First Time User? Enroll now.
Get the latest on COVID-19 vaccines, steps we’re taking to keep you safe, visitor restrictions and additional resources and information. Please be aware that mask wearing is required at all UNC Health facilities.
Home > Health Library > Chlamydia Tests
Chlamydia tests use a sample of body fluid or urine to see whether chlamydia bacteria ( Chlamydia trachomatis) are present and causing an infection. Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States.
Tests used to find a chlamydia infection include:
A test for chlamydia is done to:
A chlamydia test is done on either a urine sample or fluid (direct sample) collected from the area of the body that is most likely to be infected. If your chlamydia test is being done on a:
If a urine sample is collected for nucleic acid amplification testing (such as PCR testing), do not urinate for 2 hours before the test. Do not wipe the genital area clean before urinating. Collect the first part of your urine stream, immediately as you begin urinating.
In a direct sample, a sample of body fluid is taken from the affected area. In adults, these areas may include the cervix, urethra, vagina, rectum, or eye.
There is also a self-test for women to collect a sample from their vagina and bring it to the lab for testing.
In rare cases, a throat culture may be done.
There is no discomfort in collecting a urine sample.
Collecting a sample of fluid from the urethra, anus, or rectum may cause mild discomfort or pain.
Collecting a sample from the cervix may cause mild discomfort. Most women find that the procedure feels like a Pap test or pelvic exam. Some women feel some cramping when the speculum is inside the vagina.
Collecting a sample from the eye is painless unless the eyelids have sores on them.
There is no chance for problems in collecting a urine sample.
There is very little chance of problems when collecting a sample of fluid from the cervix, urethra, rectum, eyes, or throat.
In rare cases, a person may suddenly get dizzy or feel faint (called vasovagal syncope) because of fear or pain when the swab is inserted into the urethra.
Chlamydia tests use a sample of body fluid or urine to see whether chlamydia bacteria ( Chlamydia trachomatis) are present and causing an infection.
No chlamydia antigens or DNA are found. If a culture is done, no chlamydia bacteria grow in the culture. More tests for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may be needed to find the cause of symptoms.
Chlamydia antigens or DNA are found. If a culture is done, chlamydia bacteria grow in the culture.
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Current as of:
February 26, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineDevika Singh MD, MPH - Infectious Disease
Current as of: February 26, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Devika Singh MD, MPH - Infectious Disease
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.