Sexually Transmitted Chlamydia

The symptoms of common chlamydial STD and gonorrhea are very similar, so accurate diagnosis can be important. Although, in practice, it is standard to treat for both and not bother with the expensive testing often necessary to prove the diagnosis.

A swab test from the discharge of the penis or the cervix is the most reliable method for detecting chlamydia. A urine sample may be used as well. You may also be tested for others STDs , including HIV .

Other Forms of Chlamydial Infection

Diagnosing other forms of chlamydial infection depend upon a combination of your medical history (such as exposures to birds, sexual partners, foreign travel), your physical examination, and a collection of lab tests. In some cases, making the diagnosis can be quite difficult.

  • Psittacosis—The diagnosis of psittacosis is difficult when an obvious history of exposure to birds is not present. There is a lab test that identifies antibodies to the germ and is performed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Trachoma—This is diagnosed by culturing a swab from the conjunctiva, examining cells scraped from the conjunctiva, and doing an eye exam in later stages of the infection.
  • Reiter’s syndrome —The diagnosis of Reiter’s syndrome depends entirely upon your symptoms. Since the symptoms may take time to appear, the diagnosis may be delayed for several months.

Definitive diagnosis uses a number of different techniques. These may include taking specimens from infected areas, identifying molecules associated with the germ or antibodies to the germ, and recognizing strands of nucleic acid unique to the germ. The latter is done by using the newest methods of molecular biology.