection can be passed to the child during childbirth and cause eye infections, blindness or pneumonia in the baby. Untreated chlamydia can also cause infections of the rectum, urethra or epididymis, also known as the tube that carries sperm away from the testes.
At Priority STD Testing, we promise to make the testing process as convenient as possible. As soon as you decide to get tested, you can order a chlamydia testing panel online or by calling one of our care counselors. The process is anonymous, and our care counselors are trained to answer any questions you might have regarding the infection or the testing process. After making you an appointment at a local testing center, all you have to do is show up, give a sample and leave. No one else at the testing center will know what you’re being tested for, and you can expect to be in and out in less than 15 minutes.
With Priority STD Testing, we simplify not only the testing process, but the associated costs. Instead of paying to go to a clinic, urgent care center or a doctor, you can get tested for chlamydia through Priority STD Testing, and if necessary, we can call a prescription for treatment into a local pharmacy for a small fee. At Priority STD Testing, we accept payment in the form of credit cards, debit cards, health savings account cards and gift cards issued by major credit card companies. We do not accept any form of private or federal health insurance in order to prevent your test results from being reported to your insurance company.
Peace of Mind
Priority STD Testing’s priority is to make the testing process as painless as possible. Thinking you may have an STD is stressful enough. We don’t want stress and anxiety related to any aspect of the testing process to prevent you from getting tested, because we know that the best way to set your mind at ease is to get tested and know for sure if you’ve been infected. We strive to make our process simple, quick and affordable so you can get back to living your life as normal.
How Do I Order a Chlamydia Test?
You can order chlamydia testing through Priority STD Testing either online or over the phone. Phone orders are placed with our care counselors, who are trained to walk you through the process and answer any questions you might have. If you’re sure of which test you want and don’t need counseling, you can order your chlamydia testing online. When ordering online, you’ll select a convenient testing center near you, request the specific test and complete payment. After completing the test, results are processed within 24 to 72 hours and you can retrieve your results by calling Priority STD Testing. In order to protect your privacy, we will not send results to you without you contacting us first.Get Tested Now