Chlamydia is one of the most commonly transmitted sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The infection is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Both men and women who are sexually active can get infected by this STI. It can be passed on through anal, oral and vaginal sex with an infected partner.
Tests for chlamydia are many and range from a simple urine test to more advanced tests. There are tests that are not very reliable and also highly reliable ones. Listed below are all the chlamydia tests that are available along with the pros and cons of each.
Tests To Diagnose Chlamydia
A sample of the urine is collected and examined. Collecting a urine sample for both men and women is the same. The patient is advised not to urinate for at least two hours before the sample is collected. The first part of the stream is collected for this test. It is important that the area is not washed, wiped or cleaned before the sample is collected.
Bodily Fluid Tests
In women and men, the body fluids are collected on a swab. A swab is used to scrape cells away from the affected area. There may be a slight amount of discomfort experienced during the procedure; however, this is a painless procedure. Samples will be collected from the rectum in case the disease is suspected to have been contracted during anal sex; concurrently, a sample is collected from the throat if the disease is suspected to have been contracted during oral sex.
NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests)
These are the most affective tests. They locate the DNA of the bacterium that causes chlamydia. The results are very accurate. The test is also a highly sensitive one.
DNA Probe Test (Nucleic Acid Hybridization Tests)
Another type of accurate test, although this test is not as sensitive as the NAAT.
ELISA, EIA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay)
A very simple and quick way to find out if the chlamydia infection has set in. This test is not reliable especially if the infection was transmitted within two weeks of conducting the test. It may be reordered if chlamydia is suspected.
DFA (Direct Fluorescent Antibody Test)
This is another simple test that spots the antigens that are known to get the immune system to counter the infection.
This is a test wherein the chlamydia bacteria are allowed to grow in a sterilized bowl or a cup. This is an expensive and also time-consuming procedure; however the test is very effective and the results are accurate.
Conditions That Warrant A Chlamydia Test
A Chlamydia test is called for during one or more of the following conditions:
When a patient suffers from symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), a chlamydia test is ordered to find out if the symptoms point out to chlamydia.
When a patient has unprotected sex with a new sex partner or with a known partner whom he or she may suspect suffers from an STI.
Abnormal vaginal discharge is spotted during a vaginal examination or is noticed by the patient.