Testing, Treatment, and Cure
There are several different methods of testing for chlamydia in use. The type of test you receive will depend on your health situation, where you live, and where you receive medical care. The different testing methods in use are all reliable.
The most common method is to take a culture of the fluids in the area of the body that could be infected with chlamydia. A swab will be inserted a short distance into the urethra (urine canal), vagina (to get a fluid sample from the cervix), the anus, or throat. The fluid will be placed on a test slide. Later, the fluid will be studied under a microscope, will undergo a DNA probe, or will be tested for antibodies. The way the fluid is examined depends on the resources that particular lab has available.
A urine test is also available in some clinics. The method for detecting chlamydia in urine is newer than the methods for finding the bacterium in discharges. This type of test is not as widely available as the swab tests.
Many people who have chlamydia also have gonorrhea. Tests for both diseases may be done, and treatment for both diseases may be prescribed if either disease is present.
The most common medicines given for chlamydia are either doxycycline or azithromycin. Azithromycin can cure chlamydia in only one dose. Some patients may receive erythromycin or ofloxacin if their health status indicates it. Pregnant women cannot take doxycycline or ofloxacin. They are given another medication instead.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people with gonorrhea be treated for both gonorrhea and chlamydia because many people infected with one are infected with both.
If you test positive for chlamydia, your sex partner(s) need to be tested and treated also. Otherwise, they can reinfect you and/or infect others. If it is difficult or impossible for you to tell your partner(s) about the infection, many clinics can contact individuals for you without using your name.