How It Is Done
In a direct sample, a sample of body
fluid is taken from the affected area. In adults, these areas may include the
urethra, rectum, or eye.
For men. To collect a
sample from the urethra or rectum, your doctor will insert a swab into the
opening of your urethra or rectum to collect a sample. A sample from the
urethra is more likely to detect chlamydia if a man has not urinated for at
least 2 hours before the sample is taken.
For women. To collect a sample from the cervix, you will take off your
clothes below the waist and drape a cloth around your waist. You will lie on
your back on an exam table with your feet raised and supported by stirrups.
This allows your doctor to examine your vagina and genital area. Your doctor
will insert an instrument with curved sides (speculum) into your vagina. The
speculum gently spreads apart the vaginal walls so the inside of the vagina and
the cervix can be looked at. Samples are collected from the cervix with a swab
or small brush.
- To collect a sample from your eye, your doctor will
gently brush the insides of your lower and upper eyelids with a swab.
In rare cases, a throat culture may be done.
If a urine sample is collected for
nucleic acid amplification testing (such as PCR testing), do not urinate for 2
hours before the test. Do not wipe the genital area clean before urinating.
Collect the first part of your urine stream, immediately as you begin
How It Feels
Collecting a sample of fluid from the
urethra, anus, or rectum may cause mild discomfort or pain.
Collecting a sample from the cervix may cause mild discomfort. Most women
find that the procedure feels like a Pap test or pelvic exam. Some women feel
some cramping when the speculum is inside the vagina.
sample from the eye is painless unless the eyelids have sores on them.
There is very little chance of problems when
collecting a sample of fluid from the cervix, urethra, rectum, eyes, or
In rare cases, a person may suddenly get dizzy or feel
vasovagal syncope) because of fear or pain when the
swab is inserted into the urethra.
Chlamydia tests use a sample of body fluid
or urine to see whether chlamydia bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis) are present and causing an infection.
DNA are found. If a culture is done, no chlamydia
bacteria grow in the culture. More tests for other sexually transmitted
infections (STIs) may be needed to find the cause of symptoms.
Chlamydia antigens or DNA are
found. If a culture is done, chlamydia bacteria grow in the