Chlamydia Antibody Testing

Chlamydia is an organism that is sexually transmitted to the female and could cause damage to the fallopian tubes.

About 75% of infected women and about 50% of infected men have no symptoms of chlamydia infection. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure. Women who do have symptoms might have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. If the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes some women still have no signs or symptoms; others have lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods.

The most common test to detect chlamydia infection in women involves taking a swab from the cervix during a speculum exam in the doctor's office. The swab is tested for chlamydia DNA.

Sometimes the fallopian tubes will appear normal through a hysterosalpingograph, but what is not seen is the microscopic damage that chlamydia has caused. It is therefore important to know if exposure to this organism has occurred in the past.

Because most people show no active symptoms, so the Centers for Disease Control recommend testing in the following cases:

  • All sexually active females under 20 years of age (test at least once a year).
  • Women ages 20 and older who have one or more risk factors (test annually). Risk factors include having new or multiple sex partners, having sex with someone who has other partners, and not using barrier contraceptives, such as condoms.
  • All women with an infection of the cervix.
  • Men with painful and frequent urination (dysuria), penile discharge, infection of the prostate (prostatitis), or inflammation involving the anus and rectum (proctitis).

Treatment of chlamydia

Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. Her partner should be tested and treated. The couple should abstain from sexual intercourse until they have completed treatment, to prevent reinfection. Having multiple infections increases a woman’s risk of infertility.


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