Chlamydia tests use a sample of body fluid or urine to see whether
chlamydia bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis) are present
and causing an infection.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial
sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United
Tests used to find a chlamydia infection include:
Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). These tests find the genetic material (DNA) of chlamydia bacteria. These tests are very good at identifying chlamydia. A test that is positive almost always
means the problem is there and is unlikely to be a false-positive test result. A polymerase chain
reaction (PCR) test is an example of a nucleic acid amplification test. This
test can also be done on a urine sample.
Chlamydia culture. A culture is a
special cup that allows the chlamydia bacteria to grow. Results take longer (5 to 7 days) than the other tests. The
culture must be done in a lab.
Why It Is Done
A test for chlamydia is done to:
See whether symptoms of a sexually transmitted
infection (STI) are caused by a chlamydia infection.
women in the first trimester and again in the third trimester if high-risk
sexual behaviors are reported. Treating a pregnant woman who has a chlamydia
infection can prevent an infection in her newborn.