Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease brought upon by Chlamydia trachomatis, a bacterium which might damage the reproductive organs, that is very common among women. Although it usually affects the women, men also get their share of this STD. The symptoms are mild and in some cases, absent. That’s why it is even referred to as the “silent disease.” But the damage can be horrendous as it can even cause infertility. In 2002, there were about 840,000 chlamydial infections reported to the CDC from all over the United States.
Anyone who is sexually active can contact chlamydia. If you are promiscuous, you are increasing the risk of having chlamydial infection. Also be wary of your sex partner, she or he might also have this contagious condition.
It is important then to test yourself if you have chlamydia. The test is for the diagnosis of the symptoms and to screen you for the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis. A very specific and accurate diagnosis is a must because chlamydia is sometimes mistaken as gonorrhea. Gonorrhea and chlamydia need different treatment.
What are the important things you need to know before and during the admission of the chlamydia test?
1. The doctor will check for the symptoms.
Vaginal or penile discharge, abdominal pain or pain while urinating can pass up as symptoms for chlamydia. But remember that 75% of the women with chlamydia and 50% of infected men have no active symptoms.
2. Centers for Disease Control recommend the tests for the following cases:
- a. Females under 20 years of age who are sexually active must take the test once a year.
b. Women who are 20 and above who have more risk factors must also take the test at least once a year.
3. The risk factors are:
- a. Promiscuity.
b. Sexual intercourse with someone who has multiple sex partners.
c. The absence of condoms or other barrier contraceptives during sexual intercourses.
d. Women whose cervix is infected.
4. The test indicates the following:
If test results are positive, that means there is an active treatment that necessitates treatment using antibiotics.
5. How is the test administered?
Chlamydia tests need samples of a body fluid or urine to find out if Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacterium responsible for chlamydia, is present.
6. These are the types of tests used to locate the presence of chlamydial infection:
a. ELISA or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
This is one of the most common and rapid tests that look for the chlamydia antigens that urge the immune system to battle out chlamydia infection.
b. DFA or direct fluorescent antibody test.
Another of those swift and common tests that locate chlamydia antigens.
c. NAAT or nucleic acid amplification tests.
This test can do as much as mapping the genetic material or DNA of the chlamydia bacteria. An example of these nucleic amplification tests is the polymerase chain reaction testing or PCR.
d. Chlamydia culture.
A culture enables the creation of a right environment where the chlamydia bacteria can grow. This test is more exorbitant than usual and the procedure can take a long time, as it needs skills technical. You have to wait for a week to see the results.
Chlamydia, though silent, must not be taken for granted because its effect on the body can be really bad. The test is available for everyone to find out if you’re free from this STD or not.
See Also: Chlamydia in Men