Chlamydia Testing in New York City
Chlamydia testing is quick, easy and painless. A urine sample is the most common method of testing for infection with chlamydia. It is also possible to have a swab test. This involves wiping a sterile cotton swab around the infected area (usually the genitals, although it may be the rectum, mouth or eyes in a small number of cases). The tests are extremely reliable when carried out by a doctor or nurse at a clinic, and will detect the vast majority of chlamydia cases.
If you think that you may have been infected with chlamydia, then it is important for you to undergo testing as soon as possible. Treatment is more likely to be successful if the infection has not begun to spread to other regions of the body. At your appointment, you will also be given advice about how to prevent future infection with chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases. The most effective way to reduce your risk is to ensure that condoms are used each time, and if you have more than one partner, it is advisable to undergo regular screening for STDs.
What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and it is caused by a bacterial infection. Chlamydia trachomatis is the specific bacterium responsible for the condition, affecting approximately 1 million people in the United States and almost a quarter of a million in the United Kingdom.
The infection is passed easily between people, usually as a result of unprotected sex, but it can also be transmitted from mother to baby during childbirth, although this is less common. Many people who have been infected are unaware of this, because up to three quarters of infected women do not display any symptoms at all. Being asymptomatic is less common in men, but seeking medical attention for potentially embarrassing problems is something that many are reluctant to do.
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Dr. Gafanovich is performing STD testing as a part of her annual check up .
Symptoms of chlamydia
The majority of infected men are likely to experience symptoms, although these can vary from one person to another. The most common indications that the chlamydia bacteria are present include pain during urination or in the testicles, and an unusual discharge from the tip of the penis. This discharge may be white, cloudy or watery in color. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may even appear to resolve after a few days. As a result, the majority of men will assume that the problem has gone, but with chlamydia, this is not the case. You will be a carrier of the infection, able to pass it on even if you are not experiencing the symptoms yourself. This means that you should be checked for sexually transmitted infections if you experience any symptoms, because it can then be treated using antibiotics.
Women are unlikely to experience symptoms immediately after infection, with only a quarter being symptomatic. Again, the signs can vary, but some of the most common indications to be aware of include pain while urinating or in the abdominal area, along with heavier than usual bleeding during your period. It is also possible that bleeding will occur between periods and after sex, and vaginal discharge may be different from what you normally experience.
If left untreated, chlamydia infection will cause a number of long term problems. In women, the infection will move from the genitals into the uterus, or womb, where it will cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This may not be discovered until the woman in question is looking to become pregnant. Pelvic inflammatory disease is one of the main causes of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy (where the embryo implants in one of the Fallopian tubes instead of the uterus lining), and infertility.
When the condition is left untreated in men, it can also lead to the onset of infertility and swollen testicles (a condition known as orchitis). Unusually, it can also affect the joints, leading to a condition called reactive arthritis.
Treatment of chlamydia
It is usually very easy to treat chlamydia using antibiotics, with approximately 95 percent of patients being cured, as long as the medications are taken correctly. In the majority of cases, a single dose of azithromycin is sufficient to clear the infection completely. Sometimes, it will be necessary to use a longer course of a drug called doxycycline, which is taken twice a day for a week.
The longer you have been infected, the greater the risk of complications developing, and this will mean that different treatment is required. If possible, both you and your partner should be treated at the same time, in order to reduce the risk of reinfection. You will be advised to avoid sex for a week after your treatment, or longer if the symptoms are still present after this time. However, you should not need another test if you have taken the medications as prescribed and followed your doctor’s advice.
As with all medical treatment, there is a risk of side effects when taking antibiotics to treat chlamydia. These are rare and usually mild, and can include stomach pain, nausea and diarrhoea. If taking doxycycline, then your skin is likely to be more sensitive to light than usual, so you should avoid excessive exposure to the sun.