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Chlamydia, Blood Test

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About Our Chlamydia, Blood Test

Note: Fasting is not required for this test.

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis. It is the most common bacterial STD infection in the US. Chlamydia is sexually transmitted through contact with the genitals during anal, oral, or vaginal sex. It can occur in both men and women of all ages but is most common in young women aged 25 years and younger.

What to Expect From a Chlamydia Blood Test

When the body is infected by the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria, it develops antibodies called IgM antibodies that circulate in the blood. This chlamydia blood test identifies if these IgM antibodies are in the blood to determine if there is a current chlamydia infection 

It should be noted that chlamydia is not a bloodborne disease. This chlamydia blood test should not be used to diagnose chlamydia infection of the urogenital area (where the urinary and genital organs are located). This chlamydia test helps determine if a chlamydia infection is affecting non-genital regions of the body, for example, chlamydia trachomatis can cause conjunctivitis (an infection of the eyes). If you’re interested in getting tested to diagnose a chlamydia infection of the urogenital area, consider a urine chlamydia test

A chlamydia blood test requires a blood draw from the arm. To complete this test, place your order on our website and use our lab locator to find a location that is most convenient for you. You do not need an appointment—simply show your lab requisition form upon arriving to the lab.  The results will to your HealthLabs.com account in one to three business days.

Symptoms of Chlamydia

Not everyone infected with chlamydia will have symptoms. Chlamydia is often referred to as a “silent” infection because the majority of people do not show signs of infection.

When symptoms are present in women, they typically include:

  • A painful or a burning sensation when urinating
  • An itching or burning sensation in and/or around the vagina
  • Pain in the upper right region of the abdomen
  • Bleeding in between periods and/or after sex
  • Discharge from the vagina that may have a bad odor (white, yellow, or green)
  • Painful sex

When symptoms are present in men, they typically include:

  • A painful or a burning sensation when urinating
  • Pain and/or swelling around the testicles
  • Discharge from the penis (clear or white)

It is still possible to pass chlamydia on to others, even if there are no signs or symptoms of infection. 

Who Should Get Tested For Chlamydia?

Individuals who are considered high risk for contracting chlamydia are those who:

  • Have multiple sex partners
  • Do not always use a condom
  • Are men who have sex with men

Individuals who should consider testing for chlamydia include:

  • Men and women who have symptoms of chlamydia
  • Pregnant women 
  • Sexually active women aged 25 years and younger
  • Men and women at a higher risk of contracting chlamydia

Sexually active women aged 25 years and younger and both men and women at a higher risk of contracting chlamydia should consider regular testing. Regular testing for chlamydia is considered to be once a year or with every change of sexual partner.

Gonorrhea, another common sexually transmitted disease, often occurs together with chlamydia, so it is wise to be tested for both.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is curable using antibiotics. It’s important to treat chlamydia early-on. If left untreated, or if not treated early-on, chlamydia can cause health complications, including:

  • Infertility
  • Sterility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (in women)
  • Damage of the sex organs
  • Preterm birth
  • An increased risk of contracting or transmitting HIV

Chlamydia can be passed from the mother to a newborn child at birth, possibly causing ophthalmia neonatorum (conjunctivitis or an eye infection) or pneumonia.

Individuals should abstain from sex during the treatment period. All sexual partners of the individual should also be treated for chlamydia, even if they don’t have any symptoms. It is recommended to not have sex until everyone has been treated. If all sexual partners are not treated, the infection can be passed back and forth.

It is possible to contract chlamydia again after being treated. Using a condom significantly reduces the risk of contracting or spreading chlamydia, although it does not eliminate this risk.

Since repeat infections increase the risk of health complications, patients who tested positive for chlamydia are recommended to repeat testing three months after treatment.

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Sources:

1. “Chlamydia - CDC Fact Sheet (Detailed).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm
2. “Chlamydia - CDC Fact Sheet.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm
3. “Chlamydia trachomatis.” May Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chlamydia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355349
4. “Chlamydia.” Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4023-chlamydia
5. “Chlamydia Infections.” Medline Plus. https://medlineplus.gov/chlamydiainfections.html
6. Ranit Mishori, Erica L. McClaskey, and Vince J. Winklerprins. “Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections: Screening, Diagnosis, and Management.” American Academy of Family Physicians. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/1215/p1127.html


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