Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Panel
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About Our Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Panel
What are Chlamydia and Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea and chlamydia are common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Both are typically asymptomatic (meaning they don’t display any symptoms), caused by bacteria, and have high prevalence across the United States. Chlamydia is one of the most widespread STDs in the United States, with the CDC estimating that 3 million cases occur annually. Rates of gonorrhea have been increasing sharply over the past 5 years, and certain strains are becoming antibiotic resistant.
Why Should I Test for Both?
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are both caused by bacteria, display similar symptoms, and often occur together. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are also recognized as co-existing infections, which means that the occurrence of one infection may put you at risk of having the other. This is why we suggest that you be tested (and potentially treated) for both.
How Do You Test for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia?
HealthLabs.com uses the FDA-approved / cleared nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). This test is recommended as the most accurate test for detecting both chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacterium that causes chlamydia. Our NAAT chlamydia test looks for the presence of the bacteria in your urine. If it is found, this means that you have an active chlamydia infection. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the bacterium that causes gonorrhea. Our NAAT gonorrhea test can detect the presence of this bacteria in your urine. If the bacteria is found, you have an active gonorrhea infection.
Are They Curable?
Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can be cured. Since they are caused by bacteria, a simple round of antibiotics should clear up the infections. Be sure to finish the entire course of antibiotics. It is widely accepted among the scientific community that stopping antibiotic treatment encourages antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria to develop.
Should I get tested for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea?
Yes! You should get tested for STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, before and after every sexual encounter with new partners. If you’ve been in a long-term, monogamous sexual relationship the same partner, you should still test for STDs once a year.
If you’ve recently tested positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea, complete the treatment, then test again after 3 months to ensure the treatment was successful.
Additionally, it is possible to be re-infected with both diseases, so even if you’ve already been treated for chlamydia or gonorrhea, you’re still susceptible to re-acquiring it. That’s why it’s so important to get retested after every sexual encounter with new partners.
How Soon After Exposure Can I Get Tested?
The incubation period for chlamydia is 1 - 5 days, and the incubation period for gonorrhea is 2 - 6 days. We recommend waiting until after the incubation period is over in order to receive the most accurate results and avoid false negatives.
How Should I Prepare for My Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test?
In order to provide the most accurate sample, you should not urinate for at least an hour leading up to your appointment. Nothing else is required.
What Causes Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium, a bacterium that can spread through the sharing of sexual fluids, typically through anal, oral, or vaginal sex. Both men and women are susceptible to chlamydia infections, though it tends to infect more women age 14 - 24.
What are Chlamydia Symptoms?
Chlamydia is often asymptomatic, meaning it doesn’t produce any symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, they can include:
- Painful urination
- Itching and burning in/around the vagina or penis
- Bleeding between periods/painful periods
- Women may experience pain during intercourse
- Small amounts of clear/cloudy discharge from the penis
- Abnormal vaginal discharge (may have an odor)
- Premature childbirth
What happens when Chlamydia is left Untreated?
If chlamydia goes untreated, it can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and ectopic pregnancy in women. For men, untreated chlamydia can cause Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) and damage to the reproductive tract.
What causes Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This bacteria is spread through the exchange of sexual fluids, most often through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea often does not produce any symptoms. However, if symptoms occur, they can include the following:
- Greenish, yellow, or white vaginal discharge
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Burning during urination
- Lower abdominal pain/pelvic pain
- Swelling of the vulva
- Bleeding between periods or spotting after intercourse
- Burning in the throat (from oral sex)
- Painful or swollen testicles
- Swollen glands in the throat (from oral sex)
What Happens when Gonorrhea is left Untreated?
Untreated gonorrhea can lead to ectopic pregnancy or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, which can cause infertility. In men, untreated gonorrhea can cause urethral scarring and epididymitis, a painful testicular condition that can affect fertility. If gonorrhea spreads to the joints or blood, it can be deadly.
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