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Chlamydia Testing & Treatment

On This Page: Types of Chlamydia Testing | How to Test | Who Should Test | How Often | Treatment

Chlamydia Testing

Chlamydia is a common, easily curable bacterial STD that can cause infertility if left untreated.

Getting tested regularly is the only way to know if you have chlamydia or other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). The idea of getting tested can be scary, but it’s a normal part of protecting your health. Chlamydia testing is generally quick and easy, and if you are positive, chlamydia is curable. By getting tested, you can know if you have it so you can get rid of it with chlamydia medication.

Types of Chlamydia Testing

Lab tests allow doctors to confidently diagnose chlamydia. Types of chlamydia testing include:

  • Urine testing– You pee into a cup, and the sample is sent to a lab to analyze for the presence of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. This is the method we use for chlamydia testing.
  • Swab– Your urethra, vagina, cervix, throat, anus, or eye is swabbed to take cell samples. This method may be considered for non-genital chlamydia, like if you had unprotected oral sex or receptive anal sex.
  • Blood– More rarely, a small blood sample can be drawn for your arm to detect the presence of antibodies specific to chlamydia.

How Do You Test for Chlamydia?

You can get tested for chlamydia and other STDs at one of our local, CLIA-certified testing centersOur FDA-cleared NAA (nucleic acid amplification) chlamydia test is a simple urine test and can be taken as early as 1­-5 days after potential exposure to chlamydia. This test can detect the bacteria in your urine sample, whether you are experiencing symptoms or not.

When you visit the lab, you will be provided a cup to pee into, and you can urinate in a private room. It’s simple, so you can be in and out quickly. Results are typically available within 1-2 business days and are posted to your online account.

Who Should Get Tested for Chlamydia?

We recommend getting tested for chlamydia if you:

  • Have had sex with an infected partner
  • Have had unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex
  • Have new or multiple sex partners
  • Show chlamydia symptoms (though many people with chlamydial infections don’t have symptoms)
  • Are pregnant
  • Want to check your status
  • Are entering a new relationship

How Often Should You Get Tested?

If you believe you may have been exposed to chlamydia, you should get tested for chlamydia asap. Because certain people are at higher risk of getting chlamydia, the CDC recommends at least yearly testing for the following groups:

  • Sexually active women under 25
  • Women with risk factors like new or multiple sex partners
  • Men who have sex with men

Pregnant women should test for chlamydia during their first prenatal visit and again during the third trimester if they are under 25 or have risk factors.

Getting tested regularly for chlamydia and other common sexually transmitted diseases is important. Untreated chlamydia infection can cause serious health complications like:

  • Infertility
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women
  • Epididymitis, urethritis, and prostatitis in men
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Increased risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, if exposed

What Should You Do If You Test Positive?

We understand how stressful testing positive can be. The good news is that chlamydia is curable and, if caught early, it won’t cause lasting health problems. You should also discuss your status with your sexual partner(s) so they can get tested and treated.

If you test positive for chlamydia through, we offer an over-the-phone doctor consultation and can prescribe treatment. During the call, our doctor can provide guidance about chlamydia and will clarify how to take the medication. After answering any questions you have, our doctor will call in your prescription to your preferred pharmacy so you can pick it up.

Read more about our doctor consultation.

How Is Chlamydia Treated?

Chlamydia can be easily cured with prescription antibiotics. If you are positive, you need to notify your sexual partners so they can get tested and treated. Not getting treated can cause serious health problems, and you may be at high risk for re-infection if infected sex partners aren’t treated. There are a few different chlamydia pills for treatment options.

Chlamydia Antibiotics

How To Get Rid of Chlamydia
To eliminate the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria, doctors often prescribe the antibiotics azithromycin and/or doxycycline. These chlamydia antibiotics can be taken orally, either in a single dose (in the case of azithromycin) or over several days (in the case of doxycycline). The full course of antibiotics should be taken as instructed until complete, even if symptoms go away. Each person should receive their own prescription and should not share their medication.

