Chlamydia - Exams and Tests
A doctor diagnoses chlamydia using a medical history, a physical exam, and tests. During the medical history, your doctor may ask you questions such as:
- Do you think you were exposed to any sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? How do you know? Did your partner tell you?
- What are your symptoms?
- Do you have discharge?
- Do you have sores in the genital area or anywhere else on your body?
- Do you have any urinary symptoms, including frequent urination, burning or stinging with urination, or urinating in small amounts?
- Do you have any abdominal or pelvic pain or cramping during intercourse?
- Do you have bleeding between your periods or after intercourse?
- What method of birth control do you use? Do you use condoms to protect against STIs?
- Which high-risk sexual behaviors do you or your partner engage in? For example, do you have multiple sex partners or have sex without using a condom (except if you're in a long-term relationship)?
- Have you had an STI in the past? How was it treated?
After the medical history is taken:
Several types of tests can be used to diagnose a chlamydia infection. Test results are usually done in 2 to 3 days, except for the chlamydia culture. It can take 5 to 7 days.
Other infections can occur along with a chlamydia infection. Your doctor may recommend testing for:
If you have chlamydia, your doctor will send a report to the state health department. Your personal information is kept confidential. The health department may contact you about telling your sex partner or partners that they may need treatment.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends chlamydia screening for all sexually active women ages 24 and younger. The USPSTF also recommends screening for women older than 24 with high-risk sexual behaviors. High-risk sexual behaviors include having multiple sex partners or having sex without using a condom (except if you're in a long-term relationship). The task force does not state how often to be screened. After reviewing all of the research, the USPSTF has not recommended for or against regular chlamydia screening for men.2