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How is chlamydia diagnosed?

Testing is the only way to know whether you have chlamydia. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual screening for all sexually active females 25 years of age and younger and for older females with risk factors (such as those who have a new sex partner and those with multiple sex partners). All females with signs of infection of the cervix and all pregnant females should be tested.

The most sensitive chlamydia tests, called nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), can be performed on a urine specimen or a self-collected vaginal swab. An invasive genital exam is not always required. However, a chlamydia test can also be performed on a swab of the cervix collected as part of a pelvic exam or a urethral swab collected on males. It may take several days before you can get a test result.
Angela Lowery
Family Medicine
Chlamydia can be diagnosed with a urine sample or by direct sample from the penis or the cervix.
A doctor can diagnose chlamydia through:
A swab test, where a fluid sample from an infected site (cervix or penis) is tested for the bacteria. A urine test, where a urine sample is tested for the bacteria.
A Pap test is not used to detect chlamydia.
This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.