Chlamydia test - The most important information for you
STDs are more widespread than you might think. The best-known diseases include HIV, syphilis, hepatitis, and herpes. But infection with chlamydia is also common.
In order to safeguard one’s own sexual health, to contain possible consequences at an early stage, and to protect other people, a chlamydia test is therefore advisable in the case of an active sexual life. Information about chlamydia tests, symptoms, treatment, and consequences of infection can be found in this article.
Chlamydia test - the main points
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) differ in that they are either bacterial agents, such as syphilis or gonorrhea, or viral agents, such as herpes (HSV-2), hepatitis B, or HIV. In the case of chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis), it is bacteria that cause inflammation in various parts of the body.
Common in mucous membranes, urethra, rectum, or cervix. Chlamydia can also cause inflammation in the mouth area, as well as in the throat or eyes. However, unlike viral diseases, these pathogens spread to the mucous membranes and attack the environment, so they can continue to multiply if the infection is left untreated.
While some STDs can be well contained, they still remain in the body for life, as with hepatitis B or herpes. Chlamydia, on the other hand, is easily treatable and can often be quickly controlled with antibiotics if detected early. For pregnant women, a chlamydia test is one of the legally required examinations.
To see if you have a chlamydia infection, the chlamydia test usually involves either a swab or a urine test. Depending on where you want to do your test, you can either go to your urology, dermatology, or gynecology.
In a urine test, the sample is sent to the laboratory and tested for the pathogens via PCR procedure. In young women under 25, a chlamydia test is routinely performed once a year through a urine sample. A smear test involves testing different parts of the body, as the pathogen can spread to different mucous membranes. Therefore, a smear test in the mouth area is useful, but it also is on the vagina, penis, and anus.
Transmission and symptoms
Chlamydia is usually transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse. Contact between infectious mucous membranes is the active point of transmission and can therefore occur through vaginal, oral, and anal sex.
If you have recently changed sexual partners, had unprotected sex, or a former partner has told you about an infection, then a chlamydia test is an important step for you and your health. But also, if you are worried, fear a possible infestation or if you should be pregnant, an early diagnosis is relevant. The sooner the infection is detected and treated, the gentler the consequences, and the spread can be prevented.
The incubation period for chlamydial infection is one to three weeks, and in some cases six weeks. If you notice some symptoms after having a sex partner within this period, a chlamydia test is an important step for you. If positive, antibiotics will be prescribed by your respective practice and the pathogens will be eliminated.
When should you take a chlamydia test?
If you are unsure when and whether a chlamydia test is advisable for you, then the following criteria might help:
If you experience an unusual discharge, burning, discomfort, or pain when urinating, this could already be the first indication of an infection. Pain can also occur in acute areas, for example in the throat or in the intimate area in general. Women may continue to experience bleeding and pain during sexual intercourse, as well as abdominal pain and even fever in some cases.
However, in most cases, infection with chlamydia is asymptomatic and the spread of infection occurs unknowingly, so regular chlamydia testing is advisable for everyone to avoid later consequences and further spread.
Possible complications and consequences
Infections that go untreated due to ignorance or neglect can have serious consequences. In women, it can even lead to infertility due to an untreated infection. In this case, the bacteria attack the uterus, where they multiply and settle in the fallopian tube.
This causes it to stick together, limiting fertility. For pregnant women, premature birth or rupture of the membranes could be a possible consequence of chlamydia. Also, the newborn child can become infected with chlamydia and develop conjunctivitis and pneumonia.
In men, an untreated chlamydia infection can lead to prostatitis and epididymitis, but urethral stenosis can also be a possible consequence. In some cases, the intensity of the infection can also affect fertility.
Due to the various ways to become infected with chlamydia, bacterial infection is one of the most common STDs. Usually asymptomatic, the infection follows through direct contact with mucous membranes and via unprotected sexual intercourse.
The consequences of non-treatment can be enormous, so the sooner an infection is detected, the higher the chances of a quick cure.
If your chlamydia test is positive, you will be given antibiotics by your healthcare provider. In this way, serious consequences can be avoided.
An infection with chlamydia is usually asymptomatic. However, typical symptoms include pain and discomfort during urination, purulent or yellowish discharge, itching in the intimate area, pain during sexual intercourse, and pain in the lower abdomen.
Antibiotics can cure an infection with chlamydia. The sooner an infection is diagnosed, the better.
Inflammation and pain are the consequences of chlamydia. If the infection is left untreated, it can also result in serious problems such as infertility and, in the case of pregnancy, possible premature birth and infection of the child.