Diagnosing chlamydia is relatively simple but may require a visit to your local GP, sexual health clinic or local genitourinary clinic (GUM). Due to the risk of other health issues which can be aligned with chlamydia, it is important to ask your doctor how often you should have screening tests carried out. Screening is often recommended for:#

Sexually active women aged 25 or younger – the risk of infection is highest in this group and as a result, annual screening is recommended. It is also recommended if you have a new sexual partner with whom you are having unprotected sex, even if you have been tested within the last year.

Pregnant women – Chlamydia in pregnancy can be serious and have potentially massive complications such as ectopic pregnancies, chronic pelvic pain and infertility and pregnant women who are infected with chlamydia have an increased risk of their waters breaking prematurely, causing the baby to be born early. There is also a risk that the mother may pass the infection onto the baby during childbirth, this is known as perinatal transmission.

Women & men at high risk: if you have multiple sexual partners and do not always use a condom, then you should consider having regular screening carried out. This is important for individuals of all sexual orientation.

There are a number of tests which can be carried out in order to diagnose chlamydia. These include:

A swab – this test is for women and can be performed during a routine Pap test. Your doctor will take a swab of the discharge from your cervix in order to test for chlamydia. Men may also be swabbed, with a slim swab inserted into the end of your penis in order to obtain a sample of the urethra. In some circumstances, the anus may be swabbed.

A urine test: a urine sample can be analyzed in the lab in order to determine if you have the infection.

Results may take 7-10 days to process.

Authored Dec 21, 2017 by Joseph Isaac, MPharm
Reviewed May 15, 2019 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

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