Can You Get Chlamydia After Taking Antibiotics
There is a possibility for reinfection of chlamydia. After you have been treated with antibiotics, you could contract chlamydia again if having sex with people that have chlamydia. Taking chlamydia medicine does not make you immune against other people who are infected. That’s why it is so important to always wear a condom for penetrative sex or use a dental dam for oral sex.

How Long After Chlamydia Treatment Will You Test Negative?
It is very important to take all of the prescribed antibiotics. Even if you are no longer experiencing any symptoms, you must take all of the chlamydia pills given to you by a medical professional. A doctor may recommend getting retested 3 to 6 months after infection. 

How Long Will I Test Positive for Chlamydia After Treatment
Residual RNA or DNA from a chlamydia trachomatis infection may linger in the body as it is being cleansed out. Similar to getting over a cold, but you’re still coughing. Your body is clearing the lungs out of any lingering bacteria. If you get tested too soon after treatment is over, then the test may produce a false-positive. 

How Long Should You Wait to Retest for Chlamydia

You should wait at least once a year if you have only one partner. If your partner has other partners aside from you or if you have multiple partners, then get tested every three to six months. It is common to get infected with chlamydia again if you or your partner(s) have multiple partners. Just because you have taken chlamydia antibiotics does not make you immune to future re-infections from others. That counts as a new infection and has to be treated again. That’s why it is so important to wear condoms and use dental dams. Also, have open conversations with your partners to see if they have other sexual partners so you are aware of the risk factors. 

Should I Get Tested for Chlamydia After Treatment?

Yes, because it is possible to get re-infected with chlamydia, especially if you have sex with an infected partner. Having a past chlamydia infection or taking antibiotics for chlamydia will not make you immune to the bacterium that causes the infection. This is why it is especially important to get tested with your partner(s) so you’re all tested, treated, and cured before engaging in sexual activity again.

When Can You Have Sex Again?

Before you start having sex again, you should make sure that you and your partner(s) are completely cured of chlamydia because re-infections are common. Do not have sex with anyone while you are being treated.

It is advised to wait seven days after completing antibiotic treatment before engaging in sexual activity again. Although this dry spell can be tough, it gives your body time to clear up the infection. Failing to wait may lead to re-infection. Even with a condom, it’s possible that you and your partner may pass the infection back and forth.3 If you did have sex before the suggested waiting period was up, talk to your prescribing physician. In some situations, they may recommend re-treatment or follow-up tests.

When you start having sex again, protection is effective if done correctly. You can reduce your chance of getting chlamydia by using dental dams and/or latex condoms every time you have oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Limiting your sexual partners or being mutually monogamous with someone who has tested negative helps too.

Treating Chlamydia During Pregnancy

If a pregnant woman is infected with chlamydia, it is important to treat it due to complications it can cause during pregnancy. According to the CDC, chlamydia has been associated with preterm delivery.4 You can give chlamydia to your baby during childbirth, which can cause the baby to be born with pneumonia and conjunctivitis.

Talk to your prescribing physician about antibiotics you can take while pregnant. There are many safe treatment options available today.

Chlamydia Pills

Once again, we want to remind you that it is vital to take all the chlamydia pills your doctor prescribes.  If you stop taking them early, you might not get rid of your ailment entirely.

When Should You Retest After Treatment for Chlamydia?

If you have been recently treated and want to retest to be sure the treatment worked, wait at least 3-4 weeks after completing your treatment. The CDC recommends retesting three to six months after treatment, preferably along with your partner(s), so that you can be sure that all of you are chlamydia free.  We are here for you during the process.  Reach out to one of our helpful STD experts today!  Check out our dedicated post that discusses; can chlamydia come back?

  1. “Screening Recommendations and Considerations Referenced in Treatment Guidelines and Original Sources.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. “Chlamydia - CDC Fact Sheet.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. “Chlamydia: Care Instructions.” Government of Alberta.
  4. STDs During Pregnancy - CDC Fact Sheet.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Medically Reviewed by on March 23, 2023

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